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Transdisciplinary working: Evaluating the development of health and social care provision in mental health

Gibb, Catherine E. and Morrow, Maureen and Clarke, Charlotte L. and Cook, Glenda and Gertig, Pauline and Ramprogus, Vince (2002) Transdisciplinary working: Evaluating the development of health and social care provision in mental health. Journal of mental health, 11 (3). pp. 339-350. ISSN 0963-8237

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Abstract

The NHS Plan (DoH, 2000), consistent with earlier policy documents, emphasises the need for integrated working between health and social care. However, the path to achieving integration appears to be littered with as many failures of teamworking as successes. This paper reports on an evaluation of the development of a team of practitioners working with clients with severe enduring mental health problems. Soft systems methodology enabled the researchers to inform service development rather than merely describing its process and outcomes. Care management was proactive rather than crisis orientated, with prompt response to subtle changes in clients' needs, facilitated by the employment of Community Support Workers. New care processes and structures enabled client and professional knowledge to be used as a resource to inform decisions about care. The practitioners managed this knowledge through informal trans-disciplinary exchange, promoting access to the fine detail of the relationship between user need and service provision.

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