C03. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services


This Clinical Reference Group (CRG) covers secure and non-secure Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), inclusive of eating disorders (male and female).

The CRG has a robust workplan for 2019-22, providing expert clinical leadership to enable and support :-

  • The effective commissioning of CAMHS services,  nationally, regionally and through NHS-led Provider Collaboratives, adopting  a whole pathway approach
  • Enabling delivery of seamless community based care, reducing reliance in all but the most complex cases for treatment in hospital settings.
  • Ensuring inequalities are identified and addressed
  • Increasing personalisation and technology-based approaches to care modalities
  • Learning from the impact of COVID-19

The key delivery areas cover:

  • Measuring and improving quality
  • Improving value and reducing unwarranted variation
  • Effective commissioning
  • Transformation

The Work Programme of the CRG is discharged through the following Working Groups:-

  • Complex Eating Disorder
  • Data
  • Learning Disability & Autism Pathway
  • Provider Collaboratives
  • Reducing Restrictive Practice & Quality
  • Workforce

The CAMHS CRG and Working Groups work closely with the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT)  programme and the National Quality Improvement Taskforce for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Inpatients.


Chair: Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan (Chair); Dr Tina Irani (Associate)

Clinical Members

  • Dr Gill Bell
  • Dr Nina Champaneri
  • Dr Shermin Imran
  • Dr David Kingsley
  • Dr Guy Northover
  • Dr Lisa Rippon
  • Dr Gary Wannan
  • Dr Oliver White
  • Dr Linda Zirinsky
  • Lead Commissioner:  Andrew Simpson

Supporting carer involvement in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Parents, carers and families of children and young people who access CAMHS services have a vital contribution to make to the commissioning process as experts by experience. Engaging with parents, carers, families  and enabling  them to get involved in CAMHS services should be a priority for providers and commissioners as it helps to ensure positive healthcare experiences for everyone involved.

Patient and Public Voice Members

  • Anne Beresford
  • Leanne Walker


A key part of the CRG’s work is to develop a range of commissioning products, including service specifications, quality dashboards, commissioning policies and guidance.  These are tools that will be used by Regional Specialised Commissioning Teams and Lead Providers for NHS-led Provider Collaboratives.

Service Specifications

Service specifications are important in clearly defining the standards of care expected from organisations funded by NHS England to provide specialised care. The specifications have been developed by specialised clinicians, professionals, commissioners, experts by experience (patients, carers, families), and public health representatives to describe both core and developmental service standards. Core standards are those that all funded providers should be able to demonstrate, with developmental standards being those which may require further changes in practice over time to provide excellence in the field.

The following service specifications fall within the scope of this CRG:


Other important publications that relate to this CRG include:

Transitions from adolescent secure to adult secure inpatient services: Practice guidance for all secure services

This guidance relates to patients who need to transition to the adult secure pathway when leaving CAMHS secure services. It aims to outline good practice standards and give clear guidance for the positive transition of young people. A National Adult Secure and CAMHS Secure Transitions Task and Finish Group, reporting to the CAMHS and Adult Secure Clinical Reference Groups, was established to consider and improve this transition, the guidance and supporting documents should be helpful to all those involved in the process.