Mental Health Foundation Report 2009

In January 2009 the Department of Health commissioned the Mental Health Foundation to undertake an independent evaluation of the CAPA in England to:

The full report was published December 2009


Phase 1 was a national survey of CAMHS in England and Phase 2 involved visits to six teams.


Phase 1

442 teams were sent a questionnaire- 213 staff replied. 92% had heard of CAPA and 97 teams stated they were implementing CAPA. 53 of these 97 teams then completed a more detailed survey and, on average, were implementing 6 out of the 11 CAPA key components (range 1 to 10.5).

Seven teams were able to supply audit data pre and post CAPA implementation. This showed that showed waits to a first appointment dropped from 7-108 weeks before implementation to 5-12 weeks after.

Phase 2

Benefits reported by CAPA teams were:


Few teams were implementing job plans or full booking systems, which resulted in internal waits to Partnership, and few were handling demand in the way recommended by CAPA. However, most were conducting Choice appointments within an appropriate framework. Teams felt the need for more information and support in how to apply CAPA to complex and long term cases.

National recommendations

Local Implementer recommendations

Next steps

The Department of Health (England) has asked the National CAMHS Support Service to prepare a costed options paper that considers possible responses to the report recommendations.

Comments from Ann and Steve

All this supports our experiences of the impact of CAPA on teams and families, including our own survey in 2007. The study also found that there are many misunderstandings of CAPA- hence our writings in the book and on the website about the CAPA myths! We know from many teams who have done service audit (some reported in the book and on the website (LINK) that families feel engaged, access is improved and teams function more efficiently and effectively. But planning and ongoing monitoring is key!