Discover the achievements of the NPA projects

Seven years of cooperation between people, communities, and organisations across thousands of kilometres made a difference in the Northern Periphery and Arctic regions.

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Improved referral system

New referral system improves children mental health

In Scottish Highlands, the need for psychiatric services for children and adolescents is higher than the services available. Young people and their families travel long distances to visit a specialist. The Centre for Rural Health has tested the online diagnostic system called Development and Wellbeing Assessment (DAWBA). The system is a package of questionnaires and interviews designed to generate psychiatric diagnoses for 2-17 years old. DAWBA has reduced waiting times, improved patients┬┤ mental health and changed the referral practice as the GPs, school nurses, or primary mental health workers can receive faster the patients┬┤ diagnosis and decide if a referral to a specialist is needed.


Dr Iain Kennedy

Riverside Medical Practice and Highland Local Medical Committee

Getting good care for children and young people with mental health problems is challenging for general practitioners. Referrals to child psychiatry are often rejected after long waits because the service believes that the case does not meet their referral criteria. The distress caused to families is enormous and the family's trust in their GP is damaged. The DAWBA is easy to arrange and gives excellent advice to referrers. It should ensure rapid and efficient access to the right service.