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To think CHAMS is shit

(148 Posts)
shockandawe Fri 08-Apr-16 19:14:58

To not even see my ds, and close the referral without even meeting us.

I really fee like not sending my ds to senior school in September. He has such noticeable tics that I really fear the issue will be a whole lot worse once at secondary.

Aibu? Don't mind to hear if I am.

shockandawe Fri 08-Apr-16 19:15:34

Feel not fee.

Sirzy Fri 08-Apr-16 19:17:40

Yanbu to be annoyed.

The problem is the system is so stretched and underfunded they simply can't cope with the demand.

Who did the initial referral? Can they get back in touch and add more detail/explain why it's needed? Ds was initially turned down for OT but after the school nurse referred they accepted him and he has more than proved he needs their input!

stilllovingmysleep Fri 08-Apr-16 19:17:55

Sad to hear this. I work at CAMHS and thresholds for accepting referrals are very high. What was the context, why wasn't the referral accepted? Were you offered alternatives? CAMHS can be very good, I don't think it's shit overall at all, it can offer good quality help, but acceptance of referral is hard.

RandomMess Fri 08-Apr-16 19:18:10

Like all NHS until you are at crises they don't have the resources to help.

It's disgusting sad

I have MH history, went to GP mid traumatic crises, it's taken 5 years to start getting the help I really need - yes FIVE!!!

It's so awful for your ds, can you afford any sort of private assessment to get the ball rolling?

stilllovingmysleep Fri 08-Apr-16 19:19:15

I think private appointments are an option if you can afford it.

Cutecat78 Fri 08-Apr-16 19:20:22

Problem is, is they are being restructured like a lot of other government agencies and are massively over stretched due to hundreds of inappropriate referrals.

shockandawe Fri 08-Apr-16 19:26:42

I was hoping to gain their guidance with going private and we'd try that route. But nobody seems to be able to suggest anybody. We've waited so long to get this referral and I've sent in all the questionnaires etc.

I thought they'd be able to advise on help for him.

The school have backed up the referral as his handwriting is holding him back (he is so slow to complete any work) due to constant trembling.

I just want to cry.

EverySongbirdSays Fri 08-Apr-16 19:26:51

Who made the initial referral? They can surely re-refer? Do you mind stating the Trust? You could have several routes of appeal that I could recommend by applying directly to the Trust?

ghostyslovesheep Fri 08-Apr-16 19:28:53

mental health services are the poor relation of the NHS generally and Children's mental health services are the hungry rat living in the kitchen of that poor relation

there isn't the funding for them to run effectively - one of our local ones will only see teenager in psychosis - everything else isn't priority - because that's all they can afford to do

I've found them hit and miss for us as a family but they have helped us

Be angry - very angry - but at the cuts not the service sad

shockandawe Fri 08-Apr-16 19:30:01

He saw an epilepsy consultant at Maidstone, Kent. He did the referral. But we're on the border and come under Medway (lucky us) and they've closed it.

Sirzy Fri 08-Apr-16 19:31:35

Could an OT referral help with the handwriting?

EverySongbirdSays Fri 08-Apr-16 19:33:41

OP I am going to PM you some advice

PhilPhilConnors Fri 08-Apr-16 19:34:05

Ds has ASD/PDA.
We have to keep knives and matches hidden all the time as he will use them to threaten us and threats to harm himself.
Ditto belts and any cables.
Whilst we have some calm phases, we have some awful phases, up to two to three months at a time when he is often talking about killing himself, following meltdowns and also when he's calmed down. It's frightening.
We filled in forms twice for CAMHS, both showed him to be highly anxious.
CAMHS did the following for us:
Ignored and doubted ds's diagnosis.
Told us this was normal behaviour. (We have other DC and many DC in the family. We know this is not normal)
Took all the information we gave them and twisted it to fit their version.
Accused us of only seeing his faults and his ASD. This is utter bollocks, but we didn't ask for a CAMHS referral to talk about his many talents and strengths.
Told us he wasn't anxious at all (after their forms showed that he was)
Didn't understand anything about masking at all, believed that the calm, relaxed boy in front of them was how he always is. They didn't see him meltdown as soon as he got into the car to come home.

I can't believe it's all down to a lack of funds, because they seem to waste so many resources on pointless things (for my oldest son, we had 7 months of family therapy, each session taking up 1 hour of time for 4 professionals, ds1 wouldn't engage, CAMHS wouldn't give any advice at all, we kept going because we thought it was leading to actual help. It didn't. - it would have been cheaper for ds to have a few 1:1 sessions where they might have actually been able to get to the root of his issues).
The only practical thing they did for us with ds2 was to put us forward for a parenting class. It wasn't geared up towards ASD, it was geared up towards children whose parents didn't know how to parent. It was dreadful and following their strategies made ds's behaviour worse.

We were discharged last week for ds2, and were told that there was nothing they could do for him unless he is self harming or attempting suicide. No advice, no suggestions for ways to help him, nothing.

shockandawe Fri 08-Apr-16 19:36:04

I'll find out Sirzy.

