New roles in mental health

The 'New Roles in Mental Health' programme is a Health Education England (HEE) initiative to support the introduction, expansion or upskilling of eight professional groups that are involved in mental health settings, one of which is social workers.

This webpage explains more about the initiative and the development programme that HEE is supporting. We will also share the latest news and how you can get involved. 

This work builds on the commitments set out in HEE’s report ‘Stepping Forward to 2020/21 the mental health workforce plan for England’ (July 2017), which was developed to enable the response to the HEE workforce outcomes required to support the delivery of the ‘Five Year Forward View for Mental Health in England’ (2016) and the implementation of the ambitions of the NHS ‘Long Term Plan’ (2019).

The NHS ‘People Plan’ and any future white paper for social care will also identify the workforce planning needed across health and social care services.

New Roles in Mental Health Task & Finish Groups

HEE set up the New Roles in Mental Health Task & Finish Groups to give the main eight professional groups that are involved in mental health settings the opportunity to develop their roles for the future of mental health services. The groups are:

  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Registered Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing Associates
  • Peer support workers
  • Pharmacy and pharmacy technicians 
  • Physician associates
  • Psychological Therapies (including Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)
  • Social workers.

You can read about the HEE New Roles programme and groups on the HEE website here

Social Workers Task & Finish Group

The Social Workers Task & Finish Group for this project is chaired by Mark Trewin, the Mental Health Social Work Lead from the Office of the Chief Social Worker, and led by a core group of people from HEE, Skills for Care, Social Work England and the Social Work for Better Mental Health programme. 

The group has been advised and supported by a range of individuals and organisations from across social work, mental health and the NHS, including Social Work England, British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the Principal Social Workers (PSW) Network, the Local Government Association (LGA), NHS Employers and NHS England.

Between September 2018 and March 2019, the group developed ideas and plans about how the role of social work could be enhanced within mental health services and better supported in integrated teams. You can download the final report below.

The group successfully presented these ideas to the HEE New Roles Board and has been working, since then, to implement the new roles programme.

Find out more

Click on the links below to find out more and read the documents.

  • Coming soon - Work programme for the Social Workers Task & Finish Group - these are the current aims and objectives of the New Roles Social Work Group
  • Coming soon - Term of reference for the Social Work Task & Finish Group group - this document outlines how the group was set up and its terms of reference 
  • Coming soon - Summary of the work programme for the Nursing, Allied Health Professionals, peer support workers, Psychiatry, Psychology and Pharmacy groups - this is a short summary of the other groups in the programme and their work programmes
  • Social Workers Task & Finish Group's Final Report for the New Roles Programme Board (March 2019) - this is the original report that was submitted to the HEE New Roles Board in March 2019.