Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2009): Mental health services - UK

Children and young people in mind: final report of the CAMHS Review Team

London: Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2008

This final report of the child and adolescent mental health services review team found that specialist mental health services are overworked, problems are not being spotted at an early stage, and services are taking too long to respond. Review team recommendations include mental health training for the entire children's workforce, individualised budgets where money follows the patient, and the establishment of a National Advisory Council on Children's Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing. This would hold the government to account on improving services, champion the mental health needs of young people and encourage partnership working locally.

Counting the real cost of continuing care

R. Bartholomew

Professional Social Work, Dec. 2008, p. 20-21

The author demonstrates that many people with learning difficulties and their families are paying for continuing health care which, by law, should be funded by the NHS. This situation has arisen both because the NHS has refused to fulfil its responsibilities and because local authorities have been making illegal ultra vires payments for care which should have been funded by the NHS.

Evidence-based policy and practice in mental health social work

M. Webber

Exeter: Learning Matters, 2008

Mental health social workers work within multidisciplinary teams, often based in health settings. The services they work within are shaped by mental health policy that is increasingly being influenced by research evidence of 'what works'. This book provides an accessible guide to the evidence base that underpins contemporary mental health policy in the UK. It critically engages with the notion of evidence-based practice in mental health social work and provides a guide to becoming an evidence-based practitioner.

The highs and lows of rural life

J. Cosh

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2008, p. 14-15

This article surveys progress in improving mental health services in remote areas of the Scottish Highlands. Initiatives include:

  • Development of formal support networks between local hospitals and specialist psychiatric centres
  • Development by each health board of plans for handling psychiatric emergencies
  • Training of community care teams to manage psychiatric crises on a 24-hour basis

Jobs for the boys - and girls

K. Canham

Learning Disability Today, Dec. 2008, p. 16-18

The Valuing People Now final report on improving the lives of people with learning difficulties will include a separate strategy on employment and creating real jobs for real wages will be a key priority. This article presents a case study of an Essex scheme which places people with learning difficulties in paid employment and supports them until they feel able to hold down the job. It has an impressive 80% success rate.

Local area co-ordination: strengthening support for people with learning disabilities in Scotland

K. O. Stalker and others

British Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol. 36, 2008, p. 215-219

This paper reports the findings of a study commissioned by the Scottish Executive which examined the introduction and implementation of local area co-ordination (LAC) in Scotland. Local area co-ordination is a new way of supporting people with learning disabilities and their families in the community. There are currently 59 local area co-ordinators in Scotland, but their roles and remits vary. Individuals and families, however, were very appreciative of the support they had received and their was evidence that LAC had made a positive difference to their lives.

Mental health: impact of the 2007 Act on children

D. Hewitt

ChildRight, issue 251, 2008, p. 16-18

Around 350 children a year are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. This Act has been amended by Mental Health Act 2003, and the changes will impact on both adults and children. This article considers how the law has changed with regard to the administration of electro-convulsive therapy to children, provision of age-appropriate psychiatric inpatient facilities, access to the Mental Health Review Tribunal, and the Zone of Parental Control.

Offering choices to people with intellectual disabilities: an interactional study

C. Antaki and others

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol.52, 2008, p. 1165-1175

At the policy level, it is agreed that people with intellectual impairments ought to be given opportunities to make choices in their lives. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 enshrines such a right in law. However, experience shows that putting systems in place to allow and encourage choice may be easier said than done. This qualitative study, using video recordings from one British residential home for people with intellectual disabilities, looked at how they got offered routine choices by the care staff who supported them.

Research unpacked

A. Marriott, V. Williams and R. Townsley

Learning Disabilities Today, Dec. 2008, p.32-35

In 2008 the Norah Fry Research Centre completed a scoping exercise and consultation to establish research priorities within the field of learning disability. The study showed that people with learning disabilities and their families know what they want from research, and that their views coincide very closely with those of professionals. People said that research should lead to change, be practical and should involve them as experts in their own needs.

Recovery: the true meaning of recovery

M. O'Hagan

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2008, p. 16-17

The author reflects on the development of recovery in the mental health services in the UK and New Zealand. Recovery in mental health services has developed both as a service user movement and as an approach to psychiatric rehabilitation.

A rocky road

M. MacAttram

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2008, p. 10-13

David 'Rocky' Bennett, an Afro-Caribbean patient, died in October 1998 while being restrained in a medium secure mental health unit in Norwich. This article investigates what improvements, if any, have been made in the experiences of ethnic minorities who use mental health services in the ten years since Mr Bennett's tragic death. It focuses on the impact of the Department of Health's Delivering Race Equality (DRE) programme on mental health services.

Supported living: the pressure to deregister

P. Grose

Caring Times, Dec. 2008, p. 12-13

Learning disability care home providers are coming under pressure from local authority service commissioners to deregister as residential homes and to convert the accommodation to supported living. Several local authorities have issued 'tool kits' to their care home providers advocating transformation to supported living. Unfortunately local authorities are unaware that the law does not allow supported living accommodation to be a residential care home in all but name.

What a difference a day makes

H. Clarke and S. Doswell

Learning Disability Today, Dec. 2008, p. 22-24

The evidence suggests that people with learning difficulties are more likely than the general population to experience health problems, to be overweight and to have a poor diet. Health psychology is an expanding discipline which offers a wide range of interventions that could help people with learning difficulties live healthier lives. This article shows how a series of self-awareness days run by health psychologists helped people change their behaviour and improve their health.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web