Information about Inpatient CAMHS Referrals

Referral and Access to Inpatient CAMHS

The vast majority of CAMHS interventions are delivered in the community close to people’s homes, in the least restrictive environment possible. Therefore inpatient services are seen as a last resort when all other interventions in the community have been exhausted.

When a decision is being made to admit someone to an inpatient unit, the child or adolescent, their families and the CAMHS team will consider the clinical improvements expected against any potential negative impact from an inpatient stay. These may include the impact of being separated from family and friends, any disruption to their education, or the potential for further impact from being admitted to an inpatient unit.

The Clinical Director or Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists working in Linn Dara Approved Centre assess all referrals.

They take into account:

  •  the availability of resources
  •  milieu on units
  •  presentation
  •  risks and goal of potential admissions.

The Approved Centre does not provide a replacement for Community CAMHS MDT assessment and intervention.

Referring to Inpatient CAMHS

As Linn Dara Approved Centre is a regional and national service for severe and complex presentations, children must, therefore, be assessed and referred by a Consultant Psychiatrist.

It is recommended that there be an access assessment prior to admission.

This may include telephone consultation with the referral agent, further information gathering from other services, and/or an access assessment by the inpatient team to ensure suitability and benefit for admission.

Where the decision is made not to admit a child or adolescent to the CAMHS Inpatient Unit, the child or adolescent, their parent(s) and the referral agent should be informed of the reasons in writing.

The Community CAMHS team, Consultant from Paediatric Consultation & Liaison services or Consultant Psychiatrist assessing the young person should make referrals to their designated regional unit. Designated catchment areas for the four CAMHS Inpatient Units are noted on the referral form or in the HSE CAMHS Operational Guidelines.

Referrals from outside catchment areas will be considered when the local unit cannot offer a bed. These referrals are prioritised based on clinical need and clinical capacity.