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March 2011 - BASW England Consultation Response to Healthy Lives, Healthy People

Crucial that Local Authorities engage with GPs and pending GP consortia. This is an agenda that did take place in the 1980's early nineties, but has got lost, particularly as Post of Public Health Medical Offiers disappeared and roles of PCTs developed.The White paper describes the imporatance of local engagement and empowerment, this is to be welcomed and again, although not the same represents a return to emphasis on local - the Munro report on the importance of locally based social work teams, coupled with other pending legislation and the de bureacratisation of social work as described by the Social Work Reform Board and BASW will again help. In the 1970s there were GP based social workers, these social workers did a lot to help tackle social issues that caused medical issues at a local level and the provision of social solutions for medical problems was of real benefit as well. An example that I recall was real health problems caused by poor housing - the GPs and social workers worked to help support tenant associations. The tenant associations led to material improvements in housing and environment and led to better mental health because of engagement.