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

High five for quality of care

B. Alimo-Metcalfe, A. Locker and M. Bell

Health Service Journal, July 28th 2011, p. 30-31

Interviews with 65 mental health service users and carers in NHS North Yorkshire and the Humber explored the criteria by which effective care should be measured. Sixty-eight mental health team leaders were also interviewed about their notions of effective care, the functioning of their team, and the range of factors affecting services offered. Analysis revealed five dimensions that define what effective care means for service users and carers: working in partnership; professionalism; individualised, holistic care, effective therapeutic relationships; and feeling informed.

Mental health and care homes

T. Denning and A. Milne (editors)

Oxford: OUP, 2011

The care home sector is large, with over 400 000 residents in the UK and a similar number employed within the homes. It is therefore an area of considerable economic importance. Care home residents are often very old, and many have multiple physical and mental health needs, meaning that their care poses particular challenges. They are also a distinctly and profoundly marginalised group who are often invisible in the wider debates on quality of care including those about care homes. This book brings together both clinical and research perspectives from the view point of staff, residents, family carers, researchers, and clinicians.

Patient choice in the NHS will be extended to mental health

J. Laurance

The Independent, July 20th 2011, p. 21

A range of NHS services, currently costing about 1bn, are to be opened up to competition. They will include services for back and neck pain, wheelchair services for children, and talking therapies for mental health issues. Patients will be offered a choice of provider, including charities and private operators. They will be paid a fixed price, determined in advance by the NHS, so contracts will be awarded according to the quality of the service provided rather than on how much a certain provider will be able to save the NHS. Unison has criticised the initiative, arguing that patients are being turned into consumers and that the NHS will put profits first and patients second.

Psychiatric patients 'harmed by cutbacks'

N. Lakhani

The Independent, July 6th 2011, p. 18

A study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that involuntary admissions to psychiatric units under the Mental Health Act in England have increased by more than 60 per cent in the past two decades. The study suggests that the increase may be linked to the overall reduction in hospital beds. Patients may be avoiding early treatment because of the fear generated by overcrowded wards, leading to deterioration in their conditions, which then required forced hospitalisation.

Unprecedented times in the professionalisation and state regulation of counselling and psychotherapy: the role of the higher education institute

D. Murphy

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, vol. 39, 2011, p. 227-237

Psychotherapy in the UK is moving towards increased professionalization, a system of state regulation, and greater standardisation of training. This article aims to explore some of the main issues relating to the increased professionalization of psychotherapy and the implications of this for trainers. Psychotherapy education is now commonplace within universities. This article considers the role and responsibility of trainers working in higher education institutions at a time when standardisation of training is approaching its peak. Following this and counter to the standardisation model, a radical approach to psychotherapy training is then proposed that draws on the work of Rogers (1979) and Freire (1993).

Winterbourne View

V. Pitt and M. Samuel

Community Care, June 23rd 2011, p. 22-27

This special report reflects on the abuse of people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour uncovered at the private hospital Winterbourne View in Bristol. It argues that learning disability hospitals are not the right option in most cases, and their continuing use reflects failures to support such people and their families in the community. The second article sets out to show that institutional settings for people with learning disabilities can be beacons of good practice due to proper staff training and rigorous monitoring.

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