CAMHS stress-test 2020

Resources 08 July 2020

CAMHS stress-test 2020

Find out how CAMHS is performing in your area.

This document presents an analysis of trends in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in England. It presents a national picture and then examines how these trends vary by local area. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are often experiencing different pressures to the national average: we aggregate 19 indicators to identify those which we think are experiencing the most pressures.

The purpose of these stress-tests is to provide new insight by analysing existing publicly-available datasets in new and different ways. The CAMHS stress-test has proved particularly difficult to design because the data that is available is relatively limited, there is often a lack of consistent reporting periods, and indicators do not cover all aspects of provision that we would have liked. In places we have had to combine datasets in atypical ways to create proxy indicators which give a flavour of potential trends in the system. We have drawn any conclusions carefully and tried to be fully transparent in the slides and references in the calculations that have been undertaken. We hope that, despite these ‘health warnings’, the analysis is helpful for local planning purposes – both now and into the future when we expect Covid-19 to have significant impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. 

If this analysis raises questions for your local CCG or local authority then Cordis Bright can help in the following ways:

  • We can produce bespoke versions of this stress-test plotting your CCG’s performance against each indicator. This helps understand your relative strengths and weaknesses. We are able to do similar for a basket of CCGs, e.g. your statistical neighbours. There is a small charge for this analysis. 
  • We are experts at service reviews and evaluation. Relevant experience includes an evaluation of a children and young people’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Transformation Programme; evaluation of a Trauma Recovery Model approach within youth offending; a multi-site evaluation of the Living Well approach to improving mental health; and evaluation of an innovation project designed to safely prevent escalation to tier 4 CAMHS. 
  • We also offer needs assessments, helping you map local need and service provision and identifying gaps and areas for improvement. These can be population-wide, e.g. mental health services for all children and young people, or focused on particular cohorts, e.g. looked after children, or particular aspects, e.g. training needs assessments for those working with children and young people who may have emotional and mental health needs.

Our team draws upon the expertise of people who have previous experience within children and young people’s mental health as well as children’s services more generally. If you would like to discuss any of these options further then please contact Colin Horswell on 


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