Funded by: R&D Division of the Public Health Agency NI (£412,000)

About the Project

This three year study aims to determine what is the best way to organise the interface between services for children, young people and adults in order to support the transition from childhood to adulthood.

A similar study in England (TRACK) found only 4% of young people experienced the ideal transition. Many such young people may find that on reaching adult services there is a lack of appropriate treatment and care. Many others, particularly young men with complex problems, disengage from services only to make contact later with more intractable problems.

IMPACT is a mixed methods study in which we will examine the transition of young people aged 16-18 years referred to CAMHS, detailing their pathways to adult services and the involvement of community and primary care services. We will explore health and social outcomes including engagement and satisfaction with the service. The study will examine barriers to effective transition and will include professional and family perspectives. The team is comprised of experienced health service researchers, including academic psychiatrists from the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland who have expertise in CAMHS and early intervention services, in collaboration with senior NHS managers and young service users. The findings from this study will significantly contribute to the improvement in early intervention and continuity of care for young people in Northern Ireland.

Project Aims

  • How do mental health services in the Health and Social Care Trusts in NI differ in their policies and provision of care for young people in the transition to adult services?
  • How do social factors influence health pathways and outcomes among young people?
  • Which factors influence adolescents’ engagement with services and continuity of care?
  • What are the barriers and facilitators to CAMHS collaboration with adult mental health service, primary care and relevant community based agencies?


  • Professor Gerard Leavey (Principal Investigator, The Bamford Centre)
  • Professor Brendan Bunting (The Bamford Centre, Ulster University)
  • Professor Swaran Singh (Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick University)
  • Dr Moli Paul (Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick University)
  • Dr Gavin Davidson (School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast)
  • Dr Lynette Hughes (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health)
  • Dr Mark Rodgers (SPR Psychiatry)
  • Sheena McGrellis (Research Associate, The Bamford Centre)