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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2010): Mental health services - UK

Access to and experience of child and adolescent mental health services: barriers to children and young people with learning disabilities and their families

C.H. Sin, R. Francis and C. Cook

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 15, Mar. 2010, p. 20-28

Despite laudable intentions and evidence of progress, significant barriers remain in relation to access to and experiences of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). This article draws on the findings of a literature review and reports a number of barriers and their impact on children and young people with learning disabilities. This group is at disproportionate risk of experiencing mental health problems, yet access to CAMHS can be very uneven. Families are often unclear about how to access mental health services and what services are available. The CAMHS workforce can lack skills required for assisting people with both learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Systems-related barriers include a lack of joint commissioning and planning, unclear care pathways, the lack of a single point of referral, and a difficult transition to adult mental health services.

Child and adolescent mental health: infrastructure, policies and practices in England: the CAMHEE project

R. Jenkins and others

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.9, no.1, 2010, p. 26-39

The European-Union supported Child and Adolescent Mental Health in an Enlarged Europe project aimed to provide an overview of the challenges, current practice and guidelines for developing mental health promotion and mental illness prevention policy and practice across Europe. This article presents the results of the analysis undertaken for England, using a bespoke data collection instrument and protocol. The analysis suggests that there has been a significant investment in research, needs assessment, policy, human resources and service development in CAMHS over the last 20 years, leading to a more detailed understanding and improved service availability.

Collaboration in the provision of services for people with personality disorders

P. Sundaram

Mental Health Review Journal, vol.15, Mar. 2010, p. 10-19

This report begins by exploring current understanding of personality disorders with specific emphasis on service provision in the context recent Department of Health guidance. It calls for a collaborative approach to service provision for this group to facilitate coordination and improve the patient experience.

Commissioning for mental health

L. Seymour

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 15, Mar. 2010, p. 4-9

Commissioning underpinned the Labour government's change agenda for health services with its aims of keeping people well, improving overall health and reducing inequalities. Commissioning for mental health - rather than merely for the treatment of people with mental health problems - should be a defined and clear-cut aspect of health and social care planning and investment, but remains a challenge for a number of reasons

Developing values-based education through service user participation

L. Stevens, S. Tee and T. Coldham

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 5, Mar. 2010, p.20-27

Values-based practice in mental health is a tool for ensuring care is more individualised, and in this paper the authors consider whether strategies to involve service users in mental health professional education can support the principles of this approach. The research draws on qualitative studies of educators' practices and views concerning user involvement. The studies suggest that while opportunities exist for service users to present their accounts, few examples facilitated deeper examination of values underpinning decision-making.

Evidence grows for specialist teams

J. Dunning

Community Care, May 6th 2010, 24-25p

When the autism strategy was published in March 2010, it failed to make the establishment of specialist autism teams a requirement for all local authorities. This was despite a widespread clamour from advocacy groups and evidence that specialist teams improve outcomes and, over time, save money.

Helping people to have a 'good death'

R. Trustam

Community Living, vol. 23, 2010, p.22-23

This article explores through case studies the role of advocates in helping people with learning difficulties to have their wishes about end-of-life care respected by service providers. It also advises that people should be encouraged to document their wishes in advance, as laid down in the Labour government's End of Life Care Strategy.

In the community but still alone - the invisible wall between them and us

L. Waldron

Community Living, vol.23, 2010, p. 16-18

In spite of the progress made in employment and education opportunities, anti-discrimination measures and inclusion, people with learning difficulties are still largely friendless and lonely. Current systems in place to support people with learning difficulties may actually hinder them from forming friendships, due to concerns among care staff about risks of abuse and exploitation. Many people with learning difficulties regard their carers as their friends, a perception not shared by the carers themselves.

Quality control

A. Deery

Mental Health Today, May 2010, p. 16-17

From April 1st 2010 all NHS Mental Health Trusts in England have been required by law to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Registration is effectively a license to operate and represents the start of a tough new regulatory regime. To be registered, trusts have to show that they are meeting new essential standards of quality and safety. Compliance with essential standards is measured primarily on the basis of outcomes, that is the experiences people have as a result of the care they receive, rather than on the basis of systems and processes.

Spaces of social inclusion and belonging for people with intellectual disabilities

E. Hall

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 54, 2010, supplement 1, p. 48-57

Under the New Labour governments from 1997-2010, people with intellectual disabilities were defined as socially excluded, and routes to their social inclusion through paid work and independent living were devised. Most people with intellectual disabilities do not want to, or cannot, seek out these routes, yet still wish to be 'attached' and to 'belong'. This article presents case studies of two arts projects, a theatre company and an arts and crafts organisation, which provide spaces within which people can attain the feeling and status of belonging, without being exposed to the rigours of paid work or the responsibilities of independent living.

Woman ordered by judge to have surgery

M. Beckford and S. Adams

Daily Telegraph, May 27th 2010, p.1 +6

A woman cancer patient with learning difficulties has been deemed incapable of making a rational decision about life-saving surgery by the Court of Protection. The decision allows doctors to forcibly sedate the woman at her home and take her to hospital for surgery. The case has sparked an intense ethical and legal debate.

Working with people who have been there: the meaningful involvement of mental health service users in curriculum design and delivery

R. Ion, S. Cowan and R. Lindsay

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 5, Mar. 2010, p.4-10

The notion of service user involvement in curriculum design and delivery has become commonplace in recent years. However, service user involvement has tended either towards tokenism or over-sensitivity to the point of inertia. In contrast, this paper describes a project at the University of Abertay Dundee that took a pragmatic approach and was designed to make involvement in curriculum planning, design and delivery meaningful and worthwhile for users, students and educators alike.

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