Find the answers to frequently asked questions about the Ealing CAMHS neurodevelopmental service, including referrals, treatment and more.
The Ealing CAMHS neurodevelopmental team is a specialist NHS team based at Ealing CAMHS which offers multidisciplinary neurodevelopmental assessment and treatment for children aged 6-17 years old (who do not have a learning disability or attend a special needs schools - and are registered with an Ealing GP.
Ealing CAMHS accept referrals from your GP or any professional working with children, young people and families, for example, school teachers or other school staff, social workers, paediatricians, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, speech and language Therapists.
We have created a referral leaflet that outlines how these referrals can be made and the documentation required for a referral requesting a neurodevelopmental assessment.
Download the referral information leaflet (PDF) (Coming soon)
A parent training or education program prior to your child’s neurodevelopmental assessment may be required if your child will be assessed for ADHD – please note this is not a requirement for an ASD or tic disorders assessment.
In accordance with the NICE Guidelines, the recommended intervention in the first instance for ADHD-like symptoms or behavioural problems would be for the child’s parents to attend a parent training or education program, such as:
- Empowering Parents Empowering Communities
- Triple P – Positive Parenting Programme
- Incredible Years
- 1-2-3 Magic.
These courses provide alternative strategies to manage behavioural problems and ADHD-like symptoms and peer support for parents. On some occasions, further support from a family worker may be considered to implement the strategies in the home environment. In Ealing, these courses are provided by the Ealing Parenting Service via Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS) on 0208 825 8000. This referral should not wait for a formal diagnosis of ADHD.
Once your referral has been received at Ealing CAMHS, it is screened by a clinician to identify the most appropriate service to meet the child’s needs. We aim to send a referral response letter to the referrer (with a copy sent to parents and the GP) within 10 days of having received the referral. On other occasions, where information is missing and we need to liaise with other professionals, we make take longer to come to a conclusion on the outcome of the referral.
If you haven’t received a copy of the referral response letter within three weeks from the date the referral was sent to the service, we would recommend you to contact the referrer.
If your child is over 18 years of age, they should be referred to your local adult service. This can be done by your GP.
Details of local services are below:
ADHD Adult Assessment Service
Mental Health Centre
Northwick Park Hospital
Phone: 0208 869 3602
Ealing Adult Autism Assessment Service (EAAAS)
84 Uxbridge Rd
Phone: 020 3313 5660
While waiting for an assessment
A neurodevelopmental assessment will inform whether the child has or has not got a diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental disorder. There are a number of things you can do to help your child while waiting for the assessment.
We have created a resources leaflet (PDF) with advice on how you can support your child’s development and learning as well as managing possible challenging behaviour. You will find a variety of local resources available in the London Borough of Ealing which we think can be of help.
Where you can find other support and information:
If you are concerned about managing your child’s behaviour at home, you can self-refer yourself to Ealing Council’s single point of access hub called Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS).
Depending on the difficulties you describe, you will be signposted or referred to a relevant agency that can best support your child including Early Help Assessment (EHAP), SAFE Team, Ealing Parenting Service (they provide parent training/education programs, such as Incredible Years, Triple P, Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities, Family Lives).
You can also speak to your child’s teacher who may also be able to put you in touch with services that might be able to support you.
If there are concerns at school about a young person’s behaviour, your first point of contact should be your child’s teacher, SENCO or inclusion manager. Schools will first aim to manage the child’s behaviour through implementing a ‘provision map’ or ‘individual education plan (IEP). The aim of this is to highlight the areas of difficulty and what support will be put into place to help support your child’s behaviour in school. Schools have a range of strategies and therapies they might be able to offer your child. Each school is different and will offer different things.
If after a period of time, this hasn't resulted in any meaningful change your child’s behaviour, the school may consider bringing in outside help (there are some outreach programmes which help schools to manage challenging behaviour in the school environment – such as Ealing Primary Centre outreach program or Behavioural Inclusion Support). Your child’s school will be talking with you at each stage as your support for your child and their school will be crucial.
If your child is at risk of exclusion from primary school, you can self-refer - or be referred by a professional - to the Early Intervention Project, based at ESCAN – Carmelita House, which offers intensive multiagency support to parents with children with suspected ASD.
If your child is at risk of exclusion in secondary school or you are experiencing extreme pressure to manage your child’s behaviour at home, you can self-refer - or be referred by a professional - to the ‘Building My Futures’ Project, based at ESCAN – Carmelita House, which offers intensive multi-agency support to parents with children with suspected ASD from the age of 11 – 25 years.
Springhallow Outreach programme
The Springhallow Outreach programme delivered by Springhallow School delivers a comprehensive autism training package to teachers, support staff and school leaders. This includes the promotion of Autism Education Trust (AET) which we deliver with our partners in early years, schools and post 16. The service supports individual schools through bespoke training packages in their settings. Advice is offered to support individuals on the autistic spectrum, and at times, this is ongoing. Referrals should be made by the SENCO or inclusion manager to Springhallow Outreach Service directly.
