Mental health practitioners on the Isle of Wight are alarmed by the council’s proposal to move them out of specialist teams, according to a local union representative.
It is understood Isle of Wight Council’s proposed restructure would redeploy approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) from NHS-led community healthcare teams to work alongside local authority social workers.
Mark Chiverton, secretary of the Isle of Wight branch of Unison, said AMHPs were concerned about increases in workload and the impact on joint working.
“Mental health practitioners are profoundly perturbed by the proposals, because it has taken them years to build up links with health colleagues,” he said.
“There has been a breaking down of barriers; that could all be undone.”
But Ian Anderson, Isle of Wight’s director for community wellbeing and social care, said social workers would continue to work closely with mental health and other health services on the island. None of the AMHPs will lose their jobs under the current proposals.
Anderson said the council was proposing to adopt a more team-based approach to managing workloads and to better integrate specialist mental health with more generic care management services.
He added: “We have commenced a consultation process but not yet concluded it; we are allowing time for these discussions to conclude before issuing a final statement on how we will proceed.”
Campaigners warned last week that mental health services would suffer “particularly acute” losses with four mental health trusts set to face 15% job losses.
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