Idea 3: Selecting Core Partnership Clinician

A key part of CAPA is matching the service user’s choice of goals to a clinician with the right ex- tended Core Partnership skills to help them with these. This means choosing a Core Partnership clinician at the end of the Choice appointment for the client to work with.

So why select clinician?

Selecting clinician ensures that the person with the right skills will do the Partnership work.

In many traditional models of service delivery the clinician that the client first sees is the one they continue with. They usually work with them in the way they feel comfortable and most familiar with. The allocation to that first clinician might be random or on educated guesswork based on the referral letter. In CAPA the clinician chosen to work in Core Partnership is after the client has been seen in Choice. This allows the Choice clinician to choose the right person for the client in terms of skills and, to some extent, personal style. Plus, if it seems complex, two staff can be allocated in Partnership.

There are other gains too…


The Choice clinician can be more curious. Thinking about how they will help this person does not distract them. They are freed from worrying about whether they have the skills. The focus is on engaging the client in helping themselves, working out what is needed and starting the change process going.

Informed Choice

Setting up the Choice appointment as a one-off appointment right from the start facilitates the service user’s ability to make an informed choice. It makes the purpose of coming clear. The pros and cons of all options can be discussed without assuming that continued input from the service is necessarily required. This allows a clear plan of action to be made by the end of Choice (the Choice Point).

Letting Go

As clinicians, we know that if we can meet with the client again, the easiest thing is to offer another appointment. Then we don’t need to start to formulate the issues with the person nor explain processes in the way that perhaps we should. It can then be easy to drift into continued contact that is not truly informed or agreed and with no, or only a vague, care plan. Without a clear goal it can be much harder to stop.

Choice Point

Knowing that a colleague is going to take on the ongoing work in Partnership with the client puts the onus on the Choice clinician to ensure a Choice Point is reached.


We also know from audit that families and young people in CAMHS feel more open in what they can say if they know that this initial appointment is a one-off with the clinician.


Capacity Management

Selecting clinician facilitates capacity management. Separating Choice and Partnership allows the team to plan the first contact/Choice activity based on the referral volume, as it doesn’t include the unpredictable amount of follow-up activity.