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

Access to services for older BME patients

A. Shah

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol.16, 2010, p. 274-279

The numbers of Black and Minority ethnic older people in Britain are rising. Prevalence of depression and dementia in this group is similar to the indigenous population, but they access services less. This article presents a number of strategies for tackling this inequity and promoting access to services for this group.

Approved social worker to approved mental health professional: evaluating the impact of changes within education and training

J. Parker

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol.5, June 2010, p. 19-26

The Mental Health Act 2007 replaced the approved social worker with the approved mental health professional (AMHP), opening the role to some non-social work professions. AMHP training, however, remains linked to the General Social Care Council post-qualifying social work framework, and is now incorporated into the higher specialist social work award, set at Masters level rather than first degree level. Evaluation of the first year of AMHP programmes at Bournemouth University highlights some of the main challenges linked to the move to Masters level study and the opening up of the role to non-social work professionals.

Boosting the odds

A. Ash

Professional Social Work, July 2010, p. 16-17

This article presents best practice examples of social workers supporting learning disabled parents in overcoming the high statistical chances of having their children taken into care and instead retaining responsibility for their upbringing.

Dealing with risk

J. Rapaport

Professional Social Work, July 2010, p. 24-25

This article draws on a discussion that took place at the 1999 BASW Forensic Social Work Special Interest Group Annual Study Day which focused on the role of social work in the management in the community of patients with serious mental illness who may pose a threat to the public.

Investigating the authorities

R. Shrubb

Mental Health Today, July/Aug.2010, p. 16-18

Poor interdepartmental communications within local authorities are leading to people with mental health problems wrongly being made bankrupt for non-payment of council tax. This problem can be remedied either by good informal contact between staff in different departments, or by the introduction of protocols for communication between teams. More use should also be made of the law which allows exemption from council tax to people with severe mental health problems.

Let down by the NHS

M. Samuel

Community Care, June 24th 2010, p.26-28

People with learning disabilities continue to face discrimination in health care because medical professionals lack training in meeting their needs. A survey by MENCAP of more than 1,000 professionals found that 39% of doctors and 34% of nurses felt that people with learning disabilities were discriminated against in the NHS, while 45% of doctors and a third of nurses had witnessed learning disabled people receiving poor care. The survey also found that 35% of health professionals had not been trained to make reasonable adjustments for learning disabled patients. However, there are signs of improvement, including introduction of annual health checks for learning disabled people at GP surgeries, and the appointment of specialist staff.

Opportunities and threats in mental health. Part 1

R.W.F. Breakey and others

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 16, 2010, p. 268-273

In Britain, one in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime, and the cost of providing services for them is expected to rise by 45% over the next 20 years. This article introduces non-NHS providers of mental health care services, i.e. private and voluntary sector organisations. These private and voluntary sector providers are increasingly being considered as important and effective competitors within the mental healthcare market by both commissioning bodies and foundation trusts.

Opportunities and threats in mental health. Part 2

R.W.F. Breakey and others

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 16, 2010, p. 320-325

This article looks at the threats and opportunities for foundation trusts arising from the arrival of private and voluntary sector providers in the mental health services market through a thematic analysis of their plans for the future.

Population-based indices for the funding of mental health care: a review and implications

S.Tulloch and S.Priebe

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 9, issue 2, 2010, p.15-22

Population-based indices of needs have an influence on mental healthcare funding. Over the last 30 years, a number of needs indices have been developed that utilise sociodemographic and service use data to calculate a proxy indicator of population-based need. This approach is used because indicators of socio-economic disadvantage expressed as weighted deprivation show a strong relationship with mental health morbidity. This paper reviews existing indices, illustrates their application using east London as an example, and considers their methodological and conceptual limitations.

[Steven Hoskin]

K. Keywood (guest editor)

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.12, May 2010, p. 2-42

This special issue of the journal focuses on the implications of the serious case review of the murder of vulnerable adult Steven Hoskin for health and social care services in Cornwall, which had failed to protect him. It looks at how services should respond to decisions by a vulnerable adult to refuse or disengage from them, and the problems caused by lack of information-sharing between agencies tasked with safeguarding. Training has a key role to play in helping professionals work through the tensions between respecting an individual's rights to privacy and autonomy and ensuring their wellbeing through information sharing. Finally, the legal and logistical challenges of multiagency working are explored.

Under observation

M. Salmon

Mental Health Today, July/Aug, 2010, p.10-11

Mental health professionals are vulnerable to stalkers who are either seeking intimacy or who hold a grudge. This article outlines the support available to victims.

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