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Catherine Hungerford and Patricia Kench
Recovery approaches to healthcare are now an important feature of the mental health policies and plans of many western countries. However, there are continuing challenges…
Recovery approaches to healthcare are now an important feature of the mental health policies and plans of many western countries. However, there are continuing challenges to the operationalisation of these approaches. The purpose of this paper is to consider how to overcome these challenges, using insights gained from health managers and practitioners who have been involved in the process of implementation.
The analysis is undertaken through a descriptive single-case embedded study of the implementation of Recovery into a public mental health service in Australia. The unit of analysis that features in this paper is the perceptions of the implementation of Recovery-oriented services, of health managers and practitioners.
The analysis suggests that although health service managers followed many of the recommendations that can be found in the research literature to support achievement of Recovery-oriented services, there was a need to go further. For example, practitioners in the case study context were educated about the principles of Recovery and provided with new processes of clinical documentation to support their work, however these practitioners felt they were ill-equipped to address complex issues of practice, including the management of clinical risk and professional accountability issues. This raises questions about the content of the education and training provided, and also about the ongoing support provided to practitioners who work within a Recovery-oriented framework.
The descriptive single-case embedded study of the implementation of Recovery is the first of its kind in Australia. Findings of the study provide insight for other health service organisations committed to effectively implementing Recovery-oriented services.