If your child’s school or any other professional becomes worried about your child’s safety, they have a duty of care to discuss and if necessary, report those concerns to Ealing Children’s Social Services for an assessment of any safeguarding concerns.
If you are concerned about your child’s learning, your first port of call is your child’s class teacher or SENCO. They will discuss your concerns with you and where necessary will do this through implementing a ‘provision map’ or ‘individual education plan’ (IEP). The aim of this is to highlight the areas of difficulty and what support will be put into place to help support your child’s behaviour in school. Your child’s school has access to other professionals (e.g. educational psychologists) who they can call in to further assess your child’s needs and the impact on their learning. Not all children will need this input.
The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a single category of SEND, SEN support which involves a personalised approach to meeting children’s needs within a mainstream school setting from within existing school budgets. Schools and settings have a responsibility to use their best endeavours to meet the needs of all children in their care, this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s needs (within their ordinarily available resources). Where most children’s needs can be met through the universal high quality ordinarily available resources provided in schools and settings, there are some children with additional needs who may benefit from additional support and interventions provided by the school through SEN Support.
Next steps if your child is not progressing after the school have taken all steps possible
In cases where despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. An EHC Needs assessment is a look at a child or young person’s special educational needs and the support he or she may need in order to learn.
The SEND Department will request all professionals involved in the care of your child to contribute by giving professional advice for this assessment. At the end of an EHC assessment, a decision is made as to whether or not an EHC plan is necessary. This will be based on the child’s strengths and difficulties that have been identified by parents and professionals who know the child. It will describe these strengths and difficulties, set outcomes that the child needs to achieve in the next 3 or 4 years and describe the interventions and strategies that a school needs to put into place to help the child achieve these outcomes.
Speak to your child’s SENCO or a professional at their school. They can apply for an EHC Needs Assessment on your behalf and also guide you through the process.
I SAID - Impartial Support , Advice and Information on Disabilities and Special Educational Needs - offers free, impartial, independent advice and support to families living in Ealing with a son or daughter up to the age of 25 who has special educational needs or a disability.
ISAID's aim to ensure parents and young people understand everything and can fully participate in the EHCP process by explaining how the EHCP assessment process works. Services provided include but are not limited to: individual appointments, advice on processes when you receive diagnosis or pre-diagnosis i.e. ASD, ADHD and others and what support is available.
You can contact ISAID by phone on 020 3978 8989.
The decision to apply for an Education Health Care needs Assessment is not based on the presence or absence of a neurodevelopmental diagnosis. An application for an Educational Health Care (EHC) Needs assessment should also not wait for a diagnosis if your child is on the waiting list for neurodevelopmental assessment. It's a statement of needs and therefore can clearly outline the difficulties a child faces but does not require a specific diagnosis to receive the correct support and successfully gain an EHC needs assessment.
Occupational therapists offer a range of support for different concerns in the area of sensory processing difficulties and motor coordination difficulties. Occupational therapy (OT) is needed when a young person’s difficulties are impacting their daily life and function.
Occupational therapy enables people to participate in daily life to improve their health and wellbeing. Daily life is made up of many activities. This may include self-care (getting dressed to go out, eating a meal, using the toilet), being productive (going to nursery or school, or volunteering) and leisure (playing with friends or doing hobbies).
If you have concerns regarding your child’s handwriting or sensory processing and they do not have age-appropriate functional skills such as being able to dress independently, please discuss this with your child’s school in the first instance to see if they also share those concerns. Schools are often well placed to see if your child has difficulties in these areas.
If necessary, you can refer your child directly to the paediatric occupational therapy department based at Carmelita House, Ealing services for children with additional needs (ESCAN).
You can call ESCAN on 020 8825 8700.
Some schools have also bought in occupational therapy time and a referral could be made by your child’s school to their occupational therapist. Please speak with the school to see if this is available.
Speech and language therapists offer a range of support for different concerns. If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development, please discuss this with your child’s school in the first instance to see if they also share those concerns. Schools are often well placed to identify if your child has difficulties in these areas.
A referral can be made to your child's school's speech and language therapy provision. Please speak with the child’s school to see if this is available.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, please talk to your doctor for a review.
Your GP and any professional working with children, young people and families, for example, school teachers or other school staff, social workers, paediatricians, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists - can refer your child to Ealing CAMHS by completing the service referral form.
Some schools offer counselling services in house, such as ‘Place 2 Be’. Speak to your child’s school to find out if this is available.
If your child is under the care of Ealing CAMHS or waiting for a neurodevelopmental assessment, you can speak to your child’s care coordinator or the duty clinician by calling 020 8354 8160, Monday toFriday, 9 to 5pm.
The clinician will provide advice on appropriate support based on the mental health concerns present. Ealing CAMHS will consider the mental health need and this will be discussed in the Ealing CAMHS ‘Single Point of Access’ meeting so that the correct level of mental health support is offered.
