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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2000): Mental Health Services - UK

ASSERTIVE OUTREACH: MAKING SENSE OF MODELS

D. Davidson

Mental Health Review, vol. 4, Dec. 1999, p.21-23

Assertive outreach is based on the belief that psychosocial interventions can reduce the revolving door of admissions to and discharges from, hospital. Assertive outreach can be viewed as a means to greater control or as a means to social inclusion of service users. How it is construed will determine the kind of service and the outcomes expected.

GOING WITH THE FLOW: CHOICE, DEMENTIA AND PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

K. Stalker, P. Duckett and M. Downs

Brighton: Pavillion, 1999

People with learning difficulties are living longer and are increasingly joining the growing number of people who have dementia. Little attention has been paid to how choice and empowerment, fundamental to the community care reforms, can be made meaningful for individuals with learning difficulties and dementia. Research examined how far 20 people with these dual impairments, living in a range of settings, were involved in making choices and decisions about their own lives, and identified what facilitated or hindered that process. Study found that few individuals had a choice about where they lived, what they did during the day, or who supported them. Hardly anyone had a say in planning their future.

IMPLEMENTING THE NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

K. Newbigging

Mental Health Review, vol. 4, Dec. 1999, p.6-13

Paper examines the challenges and opportunities for local stakeholders (organisations, managers, practitioners, and service users) in implementing the National Service Framework for Mental Health. These include:

  • partnership working;
  • user involvement;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • clinical governance;
  • performance management;
  • continuing professional development.

MENTAL HEALTH AND HOUSING: A CRISIS ON THE STREETS

N. Glover

Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 21, 1999, p.327-337

Argues that decent housing for discharged mental patients is vital if care in the community is to succeed. Appropriate housing is the link between the patient, community staff and other community facilities. There has been inadequate provision of both 'special needs' accommodation and mainstream housing. 'Special needs' housing has limited availability, while mainstream housing is of low quality and rents are high. As a result, few discharged mental patients are being offered the housing they need, with the consequence of increasing homelessness within the mentally disordered population.

THE NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK, RECOVERY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION

B. Grove

Mental Health Review, vol. 4, Dec. 1999, p.24-26

Argues that the mental health services should make the recovery of users their goal and should work to that end through a process of rehabilitation.

NEW POWERS 'EXPENSIVE AND INEFFECTIVE' SAY MPs

K. Winchester

Community Care, no. 1303, 1999, p.7

The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, which has been looking into proposals to detain some groups of people with severe personality disorders indefinitely, looks set to raise serious concerns abut them. Investment in secure units for people with personality disorders would be costly and would need to be accompanied by significant investment in mainstream mental health services to avoid drawing staff and expertise away from them. There is also concern that risk assessment tools currently available and not sufficiently accurate to be used in the community without the danger of people being wrongly diagnosed as psychopathic.

OMBUDSMAN ORDERS COUNCIL TO REPAY £60,000 TO WOMAN IN CARE

C. Norton

Independent, Dec. 23rd 1999, p.5

The local government ombudsman has ordered Wiltshire County Council to repay £60,000 to an elderly woman forced to pay £256 per week for her own care for the past four years after she was admitted to hospital under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

PEACE OF MIND

J. Wilmott

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2000, p.18

People with mental health problems face social exclusion exacerbated by the failure of key agencies to co-ordinate their services. Article points out how housing provides can help to tackle the problem both through specialist housing projects and through provision of appropriate support for mental health service users in mainstream housing.

RATIONAL DECISION-MAKING IN MENTAL HEALTH: THE ROLE OF SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS

S.M. Gilbody and M. Petticrew

Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, vol. 2, 1999, p.99-106

Systematic reviews have the potential to inform health policy. Examples presented show that health policy is often made without due consideration of the research evidence. Systematic reviews can provide robust and believable answers, which can help inform rational decision-making. Importantly, systematic reviews can highlight the need for primary research to fill gaps in knowledge and can inform the design of this research such that it provides answers that will help in forming healthcare policy.

REFORM OF VIOLENT INCIDENT INQUIRIES SPARKS DEBATE

R. Winchester

Community Care, no. 1303, 1999, p.12-13

Under the present system, health authorities are obliged to set up an independent inquiry into any homicide by a mental health service user. Leaked proposals for reform suggest that locally based multi-agency serious incident groups would decide the appropriate level of inquiry for a given violent incident. Responses to these proposals have revealed splits in opinion among mental health charities, professionals and victim support groups.

TEAM GAIN

D. Wakeling

Community Cave, no. 1304, 2000, p.29

Describes the development of crisis services for people with severe mental illness living in the community.

WHAT SERVICE USERS HOPE THE NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK WIL CONTAIN

M. Nettle

Mental Health Review, vol. 4, Dec. 1999, p.27-28

Service users would like the National Service Framework to contain:

  • provision for 24 hour access to services; independent advocacy;
  • support for user-run services;
  • access to alternative therapies;
  • a preventative approach to mental health services;
  • public education to combat stigma.
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