Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) clinical outcomes

Clinical outcomes are broadly agreed, measurable changes in health or quality of life that result from our care. Constant review of our clinical outcomes establishes standards against which to continuously improve all aspects of our practice.

About the Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS)

The department accepts referrals from all over the country and Europe where patients are eligible for NHS treatment. We receive internal and external referrals from mental health and child health services and provide expert opinions in cases where there are differences of view about how the needs of the child or young person are best met. We work alongside local services within a shared care model.

We offer a range of services within a specialist setting, appropriate to age, clinical need and educational need. Find out more about CAMHS services.

Clinical outcome measures

1. Goal-Based Outcomes

‘Goal-Based Outcomes’ (GBOs) is a nationally adopted Patient-Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) for capturing goals set by the child/young person (where possible) and the parent, which they would like to achieve through the course of treatment. A scale of 0–10 is used, with higher scores indicating greater progress towards the goal being achieved.

GBOs are truly patient-centred outcomes because they are set by the patient (or parent) and reflect their specific goals. Goals are individually set and rated prior to treatment, then they will be offered for re-rating at the end of treatment. Goals are highly individual but, for example, might include statements such as:

I want to be back in school full time

I want to be able to spend time with my friends without feeling anxious

The figures below are from the GOSH 2016 Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) Report, which covers data from 1 October 2014 to 21 April 2016. CORC is the UK membership organisation that analyses and reports its members’ mental health outcome data for children and young people. It is the largest data set of its kind worldwide.

Fig 1.1 GOSH scores for progress in GBOs, October 2014 to April 2016

GOSH scores for progress in Goal-Based Outcomes, Oct 2014 to April 2016

Fig 1.2 Aggregate scores of the rest of CORC member organisations for progress in GBOs, October 2014 to April 2016

Aggregate scores of the rest of CORC member organisations for progress in Goal-Based Outcomes, Oct 2014 to April 2016

Figure 1.1 shows GOSH scores and Figure 1.2 shows the aggregate scores of the rest of CORC. The middle 50 per cent of children and young people seen by GOSH moved between three and seven points towards their goals, compared with between two and 5.3 points for the rest of CORC member organisations.

These figures are from patients (and parents) with a score prior to beginning of treatment (known as a ‘baseline score’) and an end-of-treatment score. This CORC report shows that we collected GBOs both at baseline and at end of treatment for 25 per cent (n=109) of patients seen in GOSH CAMHS, this is for many reasons, including that we offer some assessment only services. Nationally, the percentage of patients with both a baseline and end-of-treatment score recorded was 14 per cent, according to the 2016 CORC report. While GOSH is well ahead of the average for CORC member organisations, we are actively working to do better with data completeness in our mental health services.

This PROM was published in January 2017 and will be updated every year.