Get in Touch

Call: 01782 692666  Or  Email us

Call: 01782 692666  Or  Email us


Complex Care

What is complex care in mental health nursing?


Complex care is a form of specialist support given to patients with significant, continuing healthcare issues. It is also known as long-term care or continuing care, suggesting that a patient will usually require long-term assistance to help them lead a fulfilled and active life.

What does complex care in mental health mean?

Complex care in mental health refers specifically to caring for people who have neurological conditions that can arise following surgery, trauma, environmental stress or that can be present from birth. This type of care differs from domiciliary care because it usually involves giving medical intervention of some sort and requires close collaboration with clinicians and other team members who specialise in the patient’s condition.

Who will a mental health complex care nurse be caring for?

A carer in complex mental health could find themselves assisting patients with a range of neurological conditions, developed from birth, from trauma or from illness. This might include patients with brain damage, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, learning disabilities or who have suffered a stroke. The patient may have complex mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or severe depression. Or they may have been involved with substance abuse or have experienced trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect or violence.

Can a care worker support someone with complex mental health?

It is possible for a care worker to provide support for someone with complex mental health conditions. However, because some of the conditions require medical intervention, some specialist training would usually be required. A support worker who wants to work in complex care will need to be proficient in certain procedures, such as using feeding tubes, bowel management, tracheostomy care and stoma care, depending on the patient’s needs.

Do you need special skills to work in complex mental health care?

As a complex mental health care nurse, you will work with patients who have many different needs. To be able to offer the right type of support, you may need to be proficient in carrying out some medical interventions as discussed above. You will also need to have the emotional intelligence to be able to support people who have suffered from challenging events in their lives. Training is available for anyone who wants to learn more about this type of specialist care.

Can family members help support patients with mental health conditions?

Often, patients with complex mental health conditions are cared for in hospices or at hospital but, increasingly, families are choosing to provide care for their loved one at home. This is possible with the support of a care worker who is specifically trained to offer the specialist care needed by the patient. Safehands Recruitment specialises in finding and training care workers in person centered complex care who can provide the level of assistance required for the individual to live a fulfilling life at home, despite the limitations of their medical condition.

How long does complex care last?

The aim of complex care support is to enable the individual to lead a fulfilling life despite their mental health challenges. Every patient’s needs will be different. That means the length of time that complex care will be required will vary depending on the specific conditions. 

If you would like to find out more about complex care for mental health, please talk to one of our specialist team members at Safehands Healthcare. We offer bespoke packages for patients with complex care needs because we understand that patients and their families all have different requirements.

We will tailor-make a healthcare plan to meet your patient’s needs, match you with a carer who will suit your family and train them so they are proficient at offering the right type of care for your patient.

Share article