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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Partners in Care

Checklist for psychiatrists

Working in partnership with psychiatrists and carers

 

Issues of concern to carers of people with mental illness

 

What to tell the carer

  • This checklist has been designed after consultation with carers. It aims to help the psychiatrist give carers the information they need about the diagnosis, treatment and support of the person they care for. This should help to establish a trusting relationship between all concerned.
  • Not every carer will need all the answers to all the questions, but the checklist should provide a helpful framework.
  • The information you can provide may be limited by medical confidentiality, if the person being cared for does not want their carer to be involved.
  •  For carers to have time to prepare themselves for the initial or subsequent consultations, these checklists could be sent before the first appointment, or when appropriate. Using these checklists, particularly with carers, may help to reduce their anxiety. You are not expected to have to deal with all the questions personally, as many of them can be answered by other members of the care team. The availability of written information about different conditions and their treatment will benefit all concerned.
  • This checklist has been designed in tandem with similar checklists for carers, and for the person being cared for (see end of this checklist for further details). Our hope is that taken together, these checklists will improve clarity of communication between psychiatrists and carers, thereby improving the quality of care we are able to offer our patients.

 

About the illness
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  Has a diagnosis has been made yet?

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  If not, what are the possibilities?
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  If yes, what is the diagnosis?

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  What are the signs and symptoms that suggest this diagnosis?

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  What is known about the causes of this illness?

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  What is likely to happen in the future?

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  Do you have any written information about this disorder?

 

 About assessment
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  What specific investigations or assessments have been done?

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  Are there any additional tests or investigations that might be needed?

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  Has a physical examination been done?

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  Have any physical or other problems been discovered?
 Check box   Have their background and culture been taken into account?

 

 About care and treatment
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 What does the care plan consist of?

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 What are the aims of the care and treatment?
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 Who else is, or will be, involved in the treatment, or on-going care?

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 Who is the care coordinator/keyworker?

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 What exactly is their role?

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 How often will you see the person?

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 How long will the treatment take?

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 What happens if they refuse treatment?
 Check box Would talking treatments (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy) be helpful? if so, are they  vailable locally?

 

 Care Programme Approach (CPA)
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  Does the person being cared for know what the CPA is?

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  Are they on the CPA? If not, why not?

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  What level of CPA are they on?
 Check box   What difference does this make?

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  Is the carer involved in the CPA?

 

 The carer and the treatment
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Will the carer be involved in discussions concerning the management of the illness?

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 What do you see as the carer’s role in the provision of treatment?

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 How can the carer get in touch with you?

Check box  Who does the carer contact if they are concerned about something? Who does the carer contact in an emergency?
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 If the carer is not satisfied with the treatment the person is receiving, can they ask for a second opinion?

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 Have you discussed confidentiality issues with the person and the carer?

 

Medication
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  What medication is to be used?

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  Why have you chosen this particular medication?

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  What should be the benefit of this medication?

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  Is the lowest effective dose being prescribed?

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  Can they take a low dose at first and increase it when necessary?

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  How often will the medication be reviewed?

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  Will they have to take it for the rest of their life?

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  Are there any other medications that could be used if this one is unsuitable?

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  Do you have any written information about this medication?
  What are the possible side-effects of this medication?
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  Short-term

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  Long-term

  Hospital treatment
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  Does the person have to be admitted to hospital? And if so, for how long?

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

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  What level of security is needed?
  If not admitted to hospital

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What alternatives are there to hospital admission?

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Is the carer willing to have the person living with them?

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

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Do you know of any self-help techniques which will assist in the patient’s recovery?
  Carers' needs

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  Does the carer have any specific needs?
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 Does the carer know that they are entitled to an assessment and a care plan of their own?

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  Who will support the carer?

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  Do you know of any self-help/support organisations for the carer?
  Information sharing
Check box Have you asked the person how much information they are willing/not willing to share with their carer?
Check box

Will you be able to review confidentiality agreements between yourself and the person as circumstances change?

Check box Are the person’s views on information sharing recorded in their notes?

 

Any other questions

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There are 2 other checklists available in the series

 

Further help

Carers Trust logoThe Princess Royal Trust for Carers

Provides information, support and advice for carers. Email: support@carers.org

 

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


© April  2011. Review date: April 2013.
 
© 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 the Head of Publications. 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. 
 

 

Royal College of Psychiatrists is a charity registered in England and Wales (228636) and in Scotland (SC038369).

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

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