Care plan system to be streamlined

Proposals to reduce the number of people in the mental health system subject to the care programme approach were outlined by the government this week.

The Department of Health is consulting on plans to reduce the two levels of the CPA to one, removing the requirement for formal planning for those more able to manage their own problems.

The CPA, which was introduced in 1990, sets out systematic arrangements for assessing and planning the needs of people accepted into specialist mental health services.

But the consultation paper suggests there has been growing concern that the CPA has become a managerial tool instead of being person-centred.

The document proposes the CPA should more effectively encompass people with severe personality disorders, dual diagnosis or homeless people with severe mental illness.

It also suggests identifying national competencies for care co-ordinators who oversee the CPA.

Reviewing the Care Programme Approach 2006

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