Info for Professionals

Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Mental Health provision in Liverpool and Sefton is provided through an array of services that are commissioned across multiple agencies and professional disciplines.

Whilst these services do work together, efficiency and effectiveness is maximised by ensuring children and young people access the most appropriate type of service to meet their presenting difficulties at that particular time.

Types of problems CAMHS can help with include violent or angry behavior, depression, eating difficulties, low self-esteem, anxiety, obsessions or compulsions, sleep problems, self-harming and the effects of abuse or traumatic events. CAMHS can also diagnose and treat mental health problems such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

If you are looking for an assessment and/or diagnosis of ASD, ADHD or other developmental conditions, we are not the service you are looking for and referrals should be made to Community Paediatricians for oversight (see exclusion criteria below)

We take referrals for any professional working with children.  However, it is essential that referrals are consented to either by the person who holds parental responsibility and/or the young person where they have capacity to consent.

Referral requests can be made in writing to:

Single Point of Access (SPA)
FRESH Building
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
L12 2AP

Fax: 0151 293 3698 (safehaven fax)
Email:  Any referrer that is not part of the N3 network (i.e. not having email address ending in or needs to ensure they follow their organisational policy on sharing confidential information.

We also take referrals over the telephone (including self-referrals from families and from young people over the age of 16)

Please feel free to call the Crisis Care team 24/7 on 0151 293 3577 with any enquiries or to discuss a referral.

Referral criteria for further assessment

The Child / Young Person must be:

  • Registered with a GP in Liverpool or Sefton.
  • Aged 0 – 18years at the time of referral
    • If over the age of 16 years, emergency, unplanned or crisis care is provided by Merseycare (see exclusion criteria)
  • Presenting with signs indicative of, or on-going symptoms of mental health difficulties that
    • impacts upon their developmental functioning
    • or is likely to result in significant risk to themselves or others


  • A less intensive intervention (e.g. school based parenting groups, guided self-help) or Adult Mental Health Service for 16-18 year olds (e.g. Inclusion Matters, Talk Liverpool) is unlikely to suffice


  • Valid, informed consent has been obtained from the Young Person where applicable, or person(s) with Parental Responsibility
  • Any current safeguarding issues must have been referred to Social Care


  • Evidence and/or guidance would suggest that an intervention from the Specialist CAMH service would ameliorate the presenting risk and support the return of the young person to acceptable levels of functioning.

Exclusion Criteria

We will not accept referrals where the child or young person is:

  • Is over 16 years of age and requires emergency, unplanned or crisis care
    • Referral goes to Merseycare Access Team
  • Has not, or refuses to give consent to intervention
    • Consider if serious enough to warrant assessment of capacity/assessment under the Mental Health Act
    • Consider working with the child’s network

We do not accept referrals where the referral is a request for assessment/management of:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    • Consider Community Paediatrics/ADHD Foundation
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
    • Consider ASD Pathway
  • Substance misuse
    • Consider Young Addaction / OKUK (Mersey Youth Association)
  • Forensic risk
    • YOS prevention team/FACT
    • Must be referred and managed by Social Care
  • Primarily issues of parental mental health / illness
    • Refer to GP with recommendation for IAPT / Adult Mental Health

Specialist CAMHs welcome requests for consultation in relation to the above areas, where professionals would benefit from additional support/advice.

Choice and Partnership approach

Alder Hey CAMHS operates the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) CAPA is a clinical model that has been implemented in by many CAMHS services throughout the UK, North America and Australasia.

It is a service transformation model that is a combination of collaboration and participatory practice with users of the service. Its broad aims are to enhance effectiveness, leadership, skills modelling and demand and capacity management.

For more details please visit the CAPA website.

Quality & Clinical Governance

Clinical quality and effectiveness is regularly monitored through the use of routine outcome measures.  Measures are given to children/young people and parents/carers at the initial Choice appointment, first Partnership, review and on case closure.  The measures have been selected to capture changes in symptomatology, problem description and functioning, therapeutic alliance (via session-by-session measures) and experience of service.

Useful links