If you believe the problem is urgent or an emergency, for example, if your child is self-harming or expressing suicidal thoughts or has taken an overdose, please take your child to the nearest A and E Department where they will be seen and assessed by either the CAMHS Crisis team or the CAMHS Out-of-Hours Service – do not wait to call and speak to a CAMHS clinician if the situation is urgent.
The CGL EASY Project is a service in Ealing offering support for young people aged 18 and under using drugs or alcohol. They are experienced drug and alcohol workers who specialise in working with children and young people. This service accepts self, family and professional referrals.
You can call the project on 0208 567 4290.
The calculation of the maximum waiting time for the service is based on the time between the date of the oldest referral until now. Taking that information into account, maximum waiting times for children on the waiting list will be calculated as that time from their referral date. Waiting times vary over time as it is based on demand and service capacity. You can ask what the current wait time is when you are referred.
About the assessment process
When your child’s referral has reached the top of the waiting list, a member of the Ealing CAMHS neurodevelopmental team will get in contact with you by phone to initiate the assessment process.
They will request a number of screening questionnaires to be completed by you, your child (depending on age) and your child’s school, which you will need to be returned to our service.
Once we have received the completed screening questionnaires, we aim to allocate a first appointment within roughly one or two months.
Your child will be seen by a member of the multidisciplinary Ealing CAMHS neurodevelopmental team. The team is made up of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, family therapists, and highly specialist CAMHS practitioners and nurses.
They will often be seen by a senior clinician and sometimes a student or assistant psychologist will join.
Following this, if further appointments are necessary these will be arranged. A diagnostic report will be written and the clinicians will invite you to a feedback session to share the assessment outcome with you.
Any delays in returning screening questionnaires or appointment cancellations will impact the amount of time it takes to complete all of these parts.
Neurodevelopmental assessments during Covid19 outbreak
The current government advice to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 is for social distancing in the NHS.
Health services, including CAMHS, were required to respond by swiftly transitioning to different ways of working in line with emerging Government guidance and ensuring that essential services continue to be delivered ensuring patients’ safety.
Our Trust takes its responsibilities to its patients and staff seriously and CAMHS is proactively working to reduce the spread of the virus by reducing face-to-face contact through remote delivery of services where practicable. Therefore, face to face appointments are offered when necessary and consultations are also offered by phone or video calls.
The CAMHS service continues to be open from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and we continue to be available to young people, parents and professionals. We also work closely with the CAMHS Out-of-Hours service.
There are specific face-to-face assessments, which are part of the specialist neurodevelopmental assessments, which are not clinically valid when offered via videoconference and therefore it will not be possible to be conducted online or during the Covid-19 restrictions. Those specialised assessments may have to be deferred at time in accordance to NHS and government advice.
The service is currently using video calls and telephone calls where appropriate for individual appointments, family appointments and psychoeducation groups. We have been using platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
We will provide a link to a private meeting that is not sent to anyone else besides you. We understand there can always be difficulties with technology and safety, however, as a trust, West London has made sure the platforms that are being used meet current confidentiality guidelines.
If following the neurodevelopmental assessment, your child received a diagnosis, you and any other involved parent, or guardian will be invited to attend a psychoeducation group at Ealing CAMHS according to the diagnosis (ASD, ADHD or Tic disorders) with other parents as part of NICE guidelines pathway of care.
Once you have completed the psychoeducation group, you will be invited to attend a follow-up session to review your child’s progress and presentation. Any outstanding concerns will be discussed at that time and your child may be signposted to appropriate services to meet their needs as required.
If your child presents with ongoing mental health needs, our team will consider the appropriate CAMHS team to offer support for this. For presentations of ADHD or tic disorders to a certain degree of clinical severity, the clinicians will discuss with the young person and parents the consideration of initiating a medication trial for your child.
Post-diagnosis you will be invited to a parent psychoeducation group.
This is part of the NICE guidelines pathway of care. The groups will be run by one or two experienced clinicians. They provide education about the diagnosis your child has received as well as offering management techniques and signposting towards services for further support.
If you're concerned about your child’s mental health, please take your child to their doctor for a review.
Your GP and any professional working with children, young people and families - such as teachers or other school staff, social workers, paediatricians, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists - can refer your child to Ealing CAMHS by completing the service referral form. The referral will be screened by Ealing CAMHS clinicians so that the correct level of support is offered; this may be offered by a variety of teams within Ealing CAMHS.
Some schools offer counselling services in house, such as ‘Place 2 Be’. You can speak to your child’s school to find out if this is available.
If your child is under the care of Ealing CAMHS or waiting for a neurodevelopmental assessment, you can also call and speak to your child’s care coordinator or the duty clinician on 020 8354 8160, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm. The duty clinician will provide advice on appropriate support based on the mental health concerns present.
If you the problem is urgent or an emergency, for example, if your child is self-harming or expressing suicidal thoughts or has taken an overdose, please take your child to the nearest A and E Department where they will be seen and assessed by either the CAMHS Crisis team or the CAMHS Out-of-Hours Service– do not wait to call and speak to a CAMHS clinician if the situation is urgent.