The transition between mental health services in Scotland

Published date12 March 2018
Date12 March 2018
AuthorJuliette van der Kamp
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Mental health
The transition between mental health
services in Scotland
Juliette van der Kamp
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe the barriers and facilitators to an effective transition from
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS). It also
presents a new entry into considering how the transition can be improved.
Design/methodology/approach Insights into the transition from CAMHS to AMHS were gathered
through eight semi-structured interviews with mental health professionals. Two methods of data analysis
were employed to explore the emerging themes in the data and the observed deficit approach to
organisational development.
Findings The findings identified a vast volume of barriers in comparison to facilitators to the transition.
Adolescents who transition from CAMHS to AMHS initially experience difficulty adapting to the differences in
the services due to the short duration of the transition period. However, despite the established barriers to the
transition, adolescents tend to adapt to the differences between the services. Findings also showed a
negative framing towards the transition amongst the mental health professionals which resembles a deficit
approach to organisational development.
Originality/value This paper explores mental health professionalsperspectives regarding the transition in
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The transition is increasingly recognised as an area in health care that
requires improvement. This research provides a new way to consider the transition by exploring the
perceived deficit approach to organisational development in the services.
Keywords Adolescents, Organizational development, Transition, Adult mental health service,
Child and adolescent mental health service
Paper type Research paper
The transition from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health
Services (AMHS) is increasingly researched due to the detrimental effects it can have on
adolescentsmental health and the continuity of care (Singh et al., 2010; Lamb et al.,2008;
Killaspy et al., 2000; Ogundele, 2013; Hall et al., 2013; Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2011).
When adolescents turn 18 years old, they are required to start treatment at a different service with
new mental health professionals and possibly new treatment plans ( Joint Commissioning Panel for
Mental Health, 2013; Singh, 2009). This change in services occurs when individuals are susceptible
to outside influences and are most vulnerable regarding their mental health (World Health
Organisation, 2016). Research illustrates that most mental health iss ues start to develop during
adolescence- statistics show that half of all lifetime cases have started by the age of 14, and
75 per cent have started by the age of 24 years (Kessler et al., 2005, p. 593). An effective transition
is imperative as adolescents experience a disruption in care when they are most vulnerable.
Ideally, the transition period would allow adolescents to adapt to the differences between the
services, whilst their developmental and mental health needs are taken into consideration
(Pugh, 2015; NICE, 2016). The National Health Service suggests that the transition should start
circa six months before their 18th birthday to allow time to communicate the needs of the service
users and provide continuity in care (Pugh, 2015). It requires at least one joint meeting between
the services and the chance for adolescents to meet their new mental health professional or
worker in AMHS (Pugh, 2015). The NICE guidelines emphasise that a longer, gradual transition
Received 31 May 2017
Revised 17 November 2017
Accepted 18 November 2017
Juliette van der Kamp is based
in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
PAG E 12
VOL. 23 NO. 1 2018, pp. 12-24, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1361-9322 DOI 10.1108/MHRJ-05-2017-0020

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT