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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2008): Mental health services - UK

Black and minority ethnic people and mental health in Britain: a holistic approach

P. Marrington-Mir and A. Rimmer

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 15, Dec. 2007, p.37-41

Black and minority ethnic people are over-represented among mental health service users in Britain. Their mental well-being is adversely affected by racism encountered in everyday life, and they are treated unsympathetically by mainly white psychiatrists in mainstream services. This article advocates an integrated community development approach to black and minority ethnic mental health, underpinned by anti-racist, empowering practice, and presents examples of successful alternative, holistic, self-governed services.

Development of a multidisciplinary support pathway for people with learning disabilities with complex needs and/or whose behaviour challenges services

A. Gaughan

Journal of Care Services Management, vol. 2, 2007, p. 54-78

This paper describes the process undertaken by local partner organisations across a health and social care economy to develop and agree a multidisciplinary support pathway for the local inpatient assessment and treatment unit for people with learning difficulties who display challenging behaviour. It attempts to highlight the place of assessment and treatment services in a system-wide pathway within the context of an underpinning philosophy that each individual should be enabled to live an ordinary life in their local community regardless of their challenging behaviour. It also emphasizes the need to set the development of local support pathways in the context of the whole system working effectively together. This requires effective partnership working across all parts of the local system, including commissioning, provider development and mainstream and specialist services.

Journeys through mental illness: clients’ experiences and understandings of mental distress

J. Foster

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007

Mental health problems, and the way we understand them, are a perennial source of fascination, but there is a surprising gap in the literature when it comes to mental health service clients’ own understandings of mental ill health. At a time when service users’ perspectives are increasingly recognized in healthcare, the book highlights the importance of clients’ perceptions of all aspects of mental illness. It examines the implications of these understandings, especially in relation to clients’ relationships with services. With a particular focus upon severe mental distress, the book examines:

  • Empirical research and real world examples, featuring ethnographic studies
  • Identity work and labelling, from social assumptions through to personal perceptions
  • Theoretical perspectives, including social representations theory and narrative theory

NHS learning disability services: implications of the Cornwall report

J. Dow

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 9, Nov. 2007, p. 34-37

In July 2006 the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and the Healthcare Commission published a report on the findings of an investigation into services for people with learning disabilities at Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust. This report recommended that anyone, including NHS bodies, who runs care homes or domiciliary care agencies must immediately seek to register their services with CSCI. This article considers the implications of this recommendation in the context of the requirements of the Care Standards Act.

Personality disorder: still everybody’s business?

F. Pidd and J. Feigenbaum

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 12, Dec. 2007, p. 5-11

NHS agencies see personality disorder as an unwanted addition to an already overburdened agenda and many commissioners do not see its relevance to existing targets and requirements. This article seeks to clarify how personality disorder relates to the key priorities and requirements facing the NHS and considers the impact on personality disorder of specific interventions and policy initiatives designed to ensure that services respond to need.

The role of the independent mental capacity advocate in adult protection

T. Gorczynska and D. Thompson

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 9, Nov. 2007, p. 38-45

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced the role of the independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA). This is essentially a new safeguard for adults when they lack capacity to make critical health and welfare decisions, particularly those without family or friends to represent them. Local authorities have discretionary powers to consult with an IMCA when they are considering taking or have taken measures as part of adult protection procedures. This support is available to people who have allegedly either been abused or perpetrated abuse, where they may lack capacity to agree to any protective measures. In adult protection proceedings it is possible for an IMCA to be appointed regardless of the involvement of family and friends.

Service user involvement in the national PD development programme

R. Haigh and others

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 12, Dec. 2007, p. 13-22

In 2001 a group of experts was invited by the Department of Health to help formulate a national strategy for personality disorder. This article describes the strands of service user involvement that have been integral to the development and implementation of the strategy. These are:

  • Formation of a reference group of service users which worked in parallel to the expert committee in 2002
  • Formation of a group of service users which worked in 2003 to judge which bids pre-selected by the
  • NIMHE regional development centre should become community pilot projects
  • Involvement in the setting up, running, evaluation and review of the community pilot projects

Unlocked potential

R. Norris

Health Service Journal, vol. 117, Dec. 13th 2007, p. 24-26

The Department of Health’s 1993 guide on housing offenders in secure hospitals was superseded in July 2007 by a new specification for medium secure units. The new guidance is not a national service framework but supports best practice and commissioning. Specifications include quality of care principles as well as clarifications on the physical security of facilities.

Will funding follow new powers?

C. Lovell

Community Care, Dec. 13th 2007, p. 10-11

Government has announced plans to transfer powers for commissioning learning disability social care services from the NHS to local councils from April 2009. Councils and local government will be responsible for agreeing the transfer of a reasonable amount of funding. There are concerns, however, that councils will not be adequately resourced to deliver good quality services, and that the NHS may 'lose sight' of its responsibility to meet the particular health needs of people with learning disabilities.

Working across whole systems: using managed clinical networks

F.M. Shields and T. Mullen

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 12, Dec. 2007, p. 48-54

This article considers the benefits and barriers to implementing a whole systems approach to planning and delivering personality disorder services. It presents a case study of whole systems working in the shape of the Leeds Managed Clinical Network, a community pilot service that employs whole system working to support people with personality disorder.

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