Quality Care In Forensic Mental Health Social Work Essay

Maximizing Quality of Care in Forensic Mental Health Services ; Is Multidisciplinary Working the New Imperative? Within the sphere of forensic mental wellness, theoretical accounts of wrongdoer rehabilitation are continually germinating. Whilst such developments are interesting the altering tendencies in squad pattern such as multidisciplinary working are every bit relevant. The function of multidisciplinary working in quality of attention has received small attending in literature, therefore the purpose of this essay is to analyze whether so ‘joined up jobs require joined up solutions ‘ ( Glasby & A ; Lester,2004 pp.7 ) .

This analysis will ab initio concentrate on specifying the construct of multidisciplinary and so analyze how it translates to forensic mental wellness pattern and so whether it facilitates effectual service proviso. In order to supply a balanced analysis, the negative branchings of multidisciplinary working upon service bringing will besides be considered and recommendations to get the better of these barriers will be presented.

What constitutes as multidisciplinary working?

Health attention suppliers are inundated with assorted statute law sing proviso of attention and the term multidisciplinary working is one which is invariably highlighted nevertheless, seldom decently understood. This may in portion due to the copiousness of over 50 definitions for multidisciplinary ; ( Leathard 1994 ) . A definition proposed by Drinka and Ray ( 1987 ) compactly encapsulates many of the repeating subjects present in most definitions in which multiple wellness subjects with diverse cognition and accomplishments who portion an integrated set of ends. In contrast nevertheless the term interdisciplinary refers to pattern in which subject boundaries become less concrete and there is an merger of relationships between bureaus ( Drinka and Ray ( 1987 ) .

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Forensic Mental Health Servicess

Forensic mental wellness squads are likely to be found in establishments such as secure infirmaries, prisons and outpatient services. A typical multidisciplinary forensic squad consists of a adviser head-shrinker, psychologists, nurses, societal workers and occupational healers. In footings of the clients who utilise such services it has been estimated that up to 66-97 % of service users have a diagnosing for at least two personality upsets ( Alwin et al. , 2006 ) . In add-on such comorbidity is frequently farther complicated by factors such as substance abuse ( D’silva and Ferriter ( 2003 ) . It is apparent from these illustrations that forensic mental wellness is a complex country of service proviso and the demands of mentally broken wrongdoers are multifaceted and span across multiple subjects. Such has prompted professionals with different political orientations to work together for a more holistic attack to aiming such complex demands.

Benefits of Multidisciplinary Working

Multidisciplinary working can maximize the quality of attention by positively act uponing countries of pattern such as ; appraisal, intervention, communicating and staff.

Hazard Appraisal

Hazard appraisal carries many of import practical deductions, such as informing determinations sing intervention and discharge therefore it is important that appraisals are carried out with great deepness and preciseness. A important benefit of multidisciplinary working is that together squad members can portion the duty of transporting out accurate hazard appraisals by pooling their assorted disciplinary expertness. For illustration the hazard appraisal HCR-20 ( Webster et al 1997 ) assesses wrongdoers on three elements, history, clinical and future hazard. A psychologist may analyze elements of a clients history and do connexions with their current piquing whereas head-shrinkers would be more in melody to notice on current clinical symptoms and with respects to future hazard, societal workers could measure future employment and lodging ( Jones & A ; Plowman, 2005 ) . With each subject unambiguously lending to put on the line appraisal a greater apprehension of hazard can be ascertained which in bend can guarantee appropriate models are implemented to pull off hazard.


With a battalion of subjects working within a squad the alone demands of each client can be best matched to a suited intervention supplier therefore supplying a more individual centred attack to care and research has shown this leads to break long term results ( Stiles et al. , 2008 ) . For illustration the adviser head-shrinker may supply a patient with medicine for their active symptoms and one time stabilized a forensic psychologist may originate the patient in therapy to turn to cognitive deformations. An occupational healer may prosecute the patient in recreational and vocational activities therefore supplying the single with accomplishments which can be utilised in the community upon discharge. This illustration is testament to how multidisciplinary squads can outdo use their accomplishments to supply a more incorporate and holistic intervention bundle and therefore heighten quality of attention for a mentally broken wrongdoer.

McMillan ( 2000 ) argued that the optimum intervention combination for patients was medicine, surroundings therapy and cognitive therapy. However it is instead simplistic to take one successful attack and presume “ ‘one size tantrums all ‘ it is the occupation of a multidisciplinary squad to measure persons and supply an individualized intervention bundle.


Communication between professionals from different backgrounds is paramount and it has the possible to maximize quality of attention for clients. In order to show the benefits, if one takes a unafraid infirmary for illustration, a client may be doing good advancement within a curative scene with a psychologist, nevertheless, when back on the infirmary ward may be fighting to keep such advancement. If at this point the ward staff portion these behavioral observations with the intervention staff so it can be ensured that the client ‘s demands are suitably targeted in intervention therefore easing a more effectual rehabilitation procedure for the service user. This illustration illustrates how communicating across subject boundaries can take to heighten attention for the client.

