We need to talk about social care


By Sarah Hughes

Centre for Mental Health is launching a series of six briefings today about social care and is calling for submissions that highlight positive practice across organisations and sectors. The first in this series is a briefing by Mark Trewin (Service Manager - Mental Health, Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Social Care Advisor, NHSE Adult Mental Health Team) who is talking about reducing out of area placements. The briefing offers readers the chance to think about what works, the role social care has to play and who to contact to share ideas.

We know that when people think about social care they often think of older people and domiciliary care. This of course remains an important aspect of social care policy and practice; however, we would also argue that mental health social care services underpin people's lives when they are not in hospital - which is most of the time. We want to surface some of the important issues related to social care and highlight the extraordinary work that is going on around the country; we want to talk about what works, what has meaningful impact and most of all what prevents people from spiralling into crisis.

We also know that funding is at an all-time low. We therefore want to readdress the balance, amplify the message that hospital beds and long term clinical interventions are only part of the picture, and check in on how the Care Act (2014) is fairing for people with mental illness.

People with lived experience often tell us that their mental health crisis is escalated by what goes on in their lives, including issues with housing or employment, finding the right support to manage their wellbeing, or with benefits. The NHS is saying the same thing: investment into social care is a pivotal part of developing services and giving people a fair chance in life.

We want to hear from you. Share your experience with us and be part of a vital and ongoing conversation. Let's create a chain of positive practice and hope that whilst services are overwhelmed and underfunded, someone, somewhere might have the answer.

Read the first briefing in the series here.

Contact Andy Bell for more information and to discuss getting involved.

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