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

All change?

L. Eaton

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

Tine for Change is a well-funded campaign launched in 2009 with the goal of reducing the discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems by 5% by 2012 through the use of social marketing techniques to change public attitudes. There is clear evidence that the campaign is already having a positive impact.

An audit of assessment and reporting by Approved Social Workers (ASWs)

G. Davidson and J. Campbell

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 1609-1627

This paper presents the findings of a retrospective audit of the routine mental health law assessments carried out by Approved Social Workers in Northern Ireland. Data were collected on 84 assessments carried out to determine whether compulsory hospital admission was required. Respondents were also asked to consider how such assessments might be affected by proposed changes to the law. The study found a number of areas of practice that could be improved. There were inconsistencies in how the assessments were recorded and an uneven distribution of workloads across ASWs. Some problems were identified with inter-agency working and, in a quarter of the assessments, the ASW reported having felt afraid. The authors make a number of recommendations for improvements.

Blueprint for change?

B. Hudson

Learning Disability Today, May 2010, p. 20-21

Autism policy reached the top of the political agenda in 2009/10 under the Labour government. This article gives an overview of developments, highlighting the Autism Act 2009 and the 2010 Autism Strategy.

Coming out of the shadows

C. Blyth

Learning Disability Today, June 2010, p. 14-16

This article calls for gay men with learning disabilities to receive more formal support from services in integrating into the homosexual community and forming relationships. Research shows that this support is often not available and is left to the discretion of individual staff members. However, disabled gay men, including those with learning difficulties, can also experience rejection and attitudinal barriers from within the homosexual community when attempting to access commercial gay spaces. They then seek out more risky alternative locations to meet other gay men, such as public toilets.

A conflict of best interests

V. Pitt

Community Care, Sept. 9th 2010, p. 22-23

The deprivation of liberty safeguards were designed to prevent people who lack mental capacity being detained in care homes or hospitals against their best interests. It is the responsibility of councils to determine whether a deprivation of liberty is justifiable, on the application of care homes or other providers. This task often falls to social workers as best interests assessors. Professionals can find themselves in conflict with families, who complain of being shut out of the decision-making process.

The effectiveness of events to raise awareness of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 among representatives of minority ethnic communities

A. Shah and others

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol.3, Sept. 2010, p. 44-48

This article considers the effectiveness of two one-day events designed to raise awareness of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in black and minority ethnic communities. The events were held using specially developed materials and evaluated with the help of a 12-item questionnaire.

Enterprising spirits

K. Bates

Learning Disability Today, May 2010, p.14-16

Introduces the work of In Business, which supports people with learning disabilities to become entrepreneurs and set up their own small businesses.

Independence day

K. Carley

Learning Disability Today, June 2010, p. 26-28

The programme for the closure of NHS campuses for people with learning difficulties is in full swing and individuals are moving into their own homes, giving them greater access to community services, healthcare facilities and leisure activities. This article explores the role and experiences of Turning Point in the campus reprovision in Kent.

Making decisions on behalf of children: parents' rights under the new mental health legislation

W. Cheng and P. Shah

Family Law, Sept. 2010, p. 973-977

The law relating to children and young people's decision-making in the context of medical treatment is complex and controversial. In recent years there has been increasing recognition of the rights of children and young people to make decisions on their own independently of parents. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the amended Mental Health Act 1983 seem to have introduced restrictions on how parents exercise their right to make decisions on behalf of their children. This article looks first at the existing common law position, and then examines the changes brought in by the Human Rights Act 1998, the Mental Capacity Act and the amended Mental Health Act.

More than giving people a voice ...

R. Townsley and A. Marriott

Learning Disability Today, June 2010, p. 35-37

Independent advocates can play a vital role in supporting young people with learning disabilities at transition. Access to independent advocacy at transition can mean that: 1) young people are involved more often in transition planning; 2) young people's views are better represented and respected at transition planning; 3) professionals are better informed about the transition process and what is expected of them; 4) professionals provide a better service to young people before, during and after transition; 5) young people have more confidence, self-esteem and higher expectations for their future.

Perinatal mental health care for black and minority ethnic women: a scoping review of provision in England

D. Edge

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol.3, Sept. 2010, p. 24-32

There is evidence that women from some black and minority ethnic (BME) groups are at increased risk of mental health problems in the perinatal period, but are less likely to present for treatment than their White British peers. This study aimed to explore providers' and commissioners' perceptions of the extent to which services currently meet the perinatal mental health needs of black and minority ethnic women. Findings suggest that most services are currently delivered within secondary rather than primary care and that provision for minority ethnic women focuses on translation services. These may facilitate assessment and physical (though not psychological) care, but do not address women's cultural needs. Perceptions of the validity of BME-specific services were equivocal.

Partners in care? Views and experiences of carers from a cohort study of the early implementation of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

J. Ridley, S. Hunter and A. Rosengard

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 18, 2010, p. 474-482 Mental health carers, especially those caring for relatives subject to compulsory treatment, often feel overlooked and marginalised, caring in complex circumstances with little or no professional support. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, implemented in 2005, aspired to change things for the better. This article explored its impact through seven focus groups and 10 individual interviews with 33 carers. The study found that new provisions, in particular the Named Person role and Mental Health Tribunals, had resulted in positive change. However, many carers still felt isolated and unsupported. They remained critical of the lack of consultation and involvement at both individual and collective levels. Few were aware of their right to a carer's assessment and many were sceptical that this would make any difference.

