Information and Letters


Amend your service literature to let service users know what your CAPA system is (a good opportunity to involve service users on the information presented). Make sure the information clarifies that the person that they see in Choice will help them:

  • Work out what they want
  • What may help
  • The role (if any) of the service, things they can do to help themselves
  • If they chose to return, book them to see someone in the team who has the skills to help them reach their goals (probably someone else).

You now need to design a letter or leaflet for people coming to your service that explains the system and that invites them to phone and book an appointment (an example leaflet is on the You may choose to call the appointments Choice and Partnership, or name them yourselves as a team. This helps local ownership and identification of the process. In Richmond they were called Face2Face and Starter clinics. In East Herts they were called TIC (Treatment Inquiry Clinics) and TOC (Treatment Onset Clinics) (!!). Both our services now use the terms Choice and Partnership. Another service calls the initial appointment Options.

Include information about your service, what is available, who works there and what they do and other important information with the letter. You may have to update these!

CAMHS Example:

[Referrer] has asked us to see you about your concerns for [Child’s name]. Please would you telephone us and arrange a time to come to a Choice appointment to think about your concerns. You can come to the appointment on your own, with your child or with any other family members, whichever you prefer.

If you need to come again then you will be able to book another appointment. This second appointment is likely to be within 4 weeks according to what you may need and to give you a chance to try out some things to help at home.

This next meeting will be with someone here who has the best skills to help with your particular problem and so will probably be with a different person to the one you met in the Choice appointment. This person will know what you have discussed and you will not have to repeat all your story, unless you would find this useful. Design any paperwork you may need e.g. check- lists for the Choice appointments, Care Plans, risk assessments, outcome measures, discharge summaries. You may already have these things. If so, review them as they may benefit from an update.

Design feedback mechanisms - such as feedback questionnaires for service users, staff and referrers.

You need to know that your new system is working well and adding to the quality of your service. You may want to use standard measures such as the CHI Experience of Service Questionnaire as well as ones of your own.

Pull together a Resource file of useful psycho-educational materials, websites, and other services from other agencies. It is very useful for all the staff to have access to information that they can pass on to people they seer. You will probably find that, across the whole team, you have an enormous number of tools! Agree what you will use. Decide how you will keep your list of resour es up to date. Could you make them accessible on a shared drive on your intranet?