Click here to skip to content

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

Duty has its limits

D. Hewitt

Learning Disability Today, June 2009, p. 25

This article outlines a landmark Court of Appeal decision which means that a local authority will not always have a duty to protect vulnerable adults, even if it already provides services to them. A local authority that does what the law demands will not have an added duty to protect a vulnerable adult unless it has gone beyond its original obligations and done something to assume that added duty.

A healthy outlook?

M. Hunter

Learning Disability Today, June 2009, p. 26-27

This article reports progress in improving access to primary care for people with learning disabilities. GPs, encouraged by 22m extra funding from the government, are rolling out annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. 'Health facilitators' are being introduced to improve communications and liaise between patients and primary care staff. Finally, the Royal College of GPs has conceded that people with learning disabilities presenting with a medical problem should receive more than the standard 10 minute consultation.

The need for reappraising psychological therapies in the light of IAPT

E. Rogers

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 4, Mar. 2009, p. 19-26

The author argues that the government's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme for England may end up by depriving many seriously disturbed service users, including the elderly, of adequate treatment in the longer term. The IAPT programme is biased towards cognitive behavioural therapy which is inadequate for treating patients in these categories.

Parents as allies

J. Blair

Learning Disability Today, June 2009, p. 22-24

A parents' group called LD Solutions demonstrates how parents can work with service providers to build a brighter future for people with learning disabilities. The group was set up in 2006 and its central function is to educate practising health and social care professionals and students about how to effectively work with people with learning disabilities and their families.

Training graduate primary care mental health workers to work with people with a diagnosis of personality disorder

C. Woodward, A. Jones, and T. Martin

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 4, Mar. 2009, p. 27-34

In Camden and Islington graduate primary care mental health workers (GPCMHWs) provide guided self-help to patients with common mental health difficulties and a community links service which facilitates their access to voluntary sector and community activities. In spite of initial clinical scepticism, GPCMHWs have now been successfully trained to work with people with a diagnosis of personality disorder, a group with more complex needs.

Understanding the social exclusion and stalled welfare of citizens with learning disabilities

M. Redley

Disability and Society, vol. 24, 2009, p. 489-501

Despite reforms since the 1970s promoting the social inclusion and equality of people with learning disabilities in the UK, they remain a significantly disadvantaged group. Under New Labour, citizens are required to acquire marketable skills and gain paid employment as the preferred route out of poverty and to choose for themselves the support services that will enable them to reach their full potential. The paper argues that this model of citizenship is inappropriate for people with learning disabilities because it fails to take account of their severely limited opportunities for securing paid employment and the demand for economic efficiency which is potentially undermining the relational aspects of support services.

Which way for partnership boards?

R. Fyson

Learning Disability Today, June 2009, p. 34-36

Learning Disability Partnership Boards were established in every English local authority with a social services function as a key part of implementing the 2001 Valuing People White Paper. They were intended to provide strategic oversight, at local level, of the changes necessary to ensure that Valuing People objectives were met. This research investigated the role and effectiveness of partnership boards. It was concluded that partnership boards are required to fulfil two very different roles:

  1. to be a place where service users and carers can have their voices heard
  2. to be strategic planning bodies. The research found evidence of significant tensions between these two roles.
Search Welfare Reform on the Web