Working in Mental Health
Good enough for my family, that's our Mental Health Social Workers' first principle of work. Assigned to the Devon Partnership Mental Health Trust and working in well-established, multidisciplinary teams, they focus on safe, personalised, recovery-focused and sustainable care services.
A county of contrasts, there are a vast and diverse range of people who benefit from our services. The people who use our services play an integral part in the care we offer. Service users and their carers provide feedback about current services and they're consulted about new service developments. We pride ourselves on an open, collaborative approach.
How we work
In Adult Mental Health, we work across network areas and Clinical Directorates: Adults, Older Persons, Specialist and Secure Services. Most of our Social Workers are based in the Adult directorate working as Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs). Their caseload is reduced to accommodate their capacity for AMHP work. There are also a smaller number of Social Workers who provide a non-AMHP Mental Health Social Worker function.
The AMHP service is provided by a 'Hub and Spoke' model which consists of a small central full-time AMHP that receive and triage all requests for Mental Health Act assessments. They're supported by and provide backup cover to, our locality based AMHPs ("Spokes"). This model has greatly improved the coordination and delivery of AMHP services in Devon and has a good working relationship with out-of-hours services.
Support Health and Social Care services are supported by a central Social Care funding team, which has a wide knowledge of resources and personalisation to assist care planning. Professional social work is led by the Head of Social Work and a leadership team of local Senior Social Workers and Lead Social Worker/AMHPs.
In order to achieve the best care for everyone involved, Social Workers use e-learning packages provided jointly by the Trust and DCC as well as face-to-face learning in areas such as the Mental Capacity Act, Safeguarding and the Mental Health Act. All AMHPs are given a comprehensive, flexible package of refresher training. There's also an annual AMHP training course and other Social Workers can choose to specialise in Adult Protection and Best Interest assessments. There are post qualification courses to support this.
Working in Mental Health Social Work provides a unique challenging and rewarding career opportunity to work across health and social care and offer integrated and holistic services in Devon.