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Podcast on developing a casemix for CAMHS now available!

A new podcast on 'Developing a Casemix Classification for CAMHS' is now available on our Soundcloud account. It was recorded during an Evidence-Based Practice Unit Seminar by Dr Peter Martin.

Listen on the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families Soundcloud account.

Funding and payment systems are contentious issues within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), as they are in the NHS in general. There is evidence of severe underfunding of some CAMHS, as well as of wide regional variations in funding. The CAMHS Payment Systems project was commissioned to develop a case mix classification for CAMHS, with the aim of informing efforts to achieve a fairer distribution of resources. As part of this work, clinical records from eleven CAMHS were collected over 22 months. These records included clinician ratings of presenting problems, as well as contextual problems and complexity factors.

The data demonstrated the diversity of the children and young people who attend CAMHS. Around a quarter of children and young people appeared to present with relatively mild problems, while over half were rated as having multiple problems. And while more than a fifth of children and young people attended only a single appointment before case closure, around a third of all appointments are attended by the 5 % of children and young people that receive the most resource-intensive treatment. This seminar introduces a case mix classification that groups children and young people coming to CAMHS into eighteen groupings based on clinician-rated presenting information. We think that children and young people within the same group are likely to have similar treatment needs. The classification may help services to better understand their patient population and to monitor the appropriateness of treatment provided for different types of children and young people.

Speaker: Dr Peter Martin is Lead Statistician in the Evidence Based Practice Unit at the Anna Freud Centre & University College London. From July 2013 to March 2015 he led the data analysis in the CAMHS Payment System Project. He also teaches research methods and statistics within the AFC & UCL Postgraduate Studies programme.