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Integrated working in danger from cuts

If the new mental health strategy is to work well then care needs to be taken that organisations do not retreat to “silo thinking” where organisations focus purely on their core business.

This was the warning from Claire Barcham, the national coordinator for the Approved Mental Health Practitioners’ Network, who said that a retreat would damage integrated working between health and social care and therefore affect the strategy – No Health without Mental Health.

Speaking today at Community Care Live’s session on the strategy, Barcham said: “There’s a tendency for organisations at a time of stress to focus down on their core business and to see cross organisational working as a luxury and sometimes as a threat.”

Barcham also warned that care needed to be taken against trusts cutting too much out of the costs of training and development and from the infrastructure that supports the voluntary sector.

Barcham says that the proposed new health and wellbeing boards that are being developed through the Health and Social Care Bill could help in this regard by ensuring cross working.

About Jeremy Dunning, senior adult beat journalist