Health services are now commissioned at a local rather than a regional level. It is essential for local consultants to have an input to the planning and commissioning process. For the child and adolescent psychiatrist this task is complicated by an absence of nationally agreed guidelines on the level of resourcing required for a district child and adolescent mental health service. This paper describes an approach to advising purchasers which offers them a choice of service models that differ in their levels of resourcing. Each of the service models is described briefly. The advantages and flexibility of this approach are discussed.
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