The lead for Mental Health Social Work in England visited Livewell Southwest to deliver an inspiring workshop on mental health social work.
Mark Trewin, Mental Health Social Work Lead for the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England spent two days with senior leaders and adult social workers at Livewell in June to talk about the benefits and the importance of mental health social work.
Livewell Southwest is the provider of adult social care services across Plymouth with colleagues working in a number of different teams including hospital discharge teams, adult safeguarding and locality teams.
As part of his visit, Mark gave examples of where mental health social work, delivered through the integrated mental health and adult social care services, has been attempted elsewhere across the country.
He also heard about Livewell’s plans to promote mental health social work.
The workshop was arranged by Kerry Dodd, Principal Social Worker at Livewell and Mel Wilson, the Advanced Mental Health Practitioner/ Best Interests Assessor Manager.
It followed on from a successful visit earlier this year from Lyn Romeo, the Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health and Social Care who heard about work taking place to provide social care for adults with mental health issues by working closer with nursing and therapy colleagues.
Kerry, Mel and others have been working to increase awareness of mental health work and the role it can play in supporting people to lead independent, healthy lives.
Kerry said: “As an organisation, I feel we’re just starting to discover the real benefits of mental health social work and how this aligns to Livewell’s mission to support people to lead independent healthy lives.
“We’ve been taking a close look at our workforce and the skill mix to see how our social work colleagues can complement the existing services that we have in place, helping to reduce the duplication of work, releasing more time for colleagues to care.
“We look forward to working with our colleagues across Livewell to see how we can achieve this.
“We’re very grateful to Mark for coming to work with us and for the enthusiasm and support shown from senior leaders across Livewell.”
Mark said he was delighted to visit Livewell and praised the organisation for its vision and ambitions to work in new ways to value social work.
He added: “I have really enjoyed my time with Plymouth’s social care leads. There is an impressive sense of optimism and a commitment to new innovative models of partnership that value the strength of social work.”