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Joint working in community mental health: prospects and challenges

Hannigan, Ben 1999. Joint working in community mental health: prospects and challenges. Health and Social Care in the Community 7 (1) , pp. 25-31. 10.1046/j.1365-2524.1999.00160.x

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Abstract

This paper reviews the opportunities for, and the challenges facing, joint working in the provision of community mental health care. At a strategic level the organization of contemporary mental health services is marked by fragmentation, competing priorities, arbitrary divisions of responsibility, inconsistent policy, unpooled resources and unshared boundaries. At the level of localities and teams, these barriers to effective and efficient joint working reverberate within multi-disciplinary and multi-agency community mental health teams (CMHTs). To meet this challenge, CMHT operational policies need to include multiagency agreement on: professional roles and responsibilities; target client groups; eligibility criteria for access to services; client pathways to and from care; unified systems of case management; documentation and use of information technology; and management and accountability arrangements. At the level of practitioners, community mental health care is provided by professional groups who may have limited mutual understanding of differing values, education, roles and responsibilities. The prospect of overcoming these barriers in multidisciplinary CMHTs is afforded by increased opportunities for interprofessional ‘seepage’ and a sharing of complementary perspectives, and for joint education and training. This review suggests that policy-driven solutions to the challenges facing integrated community mental health care may be needed and concludes with an overview of the prospects for change contained in the previous UK government’s Green Paper, ‘Developing Partnerships in Mental Health’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords: community care; community; general practitioners; health authorities; local authorities; mental health policy; mental health teams
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0966-0410
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:19
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/36806

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