East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service

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What we do

ELCAS is a specialist mental health service for children and young people. In many areas in the country these services are known as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

Your journey through ELCAS

The start

ELCAS is a specialist service which means that you can’t just ring up and ask for an appointment. Referrals can be made by other people who have already met you and think that ELCAS might be able to help.

Those people include:

  • Your GP (family doctor)
  • Social Worker
  • Paediatrician (Specialist Children’s Doctor)
  • School with a supporting CAF Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

Once we receive your referral and we think we might be able to help; we get in touch as soon as possible to offer a choice of appointment dates. If we don’t think we can help we will give advice to the person referring you about other services. We will ask you to complete some standard questionnaires and give consent to the service.

We deliver specialist assessment, consultation, diagnosis, formulation and treatment in a range of settings, including the ELCAS department, community and locality settings. In certain circumstances we can see people at their home or school.

On This Page We Aim To Give You Some Information To Explain What We Can Do To Help.

ELCAS is a service made up of people from different professional backgrounds that have training and skills in working with children, young people and families.

If you are in a crisis

It is important to keep yourself safe. If you feel suicidal or have hurt yourself; let an adult know as soon as you can. It may be that the safest place for you to be assessed is through A&E at the hospital.

You can talk to somebody directly 24 hours a day at:

ChildLine (Free 24 hours) – 0800 1111

Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90


The Teams

We have 3 area teams in ELCAS:

  • Burnley and Pendle
  • Hyndburn, Rossendale and the Ribble Valley
  • Blackburn with Darwen


Our professionals

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists are doctors who are specially trained to work with children and young people when they have problems related to how they feel, think or behave. They are medically trained and have an understanding of mental health disorders. As well as psychological treatments sometimes they will prescribe medication and will usually be involved if a young person needs to go into hospital.
Clinical Psychologists

The Clinical Psychologists who work in ELCAS all have special training about how children and young people develop as they grow up. They have an understanding about how young people think, feel and behave in different situations such as home and school. Sometimes they will work just with the young person but often it will be with the parents or whole family too.

Many psychologists who work in ELCAS are also called doctor but this is different to the medical doctors.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapists (CBT)

CBT Therapists have had special training in a type of therapy that is concerned with how people think, feel and how this affects what they do. The CBT Therapists have really good skills in understanding why we sometimes keep making the same mistakes or doing things which are unhelpful to us, and have ideas about how this might be able to be changed.


What do the ELCAS teams do?

Our teams help when a young person is experiencing severe, complex and persistent mental health problems and mental health disorders. We focus on delivering measurable clinical outcomes.
There may be concerns such as:

  • Self-harm and suicide attempts
  • Moderate and severe depressive disorders
  • Adolescent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Adolescent Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 11 years and over
  • Mental health Issues related to Autistic Spectrum disorders
  • Complex neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias and Anxiety Disorders
  • Trauma and complex PTSD
  • Mental health issues associated with physical health problems.

Of course, having ADHD or being autistic or being anxious doesn’t mean someone has to come to ELCAS. Most people who need help are seen in other services. It is when these things are persistent, complex, and have a severe impact upon the young person’s daily living and ability to cope, that ELCAS becomes an option. Mild to moderate problems can often be seen in community and if needing more input (but is not severe) then Clinical Child Psychology LCFT provides specialist input.

The specialist services for some concerns are not commissioned and provided by ELCAS but other teams and services e.g.

  • Psychosis (Aged 14 over – Early onset service LCFT)
  • ASD assessment (Under 11y Community Paediatrics ELHT and over 16 years Action for ASD)
  • ADHD Diagnosis and treatment (Under 12y) Community Paediatrics ELHT)
  • Substance Misuse (Addaction)


Record Keeping

At ELCAS we keep detailed records of the times we have seen you. Your records will have details such as:

  • Diagnosis
  • Care plans
  • Goals
  • Reports
  • Letters
  • Test results


How to access the service

Our services are accessed via referrals from other health professionals. ​​​​​​


Service Lead

Jo Weller – Clinical Service Lead & Clinical Director


General enquiries

Telephone – 01282 804806


Opening times

Office hours 9am – 5pm – {Clinics 8am – 7pm}


Social media

Follow us on social media; Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @elht_ELCAS

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