2 hours

About this course


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 CAMH services, as well as of wide regional variations in funding. The CAMHS Payment Systems project was commissioned to develop a casemix 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 CAMH services 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 (CYP) who attend CAMHS. Around a quarter of CYP appeared to present with relatively mild problems, while over half were rated as having multiple problems. And while more than a fifth of CYP attended only a single appointment before case closure, around a third of all appointments are attended by the 5 % of CYP that receive the most resource-intensive treatment. This seminar will introduce a casemix classification that groups CYP coming to CAMHS into eighteen clusters based on clinician-rated presenting information. We think that CYP within the same cluster 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.


Dr Peter Martin is Lead Statistician in the Evidence-Based Practice Unit at the Anna Freud Centre & University College London, and since July 2013 has led the data analysis in the CAMHS Payment Systems Project. He also teaches research methods and statistics within the AFC & UCL Postgraduate Studies programme.