Teamwork in primary care mental health: a policy analysis

Eloise Nolan, Alistair Hewison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aim  This paper reports a policy analysis conducted to examine the potential impact of recent mental health policy on team working in Primary Care Mental Health in England.

Method  An analysis of relevant policy documents was conducted. From an original selection of 49 documents, 15, which had significant implications for Primary Care Mental Health Teams, were analysed thematically.

Findings  There were no clear guidelines or objectives for Primary Care Mental Health Teams evident from the policy analysis. Collaborative working was advocated, yet other elements in the policies were likely to prevent this occurring. There was a lack of clarity concerning the role and function of new professions within Primary Care Mental Health Teams, adding further uncertainty to an already confused situation.

Conclusion  This uncertainty has the potential to reinforce professional barriers and increase the current difficulties with team working.

Implications to nursing managers  An analysis of recent policy contributes to our understanding of the context of care. The lack of clarity in current health policy presents a significant challenge for those managing primary care mental health teams. Team working is likely to improve if targets, processes and responsibilities are made clearer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-661
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • mental health
  • policy
  • primary care
  • team


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