Doing crisis work

Here’s a new paper just accepted for publication, and about to appear in early online publication form. Titled ‘There’s a lot of tasks that can be done by any’: findings from an ethnographic study into work and organisation in UK community crisis resolution and home treatment services this will be appearing in Health: an Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. Health is published by SAGE, and the copyright agreement I have signed allows me to deposit a post-peer review version of the accepted manuscript in my employing university’s digital repository. So, for a green open access version of this paper which is almost identical to the version which will appear in the journal, follow this link.

For a quick summary, here’s the abstract:

Across the United Kingdom (UK) large numbers of crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) services have been established with the aim of providing intensive, short-term, care to people who would otherwise be admitted to mental health hospital. Despite their widespread appearance little is known about how CRHT services are organised or how crisis work is done. This article arises from a larger ethnographic study (in which 34 interviews were conducted with practitioners, managers and service users) designed to generate data in these and related areas. Underpinned by systems thinking and sociological theories of the division of labour, the article examines the workplace contributions of mental health professionals and support staff. In a fast-moving environment the work which was done, how and by whom reflected wider professional jurisdictions and a recognisable patterning by organisational forces. System characteristics including variable shift-by-shift team composition and requirements to undertake assessments of new referrals whilst simultaneously providing home treatment shaped the work of some, but not all, professionals. Implications of these findings for larger systems of work are considered.

I’ll be adding this post, with its embedded link to the open access version of this article, to my ‘enduring posts’ page. I’ll group it with other posts and publications addressing the theme of ‘work and roles’.


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