The school were giving him exercises to strengthen his arms, which we do at home, but no improvement.

shockandawe Fri 08-Apr-16 19:37:28

So sorry to hear that Philphil. sad

stilllovingmysleep Fri 08-Apr-16 19:42:12

I feel the need to defend CAMHS.
First, each CAMHS is obviously not the same...that goes without saying. That largely has to do with massive cuts that CAMHS teams have faced over the last years, leading to huge, painful, heartbreaking restructurings and job losses. I'm sure people can appreciate how hard that is on staff in every way. Some teams (many teams) are going through such cuts / restructurings as we speak so it's not unexpected that they don't manage so well.
Second, even in the best of circumstances, CAMHS can't help everyone in the way they would like. They (we) do help many people and lots of meaningful work is being done. But the threshold as I said is very very high. Sadly there are not that many appropriate community Tier 2 services so there's a gap if a child doesn't get accepted to CAMHS. But that's not the fault of CAMHS, it has to do again with lack of funding in schools / local authority etc. CAMHS is meant to be a Tier 3 service, meaning it accepts referrals for cases with entrenched, longstanding mental health difficulties.

Clare1971 Fri 08-Apr-16 19:50:50

YANBU. CAMHS are shit. A lot of it is underfunding and reorganisation but some of it is just incompetence. eg: psychiatrist weighed my underweight DD but had no notes to say what she'd weighed last appointment so asked DD if she thought there was any change and took her word for it that there wasn't. She had in fact lost almost a stone. I could list dozens of other examples of shit practice. Crisis nurse was good though.

coffeeisnectar Fri 08-Apr-16 19:59:53

I feel your pain. The only thing I can suggest is don't give up. Keep pestering the SENCO at school, your GP or anyone else who can refer.

We have been fighting for four years since moving here to get DD assessed for ASD and finally after being bounced between CAMHS and the paediatric service we are finally getting somewhere. Initially CAMHS said DD didn't meet any criteria. Then after pushing for three years I got a referral to them again who referred us to paediatrics. They didn't even see DD but referred us back to CAMHS. Waited again to be seen who said that she needed to be seen by paediatrics. You can imagine the frustration I have felt and how fed up I was.

We did kick up and DP rang paediatrics and told them DD was being referred to them again and we did not want to be fobbed off with yet another referral elsewhere. We got a cancellation this week and were seen on Wednesday where they agreed that DD needs an assessment and we are finally on the waiting list.

I know they are stretched beyond reason in some areas but the automatic referring to parenting courses to ease the waiting list and onto other services is just not helping.

We are going to have an explosion of young adults who cannot cope with life in a few years if they don't help our dc now.

stilllovingmysleep Fri 08-Apr-16 21:44:43

Coffeeisnectar that is exactly why CAMHS needs to be funded properly and more staff is needed too. It is not fobbing off when CAMHS sends to other services; it's physically impossible to take on the number of cases that get referred to us with the existing staff. Most CAMHS workers take on one new case a week. And think: a lot of these cases (not all) remain open for years. Others for many months. Do the calculations, including paperwork, liaison with other services schools etc

Twirlywoooo Fri 08-Apr-16 21:57:12

CAMHS in our area currently has a two year minimum waiting list for ASD assessment. It's shit.

Two years!

stilllovingmysleep Fri 08-Apr-16 22:01:49

Two years sounds very very excessive to me twirly. That is shocking indeed. In our CAMHS it's a few months.

Branleuse Fri 08-Apr-16 22:04:59

theyre shit, youre right.

They refuse anyone with an autism or aspergers diagnosis

Obviously i get that theyre underfunded, but theyre really not worth anyone pinning their hopes on

AdriftOnMemoryBliss Fri 08-Apr-16 22:05:05

I really think it depends on your area.

I'm in Shropshire and i really can't fault our treatment, the waiting list is a PITA, but once our appt came through they've been wonderful.

We were referred in October 2014, had a CAMHs person in our house just after Christmas the same year for the initial assessment, she agreed DS needed to be properly assessed and we got our appt through for August 2015. Within a month we had an ASD diagnosis, medication for helping him sleep, a referral to a specialist OT who deals with Sensory Processing Disorder. Another month and we had an ADHD diagnosis.

We see his Dr every 2-3 months.

I'm sorry you and other people have had such a shit experience, but its unfair to say CAMH's in general is shit!

TimeToMuskUp Fri 08-Apr-16 22:07:15

CAMHS in Warwickshire have an enormous waiting list which is only getting longer as each year goes by. We've been under them for a couple of years with DS1 who was recently diagnosed with ASD. We've known for a long time he was on the spectrum; I work with ASD children and have suspected since he was very small that he would be eventually diagnosed, but it has taken til 10 years old to finally reach a formal dx.

In defence of them, they have been nothing but amazing for DS1. He hurt himself (intentionally) several times last year and the service they (and the spin-off services) provided has helped us, and DS1, enormously. They're hugely overstretched and underfunded so we're incredibly lucky to have had such a good time with them. But they don't deliberately spite families or let anyone down, they just aren't capable of providing the resources needed, which means children and families are being left vulnerable and without support. In an ideal world the local authorities and government would make far more funding available for services like this to ensure that nobody gets left behind.

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