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Aims and method A prospective audit of the 425 referrals made to a community child and adolescent mental health service over a three month period was undertaken. Standardised data were collected about the referrer, reason for referral problem chronicity and complexity, service response and first appointment attendance. Results The service is currently seeing less than one in five of the children conservatively estimated to require specialist mental health services. The majority of thosedoi:10.1192/pb.23.4.217 fatcat:ggs3lqnqwzeqrj3pkn46klayrm