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The appropriate medical treatment test (ATT), included in the Mental Health Act (MHA) (1983, as amended 2007), aims to ensure that detention only occurs when treatment with the purpose of alleviating a mental disorder is available.
As part of the Assessing the Impact of the Mental Health Act (AMEND) project, this qualitative study aimed to assess professionals' understanding of the ATT, and its impact on clinical practice.
Forty-one professionals from a variety of mental health subspecialties were interviewed. Interviews were coded related to project aims, and themes were generated in an inductive process.
We found that clinicians are often wholly relied upon for the ATT. Considered treatment varied depending on the patient's age rather than diagnosis. The ATT has had little impact on clinical practice.
Our findings suggest the need to review training and support for professionals involved in MHA assessments, with better-defined roles. This may enable professionals to implement the ATT as its designers intended.
The Transitions of Care from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to Adult Mental Health Services (TRACK) study was a multistage, multicentre study of adolescents' transitions between child and adult mental health services undertaken in England. We conducted a secondary analysis of the TRACK study data to investigate healthcare provision for young people (n = 64) with ongoing mental health needs, who were not transferred from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services mental health services (AMHS).
The most common outcomes were discharge to a general practitioner (GP; n =29) and ongoing care with CAMHS (n = 13), with little indication of use of third-sector organisations. Most of these young people had emotional/neurotic disorders (n = 31, 48.4%) and neurodevelopmental disorders (n = 15, 23.4%).
GPs and CAMHS are left with the responsibility for the continuing care of young people for whom no adult mental health service could be identified. GPs may not be able to offer the skilled ongoing care that these young people need. Equally, the inability to move them decreases the capacity of CAMHS to respond to new referrals and may leave some young people with only minimal support.
Transfer of care from one healthcare provider to another is often understood as a suboptimal version of the process of transition.
To separate and evaluate concepts of transfer and transition between child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and adult mental health services (AMHS).
In a retrospective case-note survey of young people reaching the upper age boundary at six English CAMHS, optimal transition was evaluated using four criteria: continuity of care, parallel care, a transition planning meeting and information transfer.
Of 154 cases, 76 transferred to AMHS. Failure to transfer resulted mainly from non-referral by CAMHS (n = 12) and refusal by service users (n = 12) rather than refusal by AMHS (n = 7). Four cases met all criteria for optimal transition, 13 met none; continuity of care in(n = 63) was met most often.
Transfer was common but good transition rare. Reasons for failure to transfer differ from barriers to transition. Transfer should be investigated alongside transition in research and service development.
Many adolescents with mental health problems experience transition of care from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS).
As part of the TRACK study we evaluated the process, outcomes and user and carer experience of transition from CAMHS to AMHS.
We identified a cohort of service users crossing the CAMHS/AMHS boundary over 1 year across six mental health trusts in England. We tracked their journey to determine predictors of optimal transition and conducted qualitative interviews with a subsample of users, their carers and clinicians on how transition was experienced.
Of 154 individuals who crossed the transition boundary in 1 year, 90 were actual referrals (i.e. they made a transition to AMHS), and 64 were potential referrals (i.e. were either not referred to AMHS or not accepted by AMHS). Individuals with a history of severe mental illness, being on medication or having been admitted were more likely to make a transition than those with neurodevelopmental disorders, emotional/neurotic disorders and emerging personality disorder. Optimal transition, defined as adequate transition planning, good information transfer across teams, joint working between teams and continuity of care following transition, was experienced by less than 5% of those who made a transition. Following transition, most service users stayed engaged with AMHS and reported improvement in their mental health.
For the vast majority of service users, transition from CAMHS to AMHS is poorly planned, poorly executed and poorly experienced. The transition process accentuates pre-existing barriers between CAMHS and AMHS.
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