If the person you are caring for is on a Care Programme Approach (CPA) you may have additional rights to your own carer’s assessement.
CPA is the name given to the process of care planning and review within the mental health service, which requires a collaborative approach between service users and practitioners involved in the person’s care. It includes:
- Appointing a care co-ordinator
- Assessment of health and social needs
- Agreeing a care plan
- Regular review
Department of Health guidance says if you provide care for a person on a CPA, you should have an annual assessment of your own needs as a carer, including any physical or mental health needs of your own. It also says that you should have your own written care plan that should include:
- Information about the mental health needs of the person you are looking after, including details of their treatment.
- Information about what would happen in an emergency.
- How your own physical and mental health needs will be met.
- Any advice you need on financial, employment or housing matters
- Arrangements for you to take a break and have social support.
The CPA process should recognise you have an important role in caring for and supporting someone who has mental health problems. You should be kept up to date and involved in the care plan for the person you’re looking after.
However, that will depend on the person agree- ing to you having this information. In extreme cases, where your health or safety may be at risk, you should be given information whether or not the person you’re looking after has agreed to that.
The Department of Health has published a Book- let and summary leaflet (a DVD is also available) for service users on the Care Programme Approach: the process of how mental health services assess users’ needs, plan ways to meet them and check that they are being met.
Carers and service users should always feel able to ask mental health workers to explain this process clearly.
You can find further information at: www.gov.uk