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

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K. McIntosh

Health Service Journal, Feb. 19th 2009, p. 20-22

A series of damning reports has highlighted widespread discrimination towards people with learning difficulties in the NHS. The government is promising remedial action, including a confidential inquiry and a new public health observatory. In future managers may be held accountable.

Blues for my baby

S. Waterhouse

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2009, p. 22-23

As many as one in seven women in the UK experience a mental disorder during pregnancy or in the postnatal period. In 2007 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidance on the clinical management of antenatal and postnatal mental health. The guidance advocates a network approach to the organisation and provision of perinatal mental health services, managed around the woman and her family. This article looks at what is being done to implement the guidance.

Care homes fear chaos over checks on thousands of residents

M. Beckford

Daily Telegraph, Feb 2nd 2009, p. 12

The Deprivation of Liberty Standards come into force on April 1st 2009 following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that care home residents and hospital patients cannot be deprived of liberty without a legal order. This means that tens of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people must have must have detailed mental health assessments to check if they are being kept in hospitals and nursing homes unlawfully. Six assessments are required to establish whether patients have mental capacity, whether they have a mental disorder and whether they need to be deprived of their freedom.

Crossing to RiO grand

D. Parton

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2009, p. 30-31

Report of an interview with Dr Hashim Reza in which he describes how a computer records system called RiO is revolutionising his work and improving standards. The system gives professionals instant access to electronic patient records, which improves communication and speeds up procedures.

CSCI identifies block in personalisation

M. Samuel

Community Care, Feb. 5th 2009, p. 10-11

The Commission for Social Care Inspection's final state of social care report issued an 'early warning' to councils about the progress they still have to make to deliver personalisation for people with multiple and complex needs. It concludes that councils need to improve commissioning and partnership working while overcoming cultural barriers to the use of personal budgets for this group.

Independent investigations after homicide

A. Pearson, N. Swinson and J. Shaw

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2009, p. 25-29

In 1994 the Department of Health issued guidance stating that there should always be an independent investigation of cases of murder by people in contact with mental health services. Since Autumn 2006, the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness has been working with the National Patient Safety Agency to research the independent investigation process with regard to homicides. This paper presents details of the second phase of the study, which examined and summarised recommendations made in all available reports on independent investigations of cases of homicide by mental patients in England and Wales 2002-2005.

Mental care can save on jail costs

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Feb. 23rd, p. 2

Research by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health suggests that money spent on diverting people with mental health problems from prison would more than pay for itself.

Small acts of care: exploring the potential impact of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 on day-to-day support

N. Stanley and J. Manthorpe

Social Policy and Society, vol. 8, 2009, p. 37-48

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its accompanying Code of Guidance lay down rules for making decisions about the care and treatment of people whose capacity to choose for themselves is uncertain. It aims to influence or guide the process of making not only major decisions about medical treatment but also the myriad of small decisions that inform care and treatment on a daily basis. It covers the activities of not only health and social care staff but also those of informal carers, mainly family and friends. In order to protect themselves, care and medical staff should record in writing assessments, reviews of capacity and best interests decisions.

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