Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Partners in Care

A checklist for carers of people with mental health problems

Working in partnership with psychiatrists and carers


Questions to ask the psychiatrist

Carers need information and psychiatrists are busy. Carers may not always find out what they need to know about the person they are caring for. This checklist is designed to help you get all the information you need about the diagnosis and treatment of the person you care for.

You may be able to get some of this information from other members of the clinical team involved, or from written information that they can provide.

If the person gives you permission, the psychiatrist will be able to give you information about their condition and care.

Although you may not want to ask all the questions listed, you may find that they help you in preparing to meet the psychiatrist and the mental health team. Not everyone will need all the answers to all these questions at the same time. You may have questions that are not covered in this leaflet. Even so, it should provide a helpful framework for deciding what you do need to know.

 

 

 About the illness
Check box

  What is the diagnosis or problem?

Check box

 

  If a diagnosis has not yet been made, what are the possibilities?

Check box

 

  Why has this happened to them?
Check box

  Will they recover?

 

 If a diagnosis has been made
Check box

  What symptoms suggest this diagnosis/illness?

Check box

 

  What is known about the causes of this disorder/illness?

Check box

 

  What is likely to happen in the future? Will it get better or worse?
Check box

  Where can I get written information about this disorder?

 

 About the assessment
Check box

 What assessments have already been done?

Check box

 

 Are there any other assessments that might be needed?

Check box

 

Are there any physical problems that have been discovered? If so, what will need to be done?
Check box

 Have culture and background been considered?

 

 Care Programme Approach (CPA)
Check box

  What is the CPA?

Check box

 

  What does the CPA mean?

Check box

 

  Is the person on the CPA? If not, why not?
Check box

  Will I be involved in the CPA?

 

 About care and treatment
Check box

 What are the aims of the care and treatment?

Check box

 

 What is a care co-ordinator?

Check box

 

 What part will the care coordinator play in the person’s care?
Check box

 Who else will be involved in the treatment?

Check box

 

 What is your plan for treatment?

Check box

 

 For how long will they need treatment?

Check box

 

Would talking treatments (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy) be helpful? If so, are they available locally?

Check box

 

What happens if they refuse treatment?
 

 Sharing of information

Check box

 

Have you asked them about how much information they are happy to share with me?

Check box

 

Will I be informed about important meetings concerning their care and treatment?
Check box

 Can I see you on my own?

Check box

 

 Would you like to ask me for any other information about them or the family?

Check box

 

Can I tell you things that will not be shared with the person or other members of staff?

Check box

 

Are their views on confidentiality clearly marked in their notes?
 

 Care and treatment

Check box

 

What can I do to help?

Check box

 

Are there any local self-help or carers’ groups that can help me understand the illness?
Check box

How can I get advice and training in the day-to-day management of the illness?

Check box

 

Are there any local groups that can provide support?
 

 Getting help

Check box

 

 How can I get in touch with you?

Check box

 

 How do I arrange to see you?
Check box

 Who do I contact if I’m worried about their behaviour?

Check box

 

 What do I do if I’m worried that they are becoming ill again?

Check box

 

 Who do I contact in an emergency?   What help might be available?

Check box

 

 How can I get a second opinion?
 

 Carers

Check box

 

What is the difference between a carer, a nearest relative and a nominated person?
Check box I understand that, as a carer, I am entitled to an assessment and care plan of my own. Who should I speak to?
Check box

If I have specific needs of my own, who should I ask?

Check box

 

If I need help, to whom should I turn?
 

 Medication

Check box

 

  What medication is to be used, and how?

Check box

 

  Is the lowest effective dose being prescribed?
Check box

  Can a low dose be taken at first and increased if necessary?

Check box

 

  How often will the medication be reviewed?

Check box

 

  Will I be involved in future discussions about the dose or type of medication?
   What should the benefits of this medication be?

Check box

 

  In the short-term
Check box

  In the long-term

    What are the possible side-effects of this medication?

Check box

 

  In the short-term
Check box

  In the long-term

 

  Managing the medication
Check box

  Why have you chosen this particular medication?

Check box

 

  How long will the medication have to be taken for?

Check box

 

  Are there any other medications that could be used if this one does not work?
Check box

  What symptoms might mean that the dose should be changed?

Check box

 

  What should I do if they experience unpleasant side-effects

Check box

 

  What will happen if they stop taking the medication?

Check box

 

  Do you have any written information about this medications to give me?

 

 Hospital treatment
Check box

  Do they need to be admitted to hospital? If so, for how long?

Check box

 

  If they have to go into hospital, which one will it be?

Check box

 

  Will they be on a locked ward?
Check box

  If they get short-term leave from hospital, when and how will I be informed?

Check box

 

  How often will I be able to see them?
 

 Discharge from hospital

Check box

 

What arrangements will be made for their care and monitoring after discharge from hospital?

Check box

 

If I am not able to look after the person when they are discharged, what will happen?
Check box

 Am I expected to help with anything, especially medication?

Check box

 

 Do you know of any self-help techniques that will help their recovery?
 

 If not admitted to hospital

Check box

 

  Do they need to be admitted to hospital?
Check box

  Are there any alternatives to hospital admission?

 

Any other questions

...............................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

 

Further help

Carers' Trust

Carers Trust is a charity which was formed by the merger of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care in April 2012. Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. With our Network Partners, we aim to ensure that information, advice and practical support are available to all carers across the UK.

This leaflet was produced as part of the Partners in Care campaign, a joint initiative between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

 

One of the aims of the Partners in Care campaign was to show that if all those involved in the care of people with mental health problems or learning disabilities can work together, a trusting partnership can be development between carers, patients and professionals which will be of benefit to all.


Editor: Dr Philip Timms, chair, Royal College of Psychiatrists' Public Education Editorial Board.

Carer input: Members of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers

© September 2013. Due for review: September 2015. Royal College of Psychiatrists. This leaflet may be downloaded, printed out, photocopied and distributed free of charge as long as the Royal College of Psychiatrists is properly credited and no profit is gained from its use. Permission to reproduce it in any other way must be obtained from permissions@rcpsych.ac.uk. The College does not allow reposting of its leaflets on other sites, but allows them to be linked to directly.
For a catalogue of public education materials or copies of our leaflets contact: Leaflets Department, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB. Telephone: 020 7235 2351 x 2552. 
 
 

Please note that we are unable to offer advice on individual cases. Please see our FAQ for advice on getting help.

feedback form feedback form

Please answer the following questions and press 'submit' to send your answers OR E-mail your responses to dhart@rcpsych.ac.uk

On each line, click on the mark which most closely reflects how you feel about the statement in the left hand column.

Your answers will help us to make this leaflet more useful - please try to rate every item.

 

This leaflet is:

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

  Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly Disagree
Readable
           
Useful
           
Respectful, does not talk down
           
Well designed
           

Did you look at this leaflet because you are a (maximum of 2 categories please):

Age group (please tick correct box)