A comparison of the work and values of community mental health nurses in two mental health NHS trusts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

With the reconfiguration of health services in both the primary and secondary sectors, the role of community mental health nurses (CMHNs) has become a highly contested one within mental health care. There would be great variability in the skills that CMHNs possess, the contexts in which they work and the nature of the work they do. This study sought to explore aspects of the work of those nurses who provide services at the interface between policy and practice. Two groups of CMHNs were compared, one working in an urban setting (Trust A) and the other in a rural (Trust B), focusing particularly on caseloads and client mix, the values held by CMHNs, the models of care they utilize and what they consider would improve care in the future. A specially designed 39-item questionnaire was employed, with a mix of open and closed questions, and statements to which participants were asked to respond on a three-point Likert scale. The findings raised interesting issues around collaborative working, whether CMHNs are happy to take on clients previously on their caseload, bureaucratization, autonomy, role definition within a culture of working with primary care, lack of specific models utilized by CMHNs, and the demand for greater training and educational support. The implications of the study are discussed with the aim of assisting mental health nurses determine their future roles.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-533
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Volume11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004