People being cared for by specialist mental health teams usually have multiple needs that require care co-ordination. They are likely to be looked after under the Care Programme Approach (CPA) – a package of care where patients get a care co-ordinator and a care plan. All patients on CPA who are discharged from psychiatric inpatient care should be followed up either by face-to-face contact or by phone within seven days.
Ensuring that this vulnerable group are followed up within seven days of discharge aims to reduce the risk of suicide and social exclusion and improve care pathways. The national threshold states that at least 95% of patients should be followed up within seven days of discharge from psychiatric inpatient care. The target was consistently met until the most recent quarter (July to September 2019), when performance dropped to 94.5%. Previously, the proportion of patients followed up within seven days had fluctuated at around 97%.
About this data
The proportion of patients on Care Programme Approach (CPA) who were followed up within seven days of discharge from psychiatric inpatient care is calculated as:
- The number of patients on CPA who were followed up (either by face-to-face contact or by phone discussion) within seven days after discharge from psychiatric inpatient care during the quarter, divided by the total number of patients on CPA discharged from psychiatric inpatient care during the quarter.
- All patients discharged to their place of residence, care home, residential accommodation, or to non-psychiatric care must be followed up within seven days of discharge. All patients discharged from a psychiatric inpatient ward are regarded as being on CPA. The seven-day period is measured in days, not hours, and starts on the day after the discharge.
For more information, please see the Mental Health Community Teams Activity Return – Data Definitions.