Long waiting lists and failure to attend appointments are a common problem in child and adolescent psychiatry. We introduced a novel ‘triage’ stage waiting list initiative to decrease the long waiting time fora first appointment at our child mental health service.
The waiting time to first appointment was significantly reduced and increased satisfaction with this process was expressed by clinicians, the referred families and referrers.
The reduction in waiting time was sustained over time and the triage process has now been implemented as routine practice. Following this implementation, there is no longer a lengthy waiting list for treatment after initial assessment. We would recommend this initiative, which screened referrals more efficiently and accurately, as a successful model for other child and adolescent services with long waiting lists.
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