Multiagency working

Persons with mental wellness jobs have been shown to hold a limited capacity to negociate complex bureaucratisms and services have been criticised for being excessively fragmented ( Glasby & A ; Lester, 2004 ) . Therefore it is imperative that a solid interface between the assorted bureaus involved with the direction of mentally broken wrongdoers are good incorporate, therefore supplying a seamless sentence for persons.

An rating of a mental wellness affair squad found that effectual liaising between bureaus led to quicker referral and assessment times every bit good as enhanced staff satisfaction ( Chalder & A ; Griffin, 2005 ) . Whilst such findings are promoting the survey lacks grounds from the position of the service user whose positions should be at the head of any rating procedure.


The positive effects of multidisciplinary working are non restricted to clients entirely, Millar ( 2000 ) found that incorporate pattern allows for squad members to develop professionally and derive an in deepness apprehension of a client from assorted different positions. However such positive benefits can besides be passed on to the client as Wenzel ( 2002 ) found patients are more likely to better when the significance of their unwellness is explained from a assortment of different positions.

Multidisciplinary working promotes corporate duty and answerability and research has shown that staff who feel unity and place with their squad execute better ( Chandler, 2006 ) and in bend such positiveness can be relayed to the client in the signifier of effectual attention.

Multidisciplinary working ; More Harm than Good?

Multidisciplinary working does non ever nevertheless yield positive results and obstructions such as sensed hierarchies, conflicting purposes and switching duty can in fact negatively impact client attention.

Hierarchy within a multidisciplinary squad

A survey by Cott ( 1997 ) found that non-medical staff felt that the trefoils held all the power and Robinson and Kettles, ( 1998 ) found forensic nurses had trouble lending to team treatments due to their perceived low position. Intelligibly such sentiments are likely to do staff experience devalued and worthless and research has shown that such negative feelings lead to decreased committedness and motive from staff ( Peck & A ; Norman, 1999 ) . In add-on strained professional relationships and impeded communicating are likely to be a byproduct of such sensed hierarchies which could impede the effectual bringing of attention for clients.

Recommended solution: Every subject within a squad should be given an equal weighting by advancing determination devising as a collaborative procedure every bit good as guaranting that the function of RMO ( cardinal determination shaper ) is non ever bestowed upon head-shrinkers ( Jones and Plowman, 2005 ) . Effective supervising, squad edifice yearss and increased apprehension of other subjects is cardinal to guarantee professional relationships remain strong.

Conflict of Interests

Inevitably there are theoretical and methodological differences between subjects for illustration, the medical profession adopts a categorical position of mental upsets whereas psychological science professionals propose that mental upsets lie on a continuum and symptoms vary in strength ( Jones and Plowman, 2005 ) . These two positions are non compatible and are likely to ensue in different subjects foregrounding different countries of precedence for intervention. Conflicting positions are likely to strive professional relationships and in add-on such theoretical mutual exclusiveness will deluge patients with contradicting statements about their jobs.

Recommended Solution: Particular accent should be placed upon happening commonalties between political orientations and inventing intervention preparations upon these as good jointly prioritizing patients ‘ demands to guarantee they receive consistent messages.

Switching duty

There are a figure of good documented instances within history which highlight the gross failures of bureaus. The most outstanding instance being the Victoria Climbie instance in which bureaus failed to observe the maltreatment of the immature miss. An enquiry into this instance highlighted that due to the multiplicity of bureaus involved there was confusion sing single squad ends and duty and answerability of service proviso was passed from one squad to another ensuing in of import information stealing through the net ( Health Committee, 2003 ) .

Recommended Solution: When multiple bureaus are involved in the direction of an wrongdoer the ends and duties of each bureau should be clearly articulated and guarantee that each squad is held accountable for their ain actions. Regular meetings and changeless amendments to Care Programme Approach ( CPA ) should be in built-in within pattern to guarantee clients demands are ever at the head.


From the grounds presented above it is clear that multidisciplinary working is imperative and does maximize degree of attention for mentally upsets wrongdoers. Multidisciplinary working has shown great strengths and promises with respect to improved results, nevertheless there are still a figure of matter-of-fact jobs which at times restrict it from working at the optimum degree. A niche in research sing the positions of clients and carers means it is hard to truly ascertain whether multidisciplinary is so good for service users. In add-on a displacement in research towards using ‘gold criterion ‘ methods such as randomised controlled tests would travel a long manner in constructing a strong empirical foundation for multidisciplinary working and guarantee collaborative working remains the driving force of forensic mental wellness service proviso.


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