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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2004): Mental Health Services - UK

PRIMARY CARE MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS: ROLE EXPECTATIONS, CONFLICT AND AMBIGUITY

P. Bower, S. Jerrim and L. Gask

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.12, 2004, p.336-345

The role of primary care mental health worker (PCMHW) came into being to support the implementation of the NHS Plan and the National Service Framework for Mental Health. The original Department of Health specification suggested three roles:

  • Client work (e.g. brief therapy);
  • Practice team work (e.g. audit and creation of registers);
  • Networking (e.g. liaison with statutory and non-statutory agencies).

Study examined existing pilot PCMHW-type roles and the expectations of relevant clinical and management staff concerning the proposed implementation of the new PCMHW role, as discussed in the NHS Plan. Results showed that the pilot PCMHW-type roles were almost exclusively related to client work, whereas respondents had far wider role expectations of the new PCMHWs, based on perceived gaps in service provision. There was also disagreement among some respondents about the nature of the new PCMHW's role in client work, and its relationship with the work undertaken by other mental health professions such as psychologists, counsellors and nurses.

SURVEY FINDS NHS SERVICES KEEP USERS IN THE DARK AND WITHOUT A PROPER SAY.

C. Jerrom

Community Care, Aug. 12th-18th 2004, p.18-19

In a recent patient survey by the Healthcare Commission, mental health service users asked for more information about their condition and their rights, and greater involvement in planning their care and treatment.

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