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

Being in control: personal budgets and the new landscape of care for people with learning disabilities

E. Hall

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 14, June 2009, p. 44-53

This article considers the role of individual budgets in the provision of services to people with learning disabilities. People with learning disabilities are entitled to hold individual budgets and to 'self-direct' their care, but the particular issues, barriers and experiences pertaining to them have been little examined. This paper focuses on the apparent valuing of individualised care over more collective forms of provision in this process of change, arguing this raises issues of the quality and equity of caring. It concludes by suggesting ways in which people with learning disabilities can use personal budgets while maintaining the collective relations and spaces of caring desired by many.

Choice for young people with learning disabilities in post-education transition

A. Kaehne

Mental Health Review Journal, vol.14, June 2009, p. 37-43

Government policy identifies choice as a central theme for support services to people with learning disabilities. The means that more career development options are being offered to them when they leave school. Services therefore need to be put in place to boost young people's capacity to choose, taking cognitive limitations into account. There is a need to boost young people's ability to apply taught decision-making skills to complex scenarios and to put structures in place to support decision-making.

It's a family affair

L. Hunt

Community Care, Aug. 6th 2009, p. 24-25

The children of parents with mental health problems are among the largest group taken into care, but the needs of such families are not being routinely picked up by social services. Adult mental health and children's social services need to work together more effectively to better meet the needs of families, overcoming significant barriers created by separate legal frameworks and policy and practice guidance.

Making it happen for everyone: a reflection on changing services for adults with learning disabilities

D.S. Stewart

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 14, June 2009, p. 14-19

This article reviews the opinions of a group of people with learning disabilities in Nottingham about current services for adults, changes they have seen, and future developments. The review covered people's experience of self-advocacy, hate crime and bullying, access to transport, healthcare and leisure services, and friendships and relationships.

A manifesto for change

E. Parsons

Community Care, Aug. 13th 2009, p. 22-23

Reports that the charity YoungMinds has launched a manifesto calling for changes to children's and young people's mental health services following a consultation with the sector. The manifesto calls for action to tackle unhelpful attitudes among GPs and hospital staff, better training for teachers, shorter assessment times, dedicated workers, and better management of the transition from children's to adult mental health services. Above all, the manifesto urges practitioners to consult young people about the design and delivery of services.

People with an intellectual disability living in an intentional community

M. Randell and S. Cumella

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol.53, 2009, p. 716-726

Hospital closure programmes in England have generally sought to attain a fulfilling life for people with an intellectual disability (ID) by placing them domestic-style housing in urban settings. Few have been placed in intentional or village communities. Yet comparative studies suggest that intentional communities have better or similar outcomes for their residents than dispersed housing. This study used an ethnographic approach to interview 15 residents in a large intentional community. Results suggest that the positive outcomes from this type of housing derive from the absence of overt subordination of residents to staff, the facilitation of friendship with other people with an ID, high levels of meaningful employment and a sense of community.

A question of balance

M. MacAttram

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2009, p. 13-15

The five-year delivering race equality strategy was launched in 2005 and was managed by the National Institute for Mental Health in England. A key strand in the programme was training for mental health professionals aimed at rooting out racism inherent in institutional practices. However, there has recently been criticism of a change in the direction of the training materials being offered by the programme.

Realising the safeguarding potential of the Mental Capacity Act 2005: early reports from adult safeguarding staff

J. Manthorpe and others

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 11, May 2009. p. 13-24

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is of special significance to adult safeguarding, particularly in redressing some of the complaints made about the difficulties of taking action if the victim has dementia or some other form of cognitive impairment. This may make it difficult to communicate, or to provide evidence for complaint. This article reports findings from 15 interviews with local adult safeguarding leads, undertaken in 2008. The participants emerged as an informed group, many of whom are likely to be consulted by other practitioners. They are well placed to comment on the early implementation of the Act.

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