The Determinants of Workplace Wellbeing in Community Mental Health Teams for Older People and Social Care Organisations

  • Rowan Jasper

    Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


    The University of Manchester Abstract of Thesis submitted by Rowan Jasper. For the degree of Master of Philosophy THE DETERMINANTS OF WORKPLACE WELLBEING IN COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH TEAMS FOR OLDER PEOPLE AND SOCIAL CARE ORGANISATIONS December 2013. Background: Workplace stress is a key topic of interest in literature, government policies and initiatives. Practitioners working in mental health and social care settings are at an increased risk of stress, especially social workers. However there is limited evidence on job satisfaction and wellbeing for those practitioners working in older people's teams. Objectives: To investigate the key determinants of workplace wellbeing and other job outcomes for practitioners working in Community Mental Health Teams for Older People (CMHTsOP) and social care teams, including an exploration of the link between multi-agency working and job outcomes.Method: A mixed method approach was undertaken, incorporating: A narrative literature review; analysis of data from two postal surveys of (i) care coordinators delivering adult social care services and (ii) members of CMHTsOP; and qualitative interviews with staff from multiple professional backgrounds. Quantitative analysis was in the form of statistical tests of association and ordinary least squares and logistic regressions.Results: The literature review found that evidence regarding the impact of multi-agency working on practitioner wellbeing is not definitive, especially in relation to old age services. Quantitative analyses revealed that practitioners in multi-agency teams spent more time in direct contact with service users and less time in contact with other services; and also reported inferior supervisory support. Some practitioners being managed by a member of a different professional discipline also reported an imbalance between job pressures and autonomy, which is linked to stress. Yet the implications of multi-agency working for overall job satisfaction were not clear since these effects could be confounded by other variables. Qualitative interviews, however, found that most practitioners enjoyed working in more integrated teams due to improved access to social care services. Conclusions: Multi-agency and integrated working brings both rewards and obstacles to practitioner welfare, with likely consequences for organisational morale, staff turnover and patient care. A revised causal model is proposed, integrating the key elements that shape workplace wellbeing. A challenge remains for organisations to improve the quality of supervisory arrangements in multidisciplinary teams, and for researchers to consider the broader impact of policy and practice reform on practitioner wellbeing and service users.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorDavid Challis (Supervisor) & Mark Wilberforce (Supervisor)


    • Recruitment and retention
    • Community Mental Health Teams for Older People
    • Job satisfaction
    • Workforce
    • Multi-agency
    • Social workers
    • Old age mental health
    • Integrated care
    • Wellbeing

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