What helps change?

In November 2006 we held a Solutions Workshop at the King’s Fund in London for 60 CAMHS clinicians to help them implement changes in their service, including CAPA. We explored the group’s experiences of change and what things helped. The suggestions could be grouped into these areas:

Engaging with change

  • Be clear about why: reasons for change need to be clearly communicated
  • Ownership: avoid top down change. Engage everyone. Talk about the value gains rather than the facts (clinician-speak NOT manager-speak!)
  • Team away days: VERY, VERY important to have enough time to explore why change and what the vision is
  • Time: there must be adequate time for planning and consensus
  • Make use of Stabilisers: explore their good points for not changing.


  • Planning: there must be a clear plan with someone charged to lead and monitor it
  • Sort out the details of CAPA: especially planning Core and Specific work in team
  • Follow up: and review how it is going.


  • Address anxieties: have strategies to involve and display listening to staff
  • Individual impact- everyone will be affected in different ways. Focus on individual impact - a one page summary may help
  • Consider preparing some basic job plans for discussion. Often the reality is less anxiety provoking.


  • Lunch: have lunch together. Keep the change process human!


  • Get support: from your Trust, funders…
  • Learn from the past: the team will have gone through many changes before, as will individuals. What helped then?

Key message

CAPA is being successfully implemented in all sorts of teams in many countries. It seems to work best when:

  • All 11 Key Components are implemented and
  • Teams feel able to be flexible and creative, making CAPA work for their situation.