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

Blackstone's guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 2nd ed.

P. Bartlett

Oxford: OUP, 2008

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in stages from April 2007 and was implemented in full on 1 October 2007. The Act impacts on approximately 2 million people. It introduced new decision-making mechanisms which allow financial, welfare and healthcare decisions to be taken on behalf of persons lacking the mental capacity. These mechanisms include advance refusal of treatment (a form of living will) and the creation of lasting powers of attorney, which allow the appointee to make decisions on finance, health and welfare after the donor has become mentally incompetent. The new edition of this guide has been updated to take account of the impact of the Mental Health Act 2007, new Codes of Practice to the MCA 2005, and new Court of Protection Rules. It has expanded analysis of the issues which arose following the Bournewood decision. It provides a comprehensive guide to the scope and implications of Mental Capacity legislation and advice on how to ensure best practice.

Bridging the gap

S. Reynolds

Mental Health Today, June 2008, p. 10-11

In Britain, unemployment among those with severe mental health problems is very high. Social firms are a new type of business set up to provide employment opportunities for severely disadvantaged people such as those with mental health problems. Social firms offer real jobs in a market-led environment with a workforce where at least one quarter has a real disadvantage in gaining mainstream employment.

Improving access to Mental Health Review Tribunals

Y. Marsen-Luther and B. O'Hare

Mental Health Today, June 2008, p. 27-29

All patients detained under the mental health legislation can appeal to the Mental Health Act Review Tribunal against their continued detention and treatment. In preparation for the amendment of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Department of Health asked NIMHE/CSIP to undertake a brief pilot study to look at the day-to-day administration of Tribunal hearings. The aim of the pilot was to ensure that patients have quicker access to their review hearings and to reduce the number of adjournments and change of date requests.

Real jobs with real wages

R. Garbutt

Learning Disability Today, vol.8, May 2008, p. 19-22

Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, everyone has a right to education and work. However, very few people with learning disabilities in the UK have paid jobs. This article demonstrates through a case study of good practice at the charity CHANGE that it is possible for people with learning disabilities to hold paid, professional jobs with appropriate support and training.

Reported goal setting and benefits of person-centred planning for people with intellectual disabilities

S. Wigham and others

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 12, 2008, p. 143-152

In England, person centred planning (PCP) is central to the 2001 Valuing People White Paper which set out the government's strategy for the development and delivery of health and social care services to people with intellectual disabilities. Recent research suggests that this approach can have a positive impact on the life experiences of people with intellectual disabilities. This article presents data from open-ended comments collected during research on the impact of PCP on the life experiences of 65 people with intellectual disabilities living in England. These comments addressed the goals set prior to and during PCP and the main benefits of PCP for participants. Fifty-seven percent of participants reported 'increased activities and opportunities' as the main benefit of PCP. For 48% of participants, the main benefit was that they felt better in themselves in terms of happiness or self-esteem.

Side streamed

T. Basset and P. Campbell

Mental Health Today, June 2008, p. 34-35

The Richmond Fellowship diploma in community mental health was accredited as a two-year part-time course by Middlesex University in 2000. One of its aims was to be part of a qualification pathway for mental health workers who did not wish to train in nursing or social work. The course has now been discontinued due to lack of demand from students. The authors reflect on what they have learnt from trying to forge this new qualification pathway for mental health workers.

Someone to talk to

M. Allen

National Health Executive, vol.1, Mar./Apr. 2008, p. 50-51

Introduces the work of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT) which is based around the principle of stepped care treatment pathways for mental illness. It promises to develop teams of psychological therapists in half of all primary care trusts within three years. Consequently, people with common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety should receive the help they need to manage their illnesses.

(See also National Health Executive, vol.1, Mar./Apr. 2008, p. 52-55)

Speaking up for minorities

A. Goss

Mental Health Today, June 2008, p. 30-32

There is evidence that mainstream advocacy services, which focus on the individual's relationship with the mental health services, are ineffective in working with African and Caribbean men. Services run by and for black and minority ethnic communities look at much wider issues of racism, social exclusion and disadvantage, as well as the patient's relationship with their mental health services. This holistic approach is more effective in supporting African and Caribbean men, who typically prefer an advocate who shares their cultural background. This approach goes beyond the traditional definition of advocacy and often falls outside current funding arrangements for advocacy services. This article summarises the recommendations of a review of advocacy provision for African and Caribbean men.

Specialist advocacy services for parents with learning disabilities involved in child protection proceedings

B. Tarleton

British Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol.36, 2008, p. 134-139

Parents with learning disabilities frequently become involved with child protection and judicial proceedings. Parents report not understanding and being disempowered by the child protection system. This paper presents 14 parents' views regarding how two specialist advocacy services supported them during child protection proceedings.

Support from NIMHE in tackling mental health priorities

I. McPherson

National Health Executive, vol.1, Mar./Apr. 2008, p. 58-59

Since 2005 the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) has operated within the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP). Following a major review of CSIP, it has been decided that the majority of its activities should be commissioned at a regional level through strategic health authorities and the enhanced social care presence the Department of Health is creating in government offices. CSIP will become a partnership of four national improvement programmes - NIMHE, social care, children and young people and offender health - delivered regionally through eight regional development centres. In 2008/09 NIMHE within CSIP will continue to support improvement in mental health services mainly at the regional level, but with national coordination and collaboration in specific areas where this can add value.

Working the land

R. Hine, J. Peacock and J. Pretty

Mental Health Today, June 2008, p. 23-26

Green care in agriculture or care farming is defined as use of commercial farms and agricultural landscapes as a base for promoting mental and physical health through normal farming activity. It is a growing movement to provide health, social or educational benefits through farming to a wide range of people, including those with mental health problems. Care farming is a partnership between farmers, health and social care providers and participants. This article presents the results of a survey of 76 care farms which explored the mental and physical health and social benefits they provide to excluded and disadvantaged people.

Working with parents with a learning disability

K. Kirkpatrick

Learning Disability Today, vol.8, May 2008, p. 8-11

The number of parents with learning disabilities is increasing, but there is not enough support for these families. The Working Together with Parents Network is promoting policy change in order that they can get better support. The Network has also produced and disseminated good practice guidance for social workers.

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