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

Added boons of improvement

R. Greig

Health Service Journal, Jan. 22nd 2009, p. 18

Responsibility for commissioning all social care services for people with learning disabilities has now been transferred from the NHS to local authorities. The NHS is now only responsible for improving the health of people with learning disabilities and ensuring they get equitable access to mainstream healthcare. Primary care trusts will need to commission evidence-based specialist services and ensure that mainstream services make reasonable adjustments to render themselves inclusive of learning disabled patients.

Individual budgets

C. Marsh

Working with Older People, vol.12, Dec. 2008, p. 35-37

Individual budgets allow service users to take control of their lives and make decisions about the care that they receive. Manchester was one of 13 local authorities chosen by the Department of Health to trial individual budgets. This article describes how access to an individual budget transformed the life of a service user with learning difficulties through the power of choice.

Organising mental health in Scotland

J. Smith-Merry, R. Freeman and S. Sturdy

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 13, Dec. 2008, p. 16-26

This article reports on the first phase of an EU-funded project aimed at investigating the relationship between knowledge and policy-making. A case study of mental health policy in Scotland is one of 12 investigations included. The first phase of the Scottish project has delineated the entities and relationships that constitute the mental health care system, and the documents, networks and organisations that guide its operation. This paper describes a set of organisations heavily reliant on central government funding. There is a high degree of consensus around the policy priorities set out in government documents. A dense network of linkages between agencies is also identified.

The principles and provisions of relationships: findings from an evaluation of support, time and recovery workers in mental health services in England

P. Huxley and others

Journal of Social Work, vol. 9, 2009, p. 99-117

Health and social care services in the UK have been in the process of modernisation since the New Labour government came to power in 1997. A central feature of modernisation has been the introduction of new work roles. This article is concerned with the nature and content of work in one of these new roles, the Support, Time and Recovery Worker (STR) in mental health services in England. The evidence gathered suggests that STR workers develop high quality relationships with service users. These relationships are highly valued by service users, and are characterised by mutual trust and open disclosure and exprerssion.

Research priorities for 'patient-centred' mental health services: findings from a national consultation

C. Naylor, C. Samele and J. Wallcraft

Mental Health Review Journal, vol.13, Dec. 2008, p. 33-43

The aim of this study was to consult all relevant stakeholder groups to establish research priorities for developing patient-centred mental health services in the UK. More than 1,000 stakeholders were consulted, including service users, carers and mental health professionals. The consultation identified 12 broad areas as priorities for research. The most highly rated priorities identified by all stakeholder groups were: primary care, prevention and promotion, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and social inclusion.

Stakeholders' views of legal and advice services for people admitted to psychiatric hospital

J. Campbell

Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol.30, 2008, p.219-232

The findings of this study of stakeholders' views of systems of information and advice following compulsory admission to psychiatric hospitals in Northern Ireland raise important issues. The first part of the paper summarises the experiences of service users and their carers when faced with the complex legal and administrative processes associated with the use of compulsory mental health law. There was little indication that professionals and the detaining authority had systems of information and advice in place that could enable patients and carers to understand and claim their rights. The second part of the paper reports on stakeholder views of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Most respondents felt that the Tribunal was necessary and mainly satisfactory in the way it carried out its functions, but carers felt that they should be more involved in decision-making processes.

Time to lay down the law

A. Taylor

Community Care, Jan. 15th 2009, p. 24-25

It is illegal to assist a person to commit suicide in the UK, but those who do so are in fact never prosecuted. This reinforces the view that the lives of terminally ill and disabled people are not worth living.

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