Information for GPs

GPs in the London Borough of Brent can refer their patients to the Brent Centre. Our services are suitable for young people aged 14-21 who are experiencing mild to moderate emotional and mental health difficulties.

Click here to download a referral form.

What can a young person be referred for?

You can refer your patient for:

  • Adolescent Exploratory Therapy (AET): A short to medium term intervention which combines therapy, support and assessment. Young people usually attend appointments for three to five months, over an average of 12 sessions. However, there is no limit or cut off point. Many young people feel better after a period of AET. However, for some young people with more complex or severe difficulties, AET can act as an assessment and preparation for longer term Psychotherapy.
  • Family Therapy: A therapeutic intervention for young people and their families to discuss their difficulties together. Families usually attend appointments for one to three months, over an average of six sessions. However, there is no limit or cut off point.

Please note that we are a specialist psychotherapy provision, and if a child or young person needs psychiatric assessment or monitoring, they need to be referred to CAMHS or Adult Mental Health Services.

We do not provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) within our model of treatment, and would advise referral to CAMHS (17 years and under) or IAPT (18 years and over) for this approach.

For specific drugs and alcohol services for young people, please note that the local provider is Addaction.

What are the referral criteria?

To receive treatment at the Brent Centre, young people must be registered with a GP in the London Borough of Brent. We also receive some funding to see young people who are Irish, have an Irish parent or are from the Irish Traveller community. For these young people, it is not necessary for their GP to be based in Brent.

Young people referred to us must be aged 14-21.

In cases where a young person presents with multiple needs or complex issues, we may recommend referral to a statutory service, so that the appropriate multi-agency networks are in place, or to ensure a young person is appropriately safeguarded. All referrals are discussed in detail in our intake meeting, to ensure the right help is offered to a young person. We are always happy to discuss a referral with a GP.

What kind of difficulties can the Brent Centre help with?

Our services can help young people with emotional difficulties or mental health difficulties. These could include low mood, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, anger or low self-esteem.

They can also help young people deal with difficult life experiences such as bereavement, bullying, relationship problems, issues at school or work, physical illness, pregnancy or abuse.

How can I refer my patient?

You can download our referral form here. Please complete the referral form as fully as possible, and send it to us by:

  • Post: The Intake Team, The Brent Centre for Young People, Laufer House, 51 Winchester Avenue, London NW6 7TT
  • Fax: 0207 604 5055
  • Email:

Our Service Level Agreement with NHS Brent CCG requires all referrals to be made using the referral form which needs to be completed to a satisfactory level.

Please note:

  • The referral must be completed by the GP, not the patient or any other professional.
  • Every section of the referral form must be completed, with enough detail for us to properly consider whether our services would be suitable for your patient.
  • If your patient is currently involved, or has previously been involved, with another service (such as CAMHS) you should send notes about their treatment or the discharge letter with their referral.
  • As a GP, you must include your full name, telephone number, postal address (and email address where possible), so that we know who to reply to.

If your referral is not properly completed we will return it to you asking for more information, which causes delays in your patient receiving help.

What happens next?

Your referral will usually be considered within one week.

If we can accept your referral, we will write to let you know. We will then write to your patient asking them to opt in. They will have one month to respond. If they do not, we will close the case.

Once your patient opts in, we aim to offer them an initial assessment within two weeks.

Following the initial assessment, your patient will be offered ongoing appointments as soon as possible.

For AET and Family Therapy we aim to offer the first appointment within six weeks of the initial assessment. However, this can depend on the length of our waiting list, the severity of your patient’s difficulties, and your patient’s availability. Appointments after 3pm are in higher demand, and can require longer waiting times.

For Group Psychotherapy your patient will be invited to join sessions as soon as they are available. The groups run for set periods of time, and young people will be able to join groups when they start or for a short time after they begin.

We will contact you during your patient’s treatment if we have concerns for their wellbeing or if there is a break in their therapy.

We will write to you when your patient finishes treatment at the Brent Centre.

Please note:

  • If your referral has not been completed to a satisfactory level, we will return it to you asking for more information. You will have one month to respond. If you do not, we may close the case.
  • If your patient does not meet our referral criteria, or if our services are not appropriate for their needs, we will write to let you know. Where possible we will signpost other services which could be more appropriate.

GPs are always welcome to arrange a visit to the Centre to find out more about our work - don't hesitate to get in touch.