Clinical and Recovery-focused Accommodation Service (CaRFAS)
In response to the urgent need to improve people moving from inpatient mental health settings to the community, we have developed a Clinical and Recovery-focused Accommodation Service (CaRFAS).
Moving from inpatient to community settings is particularly difficult for people who have faced complex and recurring challenges with their mental wellbeing and who are often being supported by several teams. Mental health, social care and forensic services need to work in an integrated and collaborative way to ensure people are able to move to the community without delays. Otherwise, people remain in hospital unnecessarily and lose the coping skills they need on discharge.
CaRFAS is designed for use in a 24-hour CQC registered accommodation setting for adults aged 18 to 65 years who experience severe mental distress. It is aimed at individuals who have been categorised by referring organisations as having multiple and complex needs. Those people may be coming out of hospital after a long stay, moving directly from a secure unit or are looking to avoid the need for inpatient admission in the first place.
The six core elements of CaRFAS are:
1. A person centred approach
We support people to lead their own care and support, by identifying their own needs and goals so that we can tailor support to suit them, and work alongside them to develop robust support plans to help them achieve their goals. This person centred approach is designed to equip people to plan and direct their own support more independently in future. We give people increasing responsibility for directing their own support to prepare them for moving on to more independent living.
2. A psychologically informed way of working
All staff are trained and supervised to work with individuals in a
psychologically-informed way. This means using reflective practice, where staff focus on identifying what is and isn’t effective and incorporating this experience into future approaches. Individuals are supported by staff to understand unhelpful behaviours that may have become deeply entrenched as a way of coping with distress, and to use coping strategies to help them stay well.
Our mental health practitioners support the wider staff team to understand psychological processes – the link between behaviours, emotions and attitudes – which informs their everyday practice.
3. A blend of clinical and recovery-focused interventions
We offer people a combination of recovery-focused and clinical interventions. Our clinical and recovery team supports individuals to manage challenges they face with their mental health, build and practise coping skills and put this knowledge into practice. We help people to develop coping strategies learned in previous placements, and apply them to day-to-day situations in order to promote independent living.
As part of this work, our team supports individuals to reconnect to themselves, others and their local community. This involves helping them to identify and grow their strengths and skills, build their resilience and develop personal and practical resources to self-manage and stay well. Clinicians may engage in more in-depth, tailored therapeutic support with the people who use our service, depending on their individual needs and experiences.
4. Sharing recovery experiences through genuine and meaningful peer support
All individuals have the option to work with Peer Supporters trained to draw on their own experiences of mental distress to help others towards better mental wellbeing. Genuine and meaningful peer support can help people take huge strides forward in their journey towards better mental wellbeing , and is a key part of our service. We also support and train those using the service to become Peer Supporters themselves if they wish.
5. Building strong partnerships to ensure a safe transition
We work in close collaboration with statutory mental health and forensic services to develop and implement risk management strategies in order to ensure a safe transition for those entering the service from more secure settings.
6. Preparation for moving on to more independent living
At the start of their journey with us, individuals are supported to identify move-on accommodation for more independent living in future, and to set goals and timelines for achieving this, which are incorporated into their recovery plans.