Skip to content

Community care assessments and plans

If you have been treated by outpatient psychiatric services - this is where you go to hospital for an appointment only - inpatient psychiatric units - where you stay in hospital for a period of time - or a community mental health team, you may be offered a Care Programme Approach (CPA) assessment.

Care Programme Approach (CPA) assessment

CPA is a way of co-ordinating community health services for people with mental health problems. It means that once you have an assessment detailing your needs, one person will be able to co-ordinate all aspects of your care. For example, this could be your medical and social care, and the community services available to you. This assessment will be carried out by a key worker.

Your assessment may include:

  • your personal history, including any previous treatments that have worked for you
  • your social history, including family details, your income, whether you are employed
  • the symptoms of your illness
  • how long the doctor thinks you will need treatment, particularly if it is likely to be long-term
  • what your needs may be - both health and social

The care plan

The key worker doing the assessment will write up a care plan that you then sign if you agree with it. You can discuss any changes you would like to make. The written plan will include:

  • the name of a key worker; this person will co-ordinate the different elements of your care
  • details of where you can get help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • what you, your carer or key worker should do if your mental health deteriorates rapidly
  • arrangements that have been made if your key worker is unavailable or part of the care plan cannot be carried out at short notice
  • arrangements for regular reviews with your care co-ordinator

Your care plan will give you the name of someone you can contact if you need anything and which of the services offered by the community mental health team you can use and who you should see.

If you are being discharged from hospital you may have a 'discharge planning meeting'. This is when a CPA assessment and a community care assessment will be carried out at the same time, covering both health and social care.

More useful links