Waiting for Access Into Treatment “WAIT” study: an exploration of current interventions offered to children and young people on CAMHS waiting lists

Introduction to this Emerging Minds funded project by the Lead Researcher, Dr Charlotte Hall, University of Nottingham:

The overarching aim of this project is to improve timely access to evidence-based interventions.

Children and young people often feel ‘abandoned’ on waiting lists, with some waiting over a year to start treatment. Offering waiting-list interventions may help support families during this difficult time, however, to date we don’t know how often or what type of waiting list interventions may be being offered.

The “WAIT” project has three main aims:

  1. Understand the waiting times for mental health treatment for children and young people by disorder and across regions;

  2. Identify the waiting-list interventions e.g. self-help resources) currently offered by disorder post-referral;

  3. Evaluate the evidence base for the efficacy of current interventions offered.

Addressing these points will identify which interventions may benefit from wider scale adoption and which may benefit from future research to establish clinical and cost-effectiveness.

Establishing an evidence-base for waiting-list interventions that are implemented in routine care would enable children and young people to access timely support and may prevent further deterioration experienced on waitlists. Accessing waiting-list interventions may also result in service-efficiencies, resulting in earlier symptom improvement/improved quality of life, requiring fewer sessions of the designated treatment reducing the burden on healthcare systems.

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