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New Ways of Working for nurses

Neil Brimblecombe (Director of Nursing, Research and Development South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 24 September 2009



An enormous amount of change has occurred in the last six years for the mental health system in England and the workforce within it. We have seen the 10‐year National Service Framework for Mental Health (Department of Health, 1999) gradually make its impact felt in the form, in particular, of new community mental health teams and structures for delivering care in the community. We have also, most recently, experienced the passing of the Mental Health Act 2007 (HM Government, 2007), after many turbulent years of controversy and argument, extending to nurses and non‐medical practitioners who have been given statutory powers to act as approved mental health practitioners and approved clinicians.Alongside these important developments has been a gradual revolution in traditional ways of working, in the form of the New Ways of Working initiative. This article considers the impact of New Ways of Working on mental health nursing ‐ the single largest professional group within the mental health workforce ‐ and the continuing implications for the profession. The development of nurse prescribing is used as an illustration of the challenges and opportunities that have commonly arisen when new roles and skill sets have been introduced in mental health settings.



Brimblecombe, N. (2009), "New Ways of Working for nurses", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 4-9.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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