Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2011): Mental health services - UK

'Alarming' care shortage for learning difficulties

D. Brindle

The Guardian, May 31st 2011, p. 13

The system of care and support for the 1.5 million people who have a learning disability is breaking down because of spending cuts and 'alarming' shortage of accommodation, according to consultants commissioned by the Department of Health. There is an urgent need for the government to intervene and set out a clear strategy and to prevent many care providers from going out of business, the Laing & Buisson consultancy firm says.

The best of mental health

T. de Castella

Children and Young People Now, Apr. 5th-18th 2011, p. 18-19

The coalition government's recent mental health strategy recognised the importance of providing therapies for young people, and cited the Brandon Centre in Camden as an example of best practice. The centre offers multisystemic therapy (MST) to young people involved in anti-social behaviour, and psychotherapy to those with problems such as depression. It is warm and friendly, and it is easy for troubled young people to self-refer.

Ethnicity and access to an inner city home treatment service: a case-control study

M. Bookie and M. Webber

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 19, 2011, p. 280-288

There is strong evidence suggesting that disproportionate numbers of people of black ethnic origin are admitted to psychiatric hospitals as inpatients. This study aimed to establish whether such people had equal access to home treatment in a mental health crisis. It found no association between ethnicity and likelihood of receiving home treatment as opposed to hospital admission in a mental health crisis, although black service users experienced longer inpatient admissions. Factors such as housing status, source and location of referral and diagnosis were stronger predictors of interventions than ethnicity.

Go your own way

C. Monger

Mental Health Today, May 2011, p. 34-35

This article describes how mental health charity Together introduced a new fully personalised approach to community mental health services in Wandsworth. Everyone referred to the new service, called Your Way, attends an initial meeting at which their circumstances and hopes for the future are discussed. This is followed by a programme of one-to-one support from a member of staff plus relevant group sessions. At the end of this stage the client is supported to access informal support within the community, volunteering or becoming involved with the service as a peer supporter.

Healthy debate

J. Ralphs

Mental Health Today, May 2011, p. 14-15

A panel of senior healthcare professionals operating in the mental health sector debated approaches to the improvement of patient outcomes. They identified a number of ways to improve the patient experience, including better communication and more mutual support across all healthcare sectors, smarter use of IT, support for the 'physical health' agenda, and formalising agreements with the community pharmacy network.

Implementing Choice and Partnership

A. Jones

Learning Disability Today, May 2011, p. 32-35

Around 40% of children with learning disabilities will also have a diagnosable mental health disorder. In order to improve access to mental health services for this group, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust committed itself to introducing the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA). This article describes in detail how CAPA was implemented by the Northumberland Child and Adolescent Learning Disability Team.

Making the connection

S. Brown

Mental Health Today, May 2011, p. 16-17

Research shows that at least half of the women in touch with mental health services have experienced domestic abuse. Mental health services need to put domestic violence survivors in touch with a range of specialist services in order to ensure that they are adequately supported. However, the level of partnership working between mental health services and domestic abuse services is very variable and there is room for improvement.

Services for children with developmental co-ordination disorder: the experiences of parents

D. Maciver and others

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 37, 2011, p. 422-429

Parents can provide valuable information about their experiences of engaging with therapy services for their children with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) which can inform future development. This qualitative study explored parents' perceptions of their experiences of accessing and engaging with therapy services for their children with DCD. Parents reported that DCD was not well understood by health or education professionals, particularly those in gatekeeping roles. Although some services were experienced by parents as fragmented and uncoordinated, they believed therapy intervention to be essential for their children. It is concluded that future development efforts should focus on inter-agency pathways for children with DCD.

Social work and mental health

K. Karban

Cambridge: Polity, 2011

The book offers a fresh approach to addressing mental health issues, emphasizing the relevance of mental health for all social workers, not just those in specialist mental health settings. The book engages critically with the complexities of contemporary theory, policy and practice, recognizing developments in user and carer involvement and interprofessional working. Key chapters focus on inequality and diversity, drawing attention to the social determinants of health and the important contribution of social work in promoting social perspectives. Practice issues include the mental health of children, young people and families, and older people. Promoting rights, recovery and social justice - and balancing these with considerations of risk - are core themes running through the text. The book contains a number of examples and points for reflection intended to encourage critical thinking and further exploration of the issues.

Stepping out

Z. Peters

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2011, p. 34-35

The mental health sector has long suffered from a shortage of 'step down' or 'step up' services that provide a link between secure hospital or prison settings and independent living. To fill the gap, Turning Point's Building Futures subsidiary is developing network of local 'half-way houses' with support services designed to help clients with complex needs move on to live independently in the community.

Taking it personally

F. Winney

Learning Disability Today, May 2011, p. 20-22

Care UK is a major national provider of support services to people with learning disabilities. It claims to have understood and embraced the principle of service personalisation. In order to ensure that all of its learning disability support staff consistently embrace person-centred practices, it has implemented Good2Great, an international programme for using person-centred thinking to lead change and enable an organisation to become more responsive to its clients.

Taking the leap

K. Pugh

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2011, p. 36-37

Poor planning of the transition from child to adult mental health services can leave vulnerable young people aged 16-19 without adequate care and support. Transitions and the mental health of young people are identified as priorities in the coalition government's public health white paper and new mental health strategy. In response, the Department of Health and the Department for Education have jointly commissioned the production of a suite of guidance and tools to support efforts to improve transitions for young people with mental health needs.

Talking therapies could create 'revolving door' in mental health

L. Higgs

Children and Young People Now, Apr. 5th-18th 2011, p. 12-13

The Improving Access to Talking Therapies (IAPT) programme is to be adapted for children and young people as part of a commitment in the coalition government's mental health strategy. This article offers expert comment on the reform, with some expressing concern that the interventions offered under the IAPT programme will be too brief to help.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web