Cambridge Independent Neuroscience and Psychiatry Services
Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to tell my parents if I contact you?  Yes, you need to tell your parents that you are contacting us, because it is very important for us to work with your family to support you. 

We understand that children and young people often want to keep certain parts of their lives private and we respect that; we only share information that we feel is necessary to ensure that you are safe from a medical, psychological and social point of view. 

We always aim to talk to you about the information we want to share with your parents or carers, before we share anything, but when we feel you or someone else is at immediate risk, we share the information immediately.  

Most children and young people, who do not want their parents or carers involved, are usually very relieved after their parents or carers know about the worries.  Many children say we are 'expert at talking to parents' so that parents do not give them a hard time by worrying or asking too many questions afterwards.

We understand that some families or carers are sometimes unable to support children for many different reasons, for instance relating to physical illness, mental illness or physical location.  We aim to support children in every circumstance and context.  

Please see Contact Us for further information on our referrals process.  

Helpful Links contains links where children, young people, adults and families can contact someone confidentially about concerns. 

Do I need to involve my GP in my consultations with CAMHS or CINAPS?
Yes, your GP needs to work alongside child & adolescent mental health professionals.  This allows GPs to monitor your physical health and risk. 

We send a copy of our reports and clinic letters to your GP.  Please know that your GP also has the same legal obligations to keep your medical information confidential and will not share anything without your consent.  

Many children find it helpful that their GP knows about their concerns; they have another person to talk to, confidentially, during difficult times. 

Are your reports/letters sent to anyone else?
We send a copy of our reports and clinic letters to Social Care if they are currently supporting you or your family.  We can send a copy to your teachers if you ask us to.  
Do you manage emergencies?
No, for any emergencies, which might include feeling suicidal or wanting to harm yourself or others, or for any medical emergency relating to your mental health, physical health or medication, we ask that you seek immediate advice from your local GP, local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or Emergency Department.  

Your GP will have a copy of our assessment if we have seen you, which will include detailed information regarding your physical health (medical information), allergies, mental health, risk and social context, as well as our detailed recommendations and contingency plan.  

What about confidentiality and the internet?
  We ask that you do not email us with any personal confidential information, that is, your name, surname, date of birth, address or the name of your school.  We ask that you contact us via telephone instead to share these details.  You can also use our correspondence address on the Home Page.

Please see Contact Us for further information on the referrals process and our services. 

How long is your waiting list?   
We usually do not have a waiting list, because we offer after hour and weekend clinics.  We are however sometimes engaged with work related projects abroad, and therefor unavailable for certain lengths of time; during these times we do not accept new patients.  If your case is open to us, we do however make sure that there are clinical cover available, and our directors often fly back to the UK if necessary.  

Will you accept my referral?   
We review all referrals and self-referrals of children and adults to ensure that we are the appropriate service to effectively meet your needs.  We often assist with NHS referrals to help you gain access to services appropriate to your needs.  

As mentioned before, our availability is subject to engagement with service development and provision projects abroad.

Please know that we do not offer emergency services.  

Your GP should have a list of all the private, charitable and governmental (NHS) Health and Children's emergency, urgent and routine service providers in your local area.  Please do not hesitate to contact your GP Surgery for information on services available for your own support or to support your family.

Do I need to be a certain age to be referred?  
No, we receive referrals of all ages.  Most adult referrals relate to therapeutic intervention and are received from medical professionals or individuals working in high risk contexts.  

How long does an assessment take? 
An initial assessment can take between 45 minutes to 2 hours per session, sometimes up to 3 sessions, depending on complexity and risk.  

Form A2 on Contact Us contains further details.

Seeing a Psychiatrist also contains information that may be helpful. 

How long does therapy take?
Therapy is usually scheduled for 6-8 weeks (CBT for instance) or longer for certain other therapies.   Your doctor, psychologist or therapist will talk to you about which therapy is recommended for your presentation, along with your personality and temperament style.  You will learn about the different options and your preference in therapy and therapist will also be important.  Therapy sessions usually last 45 minutes.  Most individuals make positive progress and reflect on therapy by saying "felt like chatting to a friend".  

Can I refer myself?    
Yes, please see Contact Us for details of our referrals process. 

Do you need any reports or letters?  
It is often helpful to receive a letter from your GP or someone who knows you well and shares your concerns, along with your referral information. Please see Contact Us for details on our referral process. 

Do I need to worry about confidentiality?
We honour clinical confidentiality and confidentiality agreements in all aspects of our work, ranging from clinical care, consultation, supervision, teaching and training to academic meetings, case conferences, presentations and seminars.  

Clinical letters and details are shared with the medical directors of CINAPS (Dr CR Venter and Dr JN Rundle), your GP, and sometimes with referrers when appropriate and you agree.  Patients and families can request that some information is withheld in copies of our reports to GPs and referrers, and we are usually able to comply if this does not have a likely direct impact on presentation or recommendations.  All doctors follow the same confidentiality guidelines.  Please see Confidentiality for more information. 

Doctors only 'break confidentiality' when it is believed that a child or person is at immediate risk, as per medical guidelines and legislation.  

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