- Article: Caie J (2011) Where does mental health nursing fit in primary care? Nursing Times; 107: 45, 24-25.
- Author: Jude Caie is mental health nurse therapist, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, HMP Manchester, Manchester.
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- The remit of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is to provide timely and time-limited therapy
- New roles in the IAPT framework mean nurses can access new training
- Becoming part of the IAPT structure could give mental health nurses the opportunity to have their skills formally recognised
- It is up to individual mental health nurses to decide whether they can work within an IAPT model
- Nursing must fight to survive and establish its place within a changing healthcare environment
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) aims to reduce the state’s welfare bill by increasing the number of people returning to work after suffering common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The initiative has raised some fundamental questions for mental health nurses:
- With 10,000 new paraprofessionals working their way through waiting lists, is there still room for mental health nurses in primary care, or have they been sidelined?
- Is mental health nursing still a separate profession, with specialist skills and knowledge but with few clearly defined nursing roles left?
- Should mental health nurses develop into “psychological wellbeing practitioners”, “gateway workers” or “high-intensity therapists”?