Local Government and Social Care Ombudsmen release new guidance aimed to improve the aftercare of mental health in-patients
New guidance released today, April 8, by The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) aims to tackle common and repeated mistakes seen in the aftercare of patients receiving support under the Mental Health Act.
The PHSO and LGSCO work in partnership on complaints involving both health and social care bodies. The new guidance brings together common themes highlighted during their joint investigation work, including practical recommendations for councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to make improvements and avoid repeating mistakes by others.
The insights in this guidance are based on case studies from the Joint Working Team's investigations, including realistic, proportionate and practical recommendations for councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups to make improvements and avoid the mistakes of others.
Rob Behrens, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said:
"The cases outlined in the guidance demonstrate the traumatic and lasting impact mistakes can have on patients and their families when council and CCGs fail to manage mental health aftercare effectively.
"When a person receives treatment under the Mental Health Act, they are vulnerable. Organisations responsible for their care must deliver the best service possible to maximise the patient's recovery.
"The work of the Joint Working Team is vital in ensuring that the organisations involved are held to account when mistakes are made across the health and social care sectors."
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:
"Where complex cases span multiple organisations and bodies, it is all the more important for those bodies to get things right. We've issued this guidance not only to share learning from the complaints we have received but also to highlight to councils and CCGs our joint working team's role in investigating those cases.
"I hope practitioners in this area will take on board the learning it contains and apply it to their practice to ensure the people in their care are properly supported."
For more information on the new Section 117 guidance and to download a copy, please click here.