Should doctors working with parents with mental health issues be compelled to pass that information to social services?

(129 Posts)
JaneGMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Apr-13 13:16:27

Hi,

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour are discussing depression tomorrow morning, in the light of an Ofsted report which says that children whose parents have mental health difficulties are poorly supported and protected, and they've asked us to ask you what you think.

In the light of the reports, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission are proposing there should be a legal requirement for doctors and specialists working with parents with mental health issues to pass that information on to Social Services and other agencies. What do you think?

Would this improve joint working between children's social care and adult mental health services, and lessen risks for children?

Or would such a requirement mean that fewer mothers would be willing to talk about their mental health issues, including post-natal depression, with their doctors?

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts,
MNHQ

ReallyTired Thu 04-Apr-13 22:23:06

If a single mother needs hospitalisation then there may well be no choice for social services to be involved. If a single mother had cancer then her children might have to be taken into care while she had high dose chemo.

Goldmandra Thu 04-Apr-13 22:25:04

While ss are visiting me, they are not visiting someone who's children are at risk.

Have you been told that it is because they believe that your children are at risk? Could it be that they have referred your family for support services?

Sometimes SWs can appear to be looking for abuse when they have actually been tasked with finding support for a family. Don't make any assumptions. Ask direct questions and expect honest and clear answers.

Try to find some reassurance in the fact that SS work very hard to keep children with their parents, even when what's happening at home appears to be really dire. You certainly don't sound like you're likely to lose yours.

Also try to see the SW as a key to support for your children. Explore carefully what might be available for them and expect the SW to do whatever he/she can to help them access that support.

I hope the process improves for you very soon.

Unfortunatelyanxious Thu 04-Apr-13 22:41:01

I have recently seen a CPN and have been under the care of psychiatric services before. They asked the ages of any dc aged under 18, which scared me. I find the utter fear of SS intervention enough to make me just want to stop everything. I have done everything I can to minimise the effect on my dc.

When my middle DS was a baby I was hospitalised with PND, this was my most serious incidence. Though I could barely speak the nursery nurse said to me however ill you are interact with him. I did though I wanted to die, it was the best thing anyone said to me. I do my very best, I feel inadequate enough as it is without this piece of news which has made me feel awful.

BrittaPie Fri 05-Apr-13 02:04:43

I once had a sw come and see me because I was very very mentally ill, to check baby dd was ok.

The woman had a brew, quick chat about how we were, if we had support, if I was accepting treatment, then said we were fine and off she went.

It wasn't as bad as you'd think. Pointless, because she wouldn't have uncovered anything from that, but not the terrible event that I was worried about.

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