Single Point of Access FAQs

I am really worried about a young person, what should I do?

The Single Point of Access is not a crisis service so is not the right place for referrals where there is a concern about the child being at risk or needing a quick response. If you have concerns about a child being at risk and needing a quick response you can seek advice from ELFT Specialist CAMHS Duty Team during office hours 020 3222 5600

You can also advise the young person or carers to contact the City and Hackney 24hr Crisis Line on 0800 073 0006

If you think a child is in immediate danger you should call 999 or direct them to A&E, where they can access the CAMHS Crisis Team.

What happens if a referral is not appropriate for any CAMHS service?

Not every referral received in the SPA will be expected to require CAMHS intervention. The SPA will work with a variety of organisations from the statutory and voluntary sector who offer emotional wellbeing and mental health support and who can offer different types of support, e.g. online advice and guidance.

The function of the SPA will be to work out which service(s) or types of support will best meet the individual needs of each young person and family and to work with them to access this.

I am a GP, can I attach the consultation notes to the referral? 

YES, you are welcome to copy the notes from EMIS as part of the referral. It is important to ensure that all the minimum information is completed either in the form or the attached notes. In order to respond to children and families as quickly as possible and ensure they get the most appropriate support, incomplete referrals may be returned to the referrer for completion.

Requests for urgent assessments should be preceded by a face-to-face initial consultation / assessment with the young person and that appropriate safety planning should have taken place.

I am unsure about a potential referral, is there anyone I can speak to before completing the form?

YES, we encourage colleagues to call the SPA team (0207 014 7079) for advice around possible referrals, or consultation in support of existing relationships and work with families.

I have concerns about a young person having an Eating Disorder, but don’t have their weight and height, can I still make a referral?

YES, if you are not a Health Professional but you are worried about a young person potentially having an eating disorder you are welcome to make a referral BUT you should, at the same time, speak to the family/carers to book an appointment with their GP to collect the physical information that the Eating Disorders service will need in order to process the referral.

The Community Eating Disorder Service (CEDS) also has a direct referral route and duty system, so you can speak directly to them if you are in doubt calling 0208 215 5270, or contact by email:

I am referring from a school, is there anything we can do to support the process?

Allowing the young person to leave a lesson for a telephone conversation with SPA staff can help us gather more information and make a decision in a timely manner. If this is required, the SPA clinician will call school and try to arrange a time with the referring member of staff.