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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2000): Mental Health Services - UK

AFTERCARE RULING HEIGHTENS CHARGING CONTRADICTIONS

R. Winchester, Community Care, no. 1313, 2000, p. 10-11

A recent Department of Health circular has forbidden local authorities to charge for aftercare services provided to those detained under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Article points out continuing inconsistencies over which service users pay and why, and calls for government clarification.

ARE VILLAGES REALLY 'A SUITABLE OPTION'?

J. Collins

Community Living, vol. 13, Jan./Feb. 2000, p. 24-25

Points out that the Hester Adrian Research Centre's report comparing hospital campuses, village communities and dispersed community-based housing does not unreservedly endorse village communities as a form of support for people with learning difficulties.

COMPULSORY TREATMENT RISK

P. McCurry

Community Care, no. 1312, 2000, p. 12

Looks at the implications for children of proposals in the Mental Health Act 1983 review to allow compulsory treatment in the community.

FILLING IN THE GAPS IN THE CARE STANDARDS BILL

S. Aspis

Community Living, vol. 13, Jan./Feb. 2000, p. 6-7

Argues that the provisions of the Care Standards Bill need to be strengthened to give people with learning difficulties rights to:

  • support to assist with self-determination;
  • freedom of association;
  • access to advocacy support;
  • full information about service provision policies in residential care homes.

IN THE FRAME

A. Rogers, L. Gask and B. Leese

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Mar. 16th 2000, p. 30

Reports results of a survey of 72 PCGs which explored their development of mental health services in the light of the new national service framework.

MANAGING PEOPLE WITH SEVERE PERSONALITY DISORDER

Home Affairs Committee

London: TSO, 2000 (House of Commons papers. Session 1999/2000; HC42)

Report supports the concept of compulsorily detaining dangerous people with severe personality disorder who have not committed an offence. Warns that it will be exceptionally difficult to identify cases where people's disorders are untreatable (and outside the remit of current mental health law) and they are also potentially dangerous. Orders should only apply to those almost certain to commit a very serious criminal offence, and checks and balances with assessment and judicial review will be needed.

THE REWARDS OF BEING AT HOME

H. Bond

Community Care, no. 1311, 2000, p. 26-27

Article calls for joint working by health and social services departments to provide home care for people with dementia.

SLOW MOTION

A. Barnes

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Mar. 16th 2000, p. 24-27

A scheme to reconfigure mental health services took ten years from agreement in principle to the opening of the new unit. A plan to finance it under the private finance initiative had to be abandoned when the private investor pulled out. The original design was substantially altered in response to service users' requests.

STRATEGIES FOR LIVING

A. Faulkner and S. Layzell

London: Mental Health Foundation, 2000-05-04

Argues that mental health professionals need to drastically rethink their approach to clients, allowing them more say in their care and reducing reliance on medication. Most mental health services users have effective ways of dealing with their problems, but feel professionals do not listen to them. Fundamental to most peoples coping strategies is the existence of accepting relationships with others, including family members, friends and mental health professionals. Authors recommend that the government set up a taskforce of service users to advise on a national programme of self-management, reviews the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to ensure it covers mental health sufferers and promotes positive images of people with mental health problems.

THIS BILL THREATENS BOTH PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AND CIVIL RIGHTS

P. Ritchie

Community Living, vol. 13, Jan./Feb. 2000, p. 20-25

Argues that the Bill on incapacity currently going through the Scottish Parliament, although well-intentional, contains inadequate safeguards for the civil rights of people with learning disabilities, and may be impossible to implement in accordance with its own stated principles.

USING 'BEST VALUE' IN PURCHASING AND PROVIDING SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

P. Cambridge

British Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol. 28, 2000, p. 31-37

Best Value is a new system of local authority purchasing being introduced by UK Government, which is designed to replace compulsory competitive tendering with arrangements which take account of quality as well as costs. The paper draws on evidence from research and service development to explore the problems and potentials of Best Value in services for people with learning disabilities, and to identify review and action points for managing its implementation.

WHAT HAPPENED TO TEAMWORK?

R. Greig

Community Care, no. 1314, 2000, p. 27

Article warns that community learning disability teams are losing their inter-agency focus and are increasingly consenting on providing specialist clinical assessments and interventions.

WHO DECIDES?

A. Holman

Community Living, vol. 13, Jan./Feb. 2000, p. 18-19

Critique of the government's proposals for making decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults. Argues that these will leave mentally incapacitated people in the hands of managers appointed by the Public Trust Office with no time limit and with no review of their activities.

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