Call us on: 07733 274 522
Call us on: 07733 274 522

Frequently Asked Questions

Seeing a child and adolescent psychiatrist for the first time can seem daunting. Below are some frequently asked questions we receive which may be useful ahead of the first appointment.

Do we need to bring anything to the first appointment?

No, you only need to come along with the young person. We ask that children under 16 do not attend on their own. Parental history of the young person is an important part of the initial assessment and often we ask questions about which the young person would not know the answer eg what age they reached key milestones. Please make us aware of any potentially relevant reports from other professionals at the time of booking the initial assessment.

How long does the initial assessment last?

Typically an initial assessment lasts around 2 hours.

What happens in the initial assessment?

Dr Westgarth asks about the problem, the background, family history and wider development. It is usually helpful for him to spend some time talking alone with the young person, depending on their age and confidence. At the end of the interview he feeds back his understanding of the situation, and if possible will name any diagnosis, propose next steps and treatment options.

Does my child have to come to the initial assessment appointment?

It is difficult for us to make a proper assessment of the young person if they are not able to attend. Ideally we would prefer they attend in person. Sometimes distress and mental health problems themselves stop a child from attending. If so Dr Westgarth will always be as flexible as possible in the assessment with the aim of helping as much as possible.

Do you offer remote initial assessment appointments?

No, our initial assessment appointments are face to face, but we recognise that mental illness may require flexibility in care.

Do you offer remote follow up appointments?

We always prefer, where possible, to see people face to face but understand that sometimes it’s not possible. On these occasions we offer a telephone or video conference appointment.

I need to cancel my appointment, what do I do?

Please make us aware as soon as possible if you would like to cancel your appointment by call 07733 274522 or email We have a cancellation policy which all new patients must agree to before accepting an appointment. Please allow at least 48 hours notice to cancel appointments otherwise a charge of 50% of the hourly fee will be charged.

Once I have my diagnosis, why do I have to keep having appointments with your team?

If you would like us to continue to prescribe medication for you, then we need to see you for regular reviews and follow up appointments. There are many health care guidelines and regulations supporting quality care, and usually regular follow up appointments are part of that mechanism. At the age of 18 your GP may agree to take this over, but a formal handover needs to be agreed.

I think my child may have ADHD, why do they need to see the doctor first. Why can’t they just have an ADHD assessment?

ADHD is a complex and difficult diagnosis to establish. Many problems can cause ADHD-like symptoms. A comprehensive initial appointment with a child and adolescent psychiatrist is necessary prior to the more narrow ADHD assessment. This is to make sure we are thorough and no other issues are missed.

Who we are

Dr Westgarth is Medical Director of Child Psychiatry UK.  He is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, with over 25 years experience providing care to young people with mental health and emotional problems.

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What we do

Clinical Services
Assessment & Treatment
Evidence Based Therapies

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Call Child Psychiatry UK
on 07733 274 522

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Patient Testimonials

“The help Dr Westgarth gave our daughter lifted a dark and confused cloud from her view of life and he helped in restoring her joy for life in general, and reinstating the optimistic outlook she had previously had. His therapy was vital in her recovery. She has just received fantastic GCSE results which didn’t seem possible before we sought Dr Westgarth’s help. The coping tools he has given her will serve her well as she moves into adulthood.”

Parent of a teenage girl with low mood and anxiety