Friday, 18 March 2011

Clinical and social models of care

In the mental health field, it has long been accepted that clinical and social models of care go hand-in-hand.  Doing more than simply addressing clinical symptoms is a requirement of the care pathway

People who have experienced severe and enduring mental health conditions currently have access to a spectrum of professionals.  These range from the psychiatrist, the community mental health nurse, assertive outreach and social workers, O.T.s and other key personnel.  Any or all of these individuals can currently form part of the care plan for people recovering from severe mental health conditions.  In addition, there is access to third-party groups providing bridge building or similar services.  The return to mainstream life based on individual choices forms a strong part of the clinical and social models working together.

So what will be the scenario when mental health moves into the sphere of general practice, along with a host of other clinical services? 

In the UK, GP consortia are being set up with the intention of taking over from the primary care teams entirely by the year 2013. The primary care teams that currently incorporate a spectrum of care services for mental health will no longer exist.  It is uncertain whether GP consortia and GP surgeries will be equipped to respond to providing the clinical and social models which currently operate for people with 'severe and enduring' diagnoses.  What this means is that there could be no access to the key services that are well-positioned to provide access for the individual to his or her independence, recovery and self-development. 

The providers who currently enable access to mainstream life for people with mental health conditions will need to introduce themselves to the GP consortia as a matter of urgency.  In order to become better placed to continue the work of mainstream recovery it will be important to do this now.  Commercial and private providers are already muscling in on the GP consortia and it is unlikely that these groups will have any expertise at all in providing hope and aspiration for marginalised people.

No comments:

Post a Comment