chapter  13
18 Pages

Issues and challenges for the clinical professional

ByELIZABETH SNEATH

Ensuring sustainable effective treatment programmes requires a workforce with a thorough understanding of people with personality disorder and the responses that they experience in relation to them. Providing robust treatment for people with personality disorder requires clinicians not only to develop particular skills and draw on specific personal qualities (see Chapter 2) but also to have access to good systems for support and supervision (NICE, 2009a). Without this, staff may experience burnout and exhaustion (NIHME, 2003b, p. 43). This is reflected in the difficulties experienced by many personality disorder services in recruiting and retaining staff. To work effectively, staff must feel safe and purposefully occupied. Workforce development needs to move beyond selection and training and include provision for support and well-being if those working with these patients are to avoid being subjected to chronic exposure to potential risks. A healthy workforce is characterised by staff who are competent, autonomous, understand the difference they can make to their workplace, have personal values and beliefs that are congruent with the roles they undertake and have increased resilience to risk.