Our Social Work and Social Care / Neighbourhood teams and wider Partnerships work very closely together to ensure that we all provide an excellent service and a caring, joined up response. All teams are dedicated to providing the best for the people of the Borough and we do this using our Strength Based Approach.
Have a look and see what some of our teams do:
- Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
The Community Mental Health Team works with adults of all ages who experience issues with their mental health. These tend to be of a severe and enduring nature and might include people with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, chronic depression, anxiety or personality disorders.
Social workers alongside their health colleagues, provide a care co-ordinator role whilst also undertaking statutory social care functions around assessment, care planning and review. Social workers in the team also provide responses to our statutory responsibilities under the mental health act.
CMHT is divided into several smaller teams, each dealing with specific aspects of a person’s needs and there is very close co-operation with health colleagues, including community psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists.
Many of the CMHT have the additional qualifications of Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) and/or Best Interests Assessor (BIA) and it is an expectation that social workers within this team will go on to train as AMHPs.
- Complex Case Team
The Complex Case Team is a small but very experienced team that plays a key role in working with people and their carers who have particularly complex needs that might be because of physical or mental health needs, as well as learning disabilities.
The team are particularly likely to be involved when the NHS jointly funds care to ensure that people get the best care they can, and to ensure their loved ones are included in care arrangements.
- Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team (DOLS)
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team is responsible for responding to requests from care homes and health settings for a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation for a person who is unable to consent to their care and accommodation as a result of a mental impairment. This might be because of a diagnosis of dementia, a mental illness, a learning disability or a brain injury.
The team provides guidance and support to Best Interests Assessors who are based across all social work teams and is the first point of contact for any care home manager or health provider who is concerned that a resident or patient might be deprived of their liberty as defined in legislation and case law. In addition, the team also provides support to the representatives of people who are subject to DOLS authorisations, such as family members and friends, but also arrange for independent advocacy for anyone who does not have a representative to ensure that their rights and concerns are respected. The DOLS team work closely with all teams, but especially so with the Safeguarding Adults and Learning Disability teams.
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are expected to be replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards (a new piece of legislation) in April 2022.
- Home First
The Home First Team is a very busy, high turnover multi-disciplinary team with the specific responsibility of arranging quick and safe discharges from hospital back to a service user’s home setting. The team also has additional responsibilities for people who require some rehabilitative work to ensure a safe discharge from hospital, such as following surgery, a loss of mobility and/or a period of ill health.
The team has a broad professional base being composed of Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and dedicated support workers who all work very closely together to achieve positive outcomes for service users and their carers. Because of the nature of their work, Home
First works in very close co-operation with the Hospital Discharge Team and Reablement, as well as NHS colleagues.
- Hospital Discharge Team
The Hospital Discharge Team is responsible for arranging safe discharges for Blackburn with Darwen residents who find themselves in hospital and who are in need of social care support.
The team are part of a Pennine wide integrated discharge service which ensures that wherever possible, people are supported to return home through the most appropriate pathway to meet their individual needs and maximise their independence. Although the majority of patients are discharged from the Royal Blackburn Hospital, a significant number of them are also discharged from Accrington, Burnley and Clitheroe hospitals, while some further afield in Blackpool, Bolton, Chorley, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Salford and Wrightington are also dealt with by this team.
Attention to detail, the ability to quickly scrutinise written information, professional assertiveness and close collaboration with health colleagues are key features of what is required for this team, along with developing good working relationships with care home staff. Mental Capacity Act and Best Interests Decisions, along with Care Act, Human Rights Act, Continuing Healthcare Funding and hospital discharge procedures are all key considerations for this team, as well as working very closely with health colleagues across a variety of settings.
- Independent Living Service (ILS)
The Independent Living Service supports individuals to live as independent a life as possible. This multi-disciplinary team works with individuals to overcome challenges caused by their health needs and the physical environment around them and is composed of Occupational Therapists, Surveyors and specialists in the fields of Moving & Handling, Sensory Impairment and Telecare.
Their emphasis is on reducing risk, promoting living at home and maximising a person’s independence.
- Integrated Neighbourhood Teams
Across Blackburn with Darwen three neighbourhood teams have been established – Darwen, North & East and West. The Darwen team is based at Darwen Health Centre, while N&E and West are both located at Barbara Castle Way Health Centre, with N&E also have an additional base at Shadsworth Children’s Centre.
The social workers within these teams work with adults of all ages, assessing adults with physical disabilities, sensory impairment and older age frailty. Providing support to carers is also a key role for these teams to ensure that people are best supported to provide care and support to their loved ones. The teams work in a multi-disciplinary setting with colleagues from health, 3rd sector and wider community services e.g. neighbourhoods, voluntary sector.
Based on a risk stratification model, individuals are supported to maintain their independence and place in the local community. Social workers also support individuals in short term care and in intermediate care provision in order to optimise the opportunity for people to return home.
- Learning Disability Team
The Learning Disability team works with adults who have a confirmed learning disability and is co-located at Darwen Resource Centre alongside specialist learning disability community nurses. The team is also likely to work in close collaboration with Children’s Services for those people who are approaching adulthood.
