Decision details

Refocusing Mental Health Social Work*

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To consider the report of the Cabinet Member Adult, Housing and Health seeking approval to disaggregate the S75 Mental Health service from SHFT as per the reasons set out in the report.


(i)  To end the current section 75 arrangement between the Council and Southern Health Foundation Trust (SHFT) on 31 March, 2024; and

(ii)  To authorise the Director of Governance, Legal and HR and Executive Director of Wellbeing and Housing to take all actions needed, including any employment matters, to give effect to this resolution.

Reasons for the decision:

1.  The current section 75 NHS Act 2006 arrangement no longer provides the best value for the residents of Southampton in terms of maximising the social care and social work offer across young adults (aged 14+) adults (aged 18+) and families living with mental health needs in the city.  If agreed this would bring an end to the integrated secondment arrangements in place with the Council and SHFT adult mental health.  Council employees will return to adult social care in a newly formed Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub to focus our duties on our core statutory responsibilities, whilst working in collaboration with SHFT, but not in an integrated service.

2.  A subsequent underuse of early intervention, preventative and community-based resources that has resulted in overreliance on high-cost placements, commissioned care package, supported living or 1:1 care.

3.  All mental health teams are presently in the bottom of the low performing teams across all adult social care services.

4.  An imbalance of workload division between health and social care and limited uptake of SHFT staff performing social care functions within the s75 arrangements are causing delays in the delivery of social care.

Alternative options considered:

Support the continuation of the section 75 model of integrated care, acknowledging the service is not performing to the requirements of the Council, with SHFT seeking an investment of £603,650 to increase the capacity and full-time equivalents (FTEs) of: social workers, case workers, senior leadership staff and administration staff as detailed in the exempt attached business case.  This proposal has been rejected on the basis it does not represent a value for money return and would bring further risk to the Council without additional senior management leadership oversight.

Exempt Appendix 1 contains further detail. 

Report author: Charlotte Webster

Publication date: 19/09/2023

Date of decision: 19/09/2023

Decided at meeting: 19/09/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 28/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: