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Implementing Recovery – Key Challenges 

Mental health services need to transform their workforce to implement recovery, says Sainsbury Centre paper

Dr Jed Boardman and Professor Geoff Shepherd from the Sainsbury Centre have outlined the key challenges for mental health trusts to ensure that the recovery process is “at the heart of their everyday practice.”

 Among the challenges are those discussed below:

  • Establishing a ‘Recovery Education Centre’- The authors advocate the creation of such a centre, staffed by service user-educators in every NHS mental health trust. It is envisaged that the centres would help to raise awareness of recovery principles and provide the necessary foundations to being training people as so-called ‘peer professionals’, who will ultimately provide direct care.
  • Ensuring organisational commitment- Boardman and Shepherd are keen to stress that training is insufficient and must be bolstered by placing recovery values within all management processes. They also call for organisational statements and principles to contain references to recovery. Board level leadership will be required to deliver this.
  • Increasing ‘personalisation’ and choice- Patients should be able to benefit from a widening availability of personalisation and choice, for example a broader range of available treatments and greater participating in decision-making.
  • Redefining service user involvement- The authors highlight the importance of moving away from ‘them and us distinctions’, instead action should be taken to facilitate a more equal partnership.
  • Transforming the workforce- Boardman and Shepherd argue that the role of professionals within mental health organisations should be ‘redefined.’ They would like to see the aforementioned ‘peer professionals’ to make a more significant contribution going forward as part of a ‘radical transformation of the workforce.’ They note that such an approach would be in keeping with the government’s public service agreement to increase the numbers of people with mental health conditions in employment. 

For more information visit the Sainsbury Centre website

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Christina Heap
020 7799 8618

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