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CQC to investigate impact of mental health beds crisis on patients and staff

The Care Quality Commission is to investigate the impact of high mental health bed occupancy levels on the quality of patient care. The CQC board approved a ‘thematic probe’ into the issue at a board meeting last week. The project will be completed by April 2014. A paper presented to the board said that the […]

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Councils split on integration of mental health social workers in NHS

Local authorities appear divided over whether to sign formal agreements to fully integrate their mental health social workers in NHS teams, data obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveals. Data returned by 108 of the 148 councils in England showed that 55 per cent currently integrate their social workers in NHS mental health […]

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Social worker’s Kickstarter bid to fund mental health game

Could fun be a new prescription for anxiety? Social work academic and registered social worker Martin Webber explains how a new crowdsourced project is testing it out. Anxiety affects us all. Sometimes, a little bit is a good thing. It can sharpen our minds before a performance or help us to complete a piece of […]

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We’re in trouble when social workers who love the job feel forced to quit

Why are people who love social work feeling they have no option but to leave frontline practice? This blog by former mental health social worker Ermintrude2 on why she left a job that was ‘in many ways, perfect’  gives an insight into the pressures faced by services and – perhaps more importantly – the despondency […]

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Mental health trust told to ‘urgently’ address failings or face board sackings

A mental health trust has been told to urgently address failings or face the possibility of board members being removed. Health regulator Monitor has imposed extra conditions on Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust retaining its license to provide NHS services after ruling that the trust had failed to respond sufficiently to “serious problems” in […]

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One-fifth of mental health patients dissatisfied with out-of-hours crisis response

One in five mental health patients who called NHS out-of-hours services for crisis support did not get the help they wanted, a survey has found. The 2013 edition of the Care Quality Commission’s annual survey of over 13,000 community mental health patients found that 17% of patients who called crisis lines didn’t get the help […]

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Devon's Central AMHP Team invited me to see what their jobs entailed

This is how it feels to work in a mental health system officials admit is ‘running too hot’

‘NHS sectioning patients just to find a bed’: that was a front-page headline on one of two days I spent with a team of approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) recently. Across England and Wales, this group of mostly – but not exclusively – social workers face the incredibly tough call of whether to deprive people […]

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‘AMHPs are working in a mental health system close to collapse’

Community Care’s fly-on-the-wall look at life as an approved mental health professional (AMHP) shows the real pressures of working in a mental health system in crisis, writes Steve Chamberlain, chair of The College of Social Work’s AMHP community of interest. There is something about a fly-on-the-wall piece which gives that bit of extra life and […]

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Community mental health team opens its doors for Channel 4 series

The experiences of staff and patients at a community mental health team are to feature in a new channel 4 mental health documentary series. Channel 4 announced that ‘The Maudsley’ series will feature a programme on one of the community mental health team’s at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (Slam). One of the […]

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MPs’ failure to consult AMHPs on Mental Health Act report shows lack of respect

The absence of evidence from AMHPs in MPs’ headline-grabbing Mental Health Act report is symptomatic of the marginalisation of social perspectives on mental health, writes Joe Godden of the British Association of Social Workers MPs on the Commons Health Committee made headlines recently after going public with “disturbing” evidence that people are being detained under […]

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