Child and Adolescent

Welcome to the KSS School of Psychiatry Child and Adolescent training programme. This training programme is led by Dr Lucy Allsopp, Training Programme Director (TPD). To find out more about her role, please visit the meet the team webpage.

The KSS programme delivers the child and adolescent curriculum through six posts, two in each of the Kent, Surrey, and Sussex counties. A choice from nine clinical placements covers a wide range of experience, including inpatient and acute day hospital care.

A trainee in the programme can access any of the placements, but along with the choice of placements in the region-wide programme can complete training within a more circumscribed area to support personal and family life. Less Than Full-Time (LTFT) training is supported through very flexible slot-sharing.

The academic programme, and research support, come through close partnership with the St George’s Child and Adolescent Programme in South West London. Trainees in KSS are encouraged to apply for bursary support to pursue higher qualifications.

Where do child and adolescent psychiatry trainees train?

Child and adolescent psychiatry trainees will train at one of the three mental health trusts in KSS throughout their training programme. To find out more about each training location, please visit the Local Education Provider webpage.

Current KSS child and adolescent placements are:

Kent and Medway (managed by North East London NHS Foundation Trust)

Medway and Swale CAMHS and EDS

The Medway and Swale team is a large community multidisciplinary team offering a wide variety of training experiences within child and adolescent mental health, including a weekly multidisciplinary eating disorder clinic. This placement provides experience in assessment, diagnosis and management (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological) of a wide variety of conditions, under supervision, managing both routine and emergency presentations.

In addition to clinical experience, trainees will be able to provide supervision to our core trainees in psychiatry and gain management experience if needed. We have established joint clinics with community paediatricians, and our named doctor for safeguarding for Kent and Medway is part of our team, providing further opportunities.

The teams base is in Gillingham, but they have a satellite clinic in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. (This placement may be modified during service changes.)

Dartford CAMHS team – generic, learning dsiability and eating disorder services

This busy generic community team offers broad experience in child and adolescent mood and anxiety disorders, early onset psychosis, self-harm and conduct disorders. Trainees can take on family therapy, CBT and child psychotherapy cases under supervision and participate in multidisciplinary neurodevelopmental assessment clinics, as well as learning disability clinics run in specialist learning disability schools.

Audit opportunities are supported by the audit lead for Kent and Medway, based in the Dartford team, and doctors can provide teaching to year four medical students and take part in patient participation projects.

Ashford generic CAMHS and neurodevelopmental disorders

The team assesses and manages a broad variety of presentations in children, including behavioural difficulties in children under five and neurotic and affective disorders. There are clinics for multidisciplinary ASD diagnosis, ADHD diagnostic and treatment, and eating disorders

Trainees experience a range of psychotherapies and group interventions including STEPPS programmes, Multifamily Therapy for Eating Disorders, anxiety, OCD and art groups. There is multidisciplinary assessment and treatment using the Care Programme Approach (CPA) model (partnership teams) and trauma-focused work (CBT, EMDR). There is joint working with the local Youth Offending Team (YOT) and regular group supervision of safeguarding. There can be close links with colleagues working in local schools and children’s social care, and weekly participation in the emergency/deliberate self-harm rota covering the local hospital. We share our building with the East Kent CAMHS learning disabilities team and the children in care team.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Hope – intensive outreach post with multi agency day programme, and generic CAMHS outpatients

The Hope service is a high intensity service managing high risk young people at risk of hospital admission and placement breakdown, and is an inpatient-equivalent learning opportunity. Learning will involve acute assessments in the community, in hospital settings, and in children’s homes, with attendance at CPA and liaison with psychiatric hospitals, as well as supporting Mental Health Act (MHA) and hospital access assessment.

Surrey-wide eating disorder service for children and young people

This well-established and experienced community eating disorders team assesses and manages the range of eating disorders in children and young people. They use NICE-concordant therapy, including identifying and treating co-morbid mental health problems and applying the MHA and Mental Capacity Act (MCA).

Guildford CAMHS

Guildford CAMHS is a friendly community ‘Tier 3’ service set in the landscaped gardens of Farnham Road Hospital. The team is highly multi-disciplinary, and includes GP, psychology and psychotherapy trainees.

The team serves a wide range of conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, self-harm, ADHD, learning disability, and psychotic illnesses, as well as specialist ASD assessment clinics. The role also includes occasional psychiatric duty cover to the acute hospitals, generally in partnership with the Hope Service.

There is good opportunity for involvement in audit or other quality improvement projects, as well as in management experience and medical education. Guildford is also a hub for medical student psychiatric training.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Chalkhill Adolescent In-patient Unit

Chalkhill is a 16-bed acute admission psychiatric unit for adolescents, with a day service for up to five young people. Tier 4 CAMHS are part of a care pathway that includes admission avoidance, crisis and home treatment. This is known as Urgent Help Service (UHS) and is the interface between the ward and community CAMHS.

During term-time, young people attend Chalkhill Education Centre, a hospital school providing education and also contributing to multidisciplinary assessment and management. Young people may be managed as informal patients, or under the scope of parental responsibility if under the age of 16, or as detained patients under the MHA.

Assessment and treatment uses a range of interventions including psychopharmacology, individual work from psychology and psychotherapy, family therapy, occupational therapy, group work and specialist education. Diagnostic assessments are provided for ASCs, which are a common co-morbidity in Tier 4 care. The team manages  psychiatric emergencies, including rapid tranquillisation and seclusion, and assesses young people for more specialist care such as PICU or secure CAMHS admissions.

The Aldrington Centre

This is a Tier 3 CAMHS outpatient service for young people aged 0-18 years, for a general population of 250,000 in the urban area of Brighton and Hove (a city with pockets of severe deprivation as well as a significant drug and alcohol problems for young people.)

Currently there are two area multidisciplinary teams and a specialist learning disability team, with strengths in neuro-developmental problems and ADHD. There are consultant sessions for early intervention psychosis (EIP) and  the youth offending team, as well as opportunities for extra training in safeguarding and teaching.

Chichester CAMHS

The Chichester CAMHS team delivers Tier 3 specialist assessment and treatment of moderate to severe mental health disorders and associated risks in young people under the age of 18 years. This includes a wide range of disorders, including those with intellectual disability, neuro-developmental problems and ADHD.

There are frequent opportunities to learn from collaboration with the broad spectrum of allied mental health services, including the CAMHS Looked After and Adopted Children (LAAC) team, Chalkhill adolescent inpatient and day service units, family eating disorder service, the UHS, young persons substance misuse service, YOT, adult, EIP, and forensic mental health services.


The child and adolescent psychiatry curriculum and further detailed information can be accessed via the Royal College of Psychiatrists curricula webpage.