What is the Care Programme Approach?
The Care Programme Approach (CPA) is a way of working that we use, with your active involvement and agreement, to find out what your health and social care needs are and how these can be best met.

By using CPA, the specialist mental health services help people to live their lives as independently as possible and to promote recovery.

An important part of CPA is preparing a care plan in partnership with you and your carer. This looks at the best ways of meeting your needs.

Who is CPA for?

CPA is used for service users who have complex needs. For example:

  • those with severe conditions,
  • those requiring help from a number of services,
  • those at risk of harm, relapse, abuse or disengagement,
  • and those disadvantaged in other ways.

It is useful for both inpatient and community based service users.

The first step will be for a member of staff to work with you to determine whether help from the mental health service is appropri-ate and if so, to identify your health and social care needs, strengths and preferences. This information will be used to form the basis of your care plan.

You may like a friend, relative or advocate to be present at your first assessment and other review meetings. They are very welcome but they cannot make decisions for you.

How do you assess my needs?
Needs are areas of your life that, if left unaddressed, may have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing. These may be physical, psychological, social or spiritual; some examples are:

  • relationships
  • physical health
  • relgion, ethnicity and gender
  • housing
  • social and leisure
  • finance and benefits
  • legal issues
  • thoughts and feelings
  • education, work and training
  • medication

Whilst identifying your needs, we will also consider your strengths which will help us to identify positive actions that you can make towards improving and maintaining your health and wellbeing.

We will work with you to develop a care plan that builds on your strengths.

What about my carers needs?
A separate assessment of your carer’s needs can be arranged if you and/or they wish. If we identify that your carer has particular needs, we will signpost them to the support that is available.

Who is my care coordinator?
You will be allocated a care coordinator. This will be the person from the mental health team who is considered to be the most suitable to coordinate your needs and who you will see most often.

Your care coordinator could be a nurse, social worker or an occupational therapist.

Once your care plan has been agreed, your care coordinator will oversee the care process.

You will be given a copy of your care plan and will have the opportunity to work with your care coordinator to ensure that it continues to reflect your needs.

What is a care plan?
Your care plan describes how we will work together to meet the needs identified within your initial assessment. There are four main parts to your care plan:

1. Desired goals identified by you and your care coordinator, and the steps to be taken to achieve them.
2. Information about the treatment that you are receiving.
3. Information about other issues such as housing and benefits.
4. Information that will help you to avoid or reduce crisis. It will also tell you what other things we may consider if you need more help.

What is a CPA review?
CPA reviews are essential as they provide you and your care team with an opportunity to monitor and review your care on a regular basis. Your CPA reviews will be held annually as national standards request. However, if your condition changes this could be more or less frequent.

Who attends my review?
Your care coordinator will send out the invitations to the review. They will discuss the invitation list with you first and you may include anyone who you consider important such as relatives, carers, your GP or advocate. If people are unable to attend they can still contribute to the review, and will be asked to let the care coordinator know about any Information they would like to provide before the meeting.

How do I prepare for the review?
Before the review you should think about what your current needs are and what you would like to discuss. Everything you consider important will be looked at during the review and you may wish to make notes to help you remember these.

Your care coordinator can help you prepare for the meeting and answer any questions you may have. They can also provide a list of things for you to consider.

How does CPA change or end?
If you and your care coordinator feel that your care needs have changed, this will be discussed through a CPA review If your situation has changed and some of your goals or needs met, it may be agreed that you no longer require CPA and will continued to be supported by the team outside of this. In some case. It may be that things have improved to the extent that you no longer require care from the team, and discharge may be considered.

For more information
Ask a member of your care team or contact our Service Experi-ence Desk on:
Tel: 0800 587 7720 Email: SED.BCHFT@nhs.net