CAPA is a clinical system that has been implemented in many CAMHS, including learning disability teams in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Belgium and Canada. It is also beginning to be used in adult mental health services (see the Service Story from New Zealand – General Adult Mental Health)
It was developed in Richmond (Ann) and East Herts (Steve) CAMHS – both teams have now run CAPA for many years. It is informed by demand and capacity theory (The 7 HELPFUL Habits of Effective CAMHS on capa.co.uk for more details) and has links with Lean Thinking, Shared Decision Making, New Ways of Working, Our Choices in Mental Health and You’re Welcome Standards.
At the time of writing (July 2013) over 5000 CAMHS staff in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia have participated our training in CAPA. Many services have gone on to implement CAPA and we know from keeping in touch with people that they have improved the user experience, accessibility and staff satisfaction. Waits have also been reduced or eliminated. Although it originated in CAMHS, the components are system free. This has facilitated local adaptation in a wide variety of services, cultures and health systems across the world.
What is the Choice and Partnership Approach?
CAPA is a service transformation model that combines collaborative and participatory practice with service users to enhance effectiveness, leadership, skills modelling and demand and capacity management.
CAPA brings together:
- The active involvement of clients
- Demand and capacity ideas/Lean Thinking
- A new approach to clinical skills and job planning.
Services can then:
- Do the right things (have a clear working goal with the service user)
- With the right people (use clinicians with the appropriate clinical skills)
- At the right time (without any external or internal waits).
- Can be tailored to fit individual services.
CAPA improves services to clients by:
- Focusing on engagement, therapeutic alliance, choice, strengths, goals and care planning
- Improving access by ensuring timely appointments that are fully booked i.e. no waiting lists
- Ensuring service users are seen by a clinician with the right skills
- Use of Outcome measures
- Facilitates commissioning and provision of services by transparency of capacity and care packages.
Any service running CAPA will be able to demonstrate what they are doing and to whom. They can provide data on their capacity and activity. Pathways will be clear. It is easier to make funding/commissioning choices in light of the trans- parent processes.
It does not dictate what services or interventions to provide. That is up to you. It does however help you develop a client-led service that is accessible and outcome focused.
There is an emphasis on teams developing a culture of curiosity about their practice, self-enquiry and confidence about change.