Summary: This article examines the findings of a series of mental health inquiry reports published in the UK during the 1990s and identifies implications for social workers operating in the field of mental health.
Findings: These inquiry reports have been enormously influential in determining the shape of both services and new legislation. They have also delivered messages concerning practice both in terms of interprofessional communication and coordination and regarding direct work with service users.
Applications: It is argued that social workers can use these inquiries to define their role more constructively and to distinguish their precise contribution to the network of mental health services. This may be particularly necessary at a time of major change.