This morning I came across a deeply depressing blog post entitled the non-exaggerated death of mental health social work.
There simply isn’t going to be such a thing as mental health social work within a multidisciplinary team. Upset personally, terrified politically. This Biopsychosocial model we’d all worked towards collectively, the idea that a person existed within a socio-political context, that a person was created from events as well as biological material, the knowledge of different social roles, power-differentials within caring relationships, the question of meaning and identity, all of these are lost. While nursing staff have some training in these ideas, necessarily it is not the bread-and-butter of their training, nor should it be. No professional can be completely holistic in the true sense. That is why the multidisciplinary approach was conceived, and has been the backbone of Community Mental Health for over forty years. It has now been undone in a matter of months and there appears to be no reverse gear.
This chimes in a nasty way with the sort of thing I’ve been noticing in my own neck of the woods.
Last month I blogged,
Relations between CAMHS and social services have historically been fairly poor. As the gulf widens, this relationship can only get worse. The risk is that it can turn into a game of pass-the-parcel with children. As soon as one service accepts responsibility for a child, the other service steps back…This isn’t spoken out loud, but there’s a sense if this trend continues we could move closer to an assumption that if a child is seeing CAMHS, they can’t have a social worker. And if they’re under the care of social services, they can’t have a service from CAMHS.
This certainly seems to be continuing. All the social workers in our CAMHS team are being pulled out, just like the ones in the blog post I read today. It seems to be pretty much unofficial policy in both health and social care camps that we are not working together to safeguard children.
Years of good practice about joined-up working between health and social care is being undone at a fast rate of knots, crushed beneath a merciless drive to control budgets. Health is now something that happens in one place, and social care somewhere else, and never the twain shall meet. It’s appalling.