Important assignment information

Taking into account the issues mentioned in Rodney’s case study (including ethical issues, his age, his gender, his diagnosis, substance misuse, etc.), how could this service user, who has complex needs, be better supported by the community care services and local independent sector services (e.g. charities, community groups, services for advocacy, etc.) available in the area you live in that may be of benefit to Rodney?

(2300 words essay)

Fictional case study: Rodney

Rodney is a 35-year-old man of Nigerian origins with what has been described as ‘a long history of schizophrenia and homelessness’. He has been ‘in and out of the mental health system’ for several years. On one occasion, he was held in a police cell because there were no beds available in the local acute mental health unit. He felt that the police officers avoided him when he was in the cell because he has mental health problems. The experience of being in crisis in a cell was a major trauma in itself for Rodney, and it has had the effect of making him suspicious of all institutional environments: ‘I was in total chaos; I have just tried to kill myself. I’m in a prison cell. I’ve no belt, no shoelaces, no shoes, because they wouldn’t let me have them, but no one talks to me. No one.’

Rodney feels that it is not just the police that lack empathy when dealing with people in crisis. The problem extends to professionals: ‘The sort of people you need when you are in crisis are the ones who still see you as a person, who remember you are not just a problem blowing up in their face; you need empathy, someone who sees you as a person.’

Rodney consistently declines medication, and is frequently described by practitioners as being ‘prone to delusions’ that mean he is unable to easily live around others in supervised settings. When the community mental health team (CMHT) began to work with him, they established he had some long-standing substance misuse issues, principally involving alcohol. However, he insisted that he had found his own housing and was managing well enough without their help. Rodney’s sister maintains contact with him and she liaises with the community team, encouraging Rodney to attend the drop-in sessions they run at a local café.

Subsequent team visits found him living in an abandoned caravan, where he had rigged up a supply of water and a wood stove for heating and cooking. The treatment team concluded that, in spite of his unconventional living situation and persistent symptoms, he showed an ability to care for himself. This treatment team’s decision, however, is regularly questioned by some new members of the team, who assert that he should be involuntarily hospitalised before he hurts himself or someone else.

[Based on an original case study, Mr. R, in Stovall, et al. (2016)]


Extra info:

You may consider the ways in which Rodney’s complex needs (gender, age, ethnicity, diagnoses, etc.) could be relevant to his circumstances, and which interventions or supports might be considered suitable for him. How were the transitions managed and how else could the transitions have been managed? Is Rodney eligible for Care Planning Approach in terms of case management? Can he be a ‘case’ since he is refusing any treatment and medication? Is there anything that could help Rodney and the CMHT to manage Rodney’s care and his current situation? You may study what is available in the area you live (Warrington, England) You now need to consider what services are available to individuals with complex care needs, and how these can be accessed. You should also widen your search to look for voluntary/third sector and other non-statutory services that might meet Rodney’s complex needs. If you cannot find sufficient information on services in your area then widen your search to find services in another area of your choosing.

Your discussion should include a range of sources, and references should be presented in a conventional academic essay style (e.g. using in-text citations and a reference list)

Start with an introduction indicating how you will approach the task, then proceed to the main section of the essay. This should be composed of several paragraphs, each of which present and develop a relevant aspect of your discussion of the main issues. Your essay should end with a conclusion and be sure to include a word count.


Leaning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding the importance of ensuring that the experiences, needs and cultural contexts of people who seek help (or use services) are able to influence and shape health and social care practice.

Practical and/or professional skills.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ethical, cultural, political and social dilemmas of practice.

Practice critical self-reflection and examine and reflect on effective practice, both direct and indirect, with a range of service users and in a variety of settings.

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