Single Area Meetings

Single Area Meetings (SAM)

Single Area Meetings (SAM) are held monthly in three different areas of Norfolk, to reduce unnecessary delays to intervention.

The SAM group makes decisions about the provision of specialist mental health services for children or young people in cases where it has proved difficult to determine which organisation or service should take responsibility for their needs.

Wherever possible, SAM will decide which Tier (or a combination) of mental health services should offer support. In some cases, it may decide that all possible support has been offered or that there are no current services available to meet the child or young person’s needs.

SAM also helps managers and commissioners identify patterns in terms of referrals and any gaps in provision.

SAM aims to support and build on the work of existing groups and further promote joint agency working. This depends on effective assessment and liaison within, and between, services. Currently SAM meetings are chaired by the NSFT Tier 3 Area Managers or their deputies.

Before making a referral to SAM

You should only make a referral to SAM when the usual multi-agency meetings have failed to resolve the issues and to prevent further delays in responding.

SAM referrals should meet the following criteria:

  • The level of need for the referral is beyond universal services
  • The young person and their family give consent
  • A comprehensive assessment has been completed that highlights need and how this may be met
  • There is capacity within the child, young person and family, and a readiness to change and make use of the services
  • Every effort has been made to determine the package of care to be delivered (for example, case discussed at liaison meetings between Tier 2 and Tier 3 services)
  • Despite this, there remains uncertainty about which service is best placed to meet the identified needs

How to make a referral to SAM

  • All referrals should be made using the printed forms, printing details clearly
  • Check that all parts of the form are filled in
  • Attach any relevant assessment documents
  • Ensure that the referral has been discussed with and agreed by your manager
  • These forms need to be sent or faxed to the Area Manager of the relevant CAMHS Tier 3 team (West, East or Central) two weeks before the meeting to ensure that they will be discussed at the next SAM meeting

What happens after a SAM referral?

  • We monitor SAM referrals and will allocate your referral a number
  • Where the information is available, we will fax names and dates of birth to participants before the meeting
  • The case will be discussed at the next SAM meeting
  • The referral form will be returned to you with feedback, i.e. a summary of discussion/plan
  • You should keep a copy of this form on the child/young person’s file
  • The person representing the service which undertakes the work will provide feedback to SAM
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