A personal service

D. Bogg

Mental Health Today, Sept. 2010, p. 13-15

This article looks at some of the barriers to the implementation of the personalisation agenda in mental health services. Risk perception, workforce resistance and service cultures, as well as negotiating the health and social care divide are some of the key areas that are acting as barriers to wholesale implementation.

A practical guide to personalisation in mental health

C. Raven

Mental Health Today, Sept. 2010, p. 29-33

Personalisation is a major reform of health and social care, changing it to a system where services are built around individuals, and where service users start to shape their own care packages. It will require professionals to completely change the way that they regard their roles. Service users will also need support, training and encouragement to take full advantage of the changes.

Protecting the public? detention and release of mentally disordered offenders

T. Boyd-Caine

Cullompton: Willan, 2010

The book explores the tension between the rights of individuals detained under criminal and mental health law and the responsibility for public protection in the little-known world of executive discretion over mentally disordered offenders. It is based on extensive and unique empirical research conducted at the UK Home Office, with legal and clinical practitioners, with civil society organisations and by reference to comparative jurisdictions. Central questions considered include: executive, judicial and tribunal decision-making; mental health and criminal law reform regarding serious or high-risk offenders; the influence of human rights law on policy and practice; and the role of civil society, particularly victim interest groups, in public policy. Through its analysis of decisions to release 'high-risk' offenders, this book goes to the heart of the public protection agenda - examining how 'the public' is constructed and what protection is provided by the exercise of executive discretion.

Provider perspectives on mental health day service modernisation

P. Swan

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 9, 2010, p. 45-55

A postal survey and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with mental health day centre staff in two regions of England, investigating whether criticisms of buildings-based day services are justifiable. The majority of respondents agreed that ideally mental health services should be based in community locations. Respondents believed that this would help challenge stigma, facilitate community integration, and provide service users with more opportunities. However, concerns were expressed as to the availability of mainstream facilities and whether this approach would be suitable for all service users.

Seldom heard or frequently ignored? Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) perspectives on mental health services

S. Carr

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 3, Sept. 2010, p. 14-23

This paper briefly examines the evidence base for general lesbian, gay and bisexual mental health and some of the factors that influence the engagement of LGB people with mainstream services. It discusses areas for awareness raising and practice development, specifically those concerning the recognition of and provision for LGB people from black and minority ethnic groups or who are seeking asylum in the UK

Social inclusion and mental health

J. Boardman and others (editors)

London: RCPsych, 2010

Medicine is changing, towards a greater emphasis on self-care and patient choice. But truly collaborative care is hampered by inequality, exacerbated by stigmatisation and discrimination. These experiences of social exclusion can block the road to recovery for people with mental illness. People with mental illness are among the most socially excluded in our society. This book is concerned with social exclusion and mental disorder and the steps that psychiatrists and mental health workers can take to facilitate the social inclusion of people with mental health problems. Alongside contributions from psychiatrists and mental health professionals, people with mental illness and their carers write about the helplessness they sometimes feel when faced with mental health services, the challenges of caring for someone, and what might be done to aid the journey to recovery.

The triangle of care: carers included: best practice guide in acute mental health care

A. Worthington and P. Rooney

Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the National Mental Health Development Unit, 2010

This guide promotes the three-way relationship between professionals, service users, their carers and families. It emphasises the need for better local strategic involvement of carers and families in the care and treatment of people with mental ill health and calls for better partnership working between service users, their carers and organisations in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Using assistive technology and telecare to provide people with learning disabilities with improved opportunities to achieve greater independence

J. Wilkie

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol.4, Sept. 2010, p.50-53

This article presents four case studies of the successful use of assistive technologies to enable people with learning disabilities in Cheshire to achieve greater independence. Introduction of the technologies enabled Cheshire East Community Services to deliver savings of over 400,000 per year.

A voice that must be heard

R. Flynn

Learning Disability Today, May 2010, p. 26-27

This article considers the barriers to advocacy faced by people with learning difficulties from black and minority ethnic groups. Three service users directly affected then comment on the issue.

What price work?

M. Samuel

Community Care, Aug. 26th 2010, p. 22-23

The coalition government is committed to improving the help available to move people with learning difficulties or mental health problems off benefits and into paid work. It has expressed the intention of improving support for these groups through Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions new disability employment programme. However, there is concern that this will not happen, leaving these groups reliant on services provided by the NHS or local government.

Workforce redesign utilising advanced practice to improve the lifestyle and cognitive function of patients with alcohol-related brain damage

R. Dawber

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 5, Sept. 2010, p. 31-40

Alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) undermines a person's ability to lead an independent life, yet it is thought that with the right interventions, a degree of recovery can be seen in 75% of sufferers. People with ARBD do not fit into an existing category of care, but 'fall through the net' at multiple points in the care pathway. Using a patient synopsis drawn from clinical practice, the author illustrates the impact of an advanced practice role in relation to the nursing care of patients with ARBD, as well as making suggestions for the provision of education and support for mainstream services.

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