FAQ: how long does it take to do a Choice appointment?

Q: Hi- I am wondering how long it takes to do a Choice appointment?  I have heard that sometimes it takes 20 minutes and sometimes several hours! Which is right? I am worried someone will tell me I have to do them in 20 mins.


Both! The aim of the Choice appointment is to reach a Choice Point ie to have a joint understanding with the family/service user about what is going on, what goals and outcomes are being sought and how these can best be met.

If the family is well known to CAMHS e.g have been before and lots is known AND the goals are clear, then it may take only 20 minutes to work out what is needed together. E.g. a family who move back into the area bring their child who has previously been on medication for ADHD. They want to restart. All the assessment and background is known from before so what is needed is an update- what is going on now? What do they need help with and how can this be done? Any risks?  The intervention in Partnership may then be rapidly agreed.

Similarly, someone coming back with another bout of OCD- the focus may be on what are the symptoms now and how can they restart all the things they learned previously plus an update about circumstances, including any risks.

For brand new service users, the conversation will take longer- getting to know them, what they want, how they see things. If someone key in their system is not at the Choice appointment (e.g. the adolescent did not come, only parents, or dad needs to be included, or the social worker) then a Choice Plus appointment needs to happen to reach the Choice Point.

Timetabling in CAPA generally allows of 2 appointments in a clinical half day so you can spend 90 minutes if needed.

Of course, how many Choice appointments you can do in a half day depends on your admin system. If quick and easy it may only take 30 mins. Since moving to an Electronic Care Record the team I am in need 2 hours to complete the admin in addition to the 1 hour admin staff need.




About Steve and Ann
We are the designers, trainers and developers of CAPA.

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