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Making a referral

If you are concerned about a child or young person, you can refer them or get advice.
Phone 0300 777 0707 between 8am and 7pm
Out of hours, call the mental health helpline on 01438 843322 between 5pm and 8am.
Is it an emergency?

If this is a life-threatening crisis, get the young person to the nearest A&E – once admitted, the local CAMHS crisis service will be contacted and come out and make an assessment and take things from there.

Making a referral

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust's (HPFT) single point of access (SPA) takes referrals and offers advice to professionals with concerns about the mental health of children and young people. SPA is open 8am-7pm to take referrals and offer advice to professional with concerns about the mental health of children and young people. Once SPA have enough information they will make sure that the young person is linked to the best service to help.

The best way to make a referral via SPA is by telephoning 0300 777 0707 between 8am and 7pm or 01438 843322 between 5pm and 8am.

Referrals can also be made in writing to:

Single Point of Access
99 Waverley Road
St Albans, Herts

What to put in a referral?

A good referral saves everyone time in the long run and prevents families going to the wrong service. Professionals have told us they do not want a referral form and prefer to write letters.

Here are some helpful things to include in a referral letter:

Information about the child or young person:

Name, Date of Birth, Address, GP name and address, NHS Number (if you know it)

Something about their family – who do they live with?

Where do they go to school?

Information about the problem:

Describe the problem or symptoms - give examples if possible.
How long has the problem been around.
How big is the problem? Is it there all the time? Does it come and go? How much does it interfere with the person’s life and those around them?
Are there any triggers to the problem or something that happened around the time the problem started?
What are your thoughts about the problem? What leads you to think it is possibly a mental health problem? What other ideas do you have to explain the problem? What other services have you considered?

Risk – is the young person actively suicidal, are they self-harming (give examples of what and when and how severe), are there any safeguarding risks (if so contact Children’s Services)

The family and young person's views:

What are the young person's thoughts about the problem?
What are the families’ thoughts about the problem?
What are the wishes of the family and young person? What do they want?
What are their thoughts about the referral?

Other people's view:

Also add any information from other people who know the child well e.g. school, school nurse, social worker etc. Other's who know the child well writing, separately or sending a report is always very helpful to back up a referral.

What help has been tried already:

What has been tried already to help with the problem?
What has the family tried?
What has the school tried?
What have other emotional wellbeing services tried?

Anything else:

Don't be afraid to add information that you are not sure if it is relevant – usually more information is best.
If you want to discuss the case before referring, contact SPA on:
Phone: 0300 777 0707 between 8am-7pm or 01438 843322 between 5pm and 8am.
Minicom: 0300 777 0909