Authors: Child and Family Specialty Service, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch
Event: 2010 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NZ
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Infant, Child and Adolescent Services or Programs
Abstract: In December 2007 one of the three generalist teams (Green Team) in the tertiary mental health service for children in Christchurch, NZ, decided to trial a service delivery model/clinical system first developed in the U.K. The system is known as the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA). It aims to free up patient flow and enhance the ability of the families seeking assistance to have choice in how they deal with their issues and to work in partnership with clinicians. Underpinning the approach are the “7 Helpful habits of a Successful Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service” which are: Handle demand, Extend capacity, Let go of families, Process map and design, Flow management, Use care bundles (treatments that go together) and Look after staff. CAPA had never been trialled before in New Zealand and so following a training workshop the Green Team decided to do this. The evaluation of the trialling of CAPA with the 50 families that presented to the Green Team from December 2007 to April 2008 indicated that the families felt listened too and respected, the referrers were satisfied with the new approach, the staff enjoyed it and the outcomes for the children in question were in the desired direction. The Green Team has been able to support teams throughout New Zealand, within Australia and even the UK to roll out this promising approach. We have now been using the approach for over two years and current evaluation suggests it is still highly valued by the families going through the service. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Child and Family Specialty Service is the outpatient mental health service for children aged between two years and thirteen years living in urban Christchurch (pop. 400 000). Some examples of the possible mental health disorders that the service assists with are ADHD, autistic spectrum disorder, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and eating disorders. Its budget is $2 000 000/year and all funding comes from the National Ministry of Health. There are 26 staff in the whole service, many of whom are part-time. The service receives 700 referrals/year and accepts 450. The green Team see 150 of these/year. The evaluation period ran across the Christmas period so there was slower throughput than at other times of the year.