The team provide the statutory function within complex cases in relation to court decisions regarding Deprivation of Liberty. In addition, they support individuals with very complex needs who are maybe in specialist hospitals subject to other statutory frameworks.
- Reablement Team
The Reablement Team specialises in assisting people to regain their independence after a period of ill health. They work in close collaboration with most other teams, but especially so with the Community, Home First and Hospital teams. This is very much at the heart of nearly everything the department does.
Reablement is the first port of call when considering care options for people who are in, or want to return to, their own homes and the team works with people for up to six weeks to maximise their independence or identify what long term options are best for people depending upon their specific circumstances.
The Reablement process is one of continuous review and assessment so that a person’s care plan is updated regularly to keep pace with their period of recovery.
- Safeguarding Adults Team
We have a specialist Safeguarding Adults team within the department. Physical, financial and sexual abuse are key areas of concern, along with neglect, modern slavery, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and the exploitation of vulnerable people
Safeguarding adults is everyone’s business and we provide multi-agency training as part of the Local Safeguarding Adults Board training programme.
The social workers liaise closely with internal adult services colleagues and partner agencies. The team have links to other safeguarding initiatives in the borough such as the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), the domestic abuse complex case hub and Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM). Also located at the Duke Street office, the SGA team is very closely involved with all other social care teams and takes the lead role in all safeguarding matters in relation to vulnerable adults. They work is close co-operation with the police, health providers and housing teams.
The team works very closely with many other agencies also, including Children’s Services, health partners, Housing Needs and the Police.
Analytical skills, professional curiosity, confidentiality, conflict resolution and assertiveness are key skills in this team, as well as the ability to work as part of a team, respond quickly and having an awareness of role.
- Promoting Independence Review Team
The PIR Team is a small team who conduct reviews at approximately 12 weeks after a package of care has started, or there has been a significant change in the care arrangements. The ethos of the team is to enable a person to regain as much independence as possible and become less reliant on formal services. The team work alongside third sector partners and other groups to achieve best outcomes and to promote the individual’s independence. The work is quick turnover and requires the team to be flexible and to work together to share ideas, knowledge and best practice.
- Direct Payments Team
The Direct payments Team support individuals to access a Direct Payment rather than a commissioned social care service. The team supports with all aspects of managing a direct payment, including support to recruit personal assistants and identify other ways that their care needs might be met. In addition, this small team support the council by conducting regular audits of the accounts of recipients of a direct payment to ensure that public is spent appropriately and is fully accounted for.
- Shared Lives
Shared Lives provides an alternative to formal care settings for many people who need help with some degree of supported living in that service users of this scheme are placed with carers in a domestic setting, either for short or long placements, where the emphasis is upon developing or maintaining their independence with some formal oversight. There are many parallels with the fostering team in Children’s Services.
The emphasis in this team is firmly placed on inclusion, support of vulnerable people and carers and an imaginative, flexible and rewarding approach to care planning.
- Day Services Specialist provision – Hopwood Court
Day services provide specialist day support/ sessions to the citizens of the borough with complex needs, this is a health and wellbeing model with specialist equipment to support people. We also provide support to younger people through transitions, some of which are on the autism spectrum.
Within Hopwood Court we have a dementia day service for person(s) with high level needs that are unable to access traditional day care community support. All referrals following a social work assessment go through a panel to ensure that their needs can be met within the day support offer.
- St Aidan’s Short Term Breaks Service
The Service provides a high- quality, person centred Short Term Breaks/Respite service to Adults who have a learning and/or physical disability. The service ethos is to enable people to maintain and / or develop their skills and abilities within the respite facility.
The service enables guests to have a break from home and the opportunity to experience different activities and meet new people. This also facilitates Respite for the carer so they can re-charge their batteries / take a holiday and continue to fulfil their carer’s role.
The service is registered with, and regulated and inspected by the Care Quality commission. The purpose built home has fully accessible and has adapted bedrooms, which are all en-suite. There is a one bedroom apartment where guests with more complex/challenging needs are supported on a 1:1 or 2:1 basis, it has its own private garden, vehicle and pedestrian access.
The service has a team consisting of Registered Manager, Senior Carers and Support Workers who support guests as outlined in their overview assessment / personal profile. All referrals follow a social worker assessment.
In Blackburn with Darwen we work closely with our local partner agencies to ensure that our services are able to respond in the most seamless way. Partners include other Local Authorities, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Health as well as a range of Private, Voluntary and independent sector providers
Blackburn with Darwen is part of the integrated planning across our wider area and forms part of an overarching Integrated Care System (ICS).
Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) is a partnership of NHS, local authority, public sector, voluntary, faith and social enterprise and academic organisations. We work together to join up health and care services, listen to the priorities of our communities, local people and patients and tackle some of the biggest challenges we are all facing.
Healthier Lancs and South Cumbria – wider Health and Social Care planning
The ICS includes 5 areas – Pennine Lancashire; Morecambe Bay, Fylde Coast; West Lancashire; Central Lancashire
More local planning across health and social care services is shared via