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

At the margins of the Mental Capacity Act

A. Ruck Keene and J. Norris

Elder Law Journal, vol.1, 2011, p. 424-431

This article addresses two difficult issues at the margins of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, namely: 1) the scope of the High Court’s jurisdiction in cases where a person does not lack capacity within the meaning of the Act, but, nevertheless should be regarded as vulnerable; and 2) the interaction between the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection and that of the Administrative Court.

Cuts pushing mental health services to the edge, says study

N. Lakhani

The Independent, Nov. 21st 2011, p. 2

A year-long, independent inquiry by Mind - the mental health charity - reveals that mental health services are often unfit for purpose and may be even be putting lives at risk. The inquiry found that patients are often subjected to taunts, threats, attacks and the problems created by overstretched, overcrowded facilities. Often people who feel suicidal have no access to facilities because crisis teams are too busy or shut out of normal office hours, when the risks are higher. The problems are compounded by rising demand and funding cuts. The inquiry found huge variation in the quality of care provided across England and Wales. Humane, efficient, and responsive solutions do exist but only in a minority of cases. The Mind report calls for an outright ban on face-down restraint after the inquiry uncovered evidence of potentially fatal techniques. There has been a rise in voluntary sector crisis houses, which offer a non-medical, therapeutic alternative, saving the NHS money

How personalised technology can play an important role in supporting people with learning disabilities as they age and face the onset of dementia

E. Nichols

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol.5, 2011, p. 158-163

Hft’s service at Old Quarries offers a mix of residential and supported living accommodation for people with learning disabilities. This article presents case studies of older adults with learning disabilities who have developed dementia, but who have been able to use personalised technologies on a daily basis to empower themselves to live more independently and safely. These technologies have enabled them to remain at a familiar location where they have lived for many years instead of being moved to alternative accommodation.

The impact of health checks for people with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review of the evidence

J. Robertson and others

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 55, 2011, p. 1009-1019

People with intellectual disabilities have poorer health than their non-disabled peers. The implementation of health checks has been recommended internationally as one component of policy response to the issue. This review summarises the evidence on the impact of health checks on the well-being of people with intellectual disabilities. The research showed that health checks consistently led to detection of unmet needs, including life-threatening conditions.

Managed care networks improve perinatal mental healthcare for Black and minority ethnic (BME) women?

D. Edge

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.10, 2011, p. 151-163

Maternal mental ill health during pregnancy and early motherhood is a serious public health issue with potentially disastrous consequences for the psychological well-being of women, their children and families. However, there is evidence that BME women may be at increased risk of failing to access the perinatal mental healthcare and support they need. Using survey questionnaires and telephone interviews, this research sought to explore professional stakeholders’ perspectives on current perinatal mental health provision and the extent to which it meets the needs of BME women. The findings suggest that proposals to improve perinatal mental health provision by developing more holistic care pathways are timely as current services are fragmented due to service reconfiguration. An important aspect of this endeavour would be to develop models of care which incorporate all levels of service provision so that the full spectrum of perinatal mental health need might be addressed. The success of managed care networks in other areas suggest they could be effective means of delivering more integrated perinatal mental healthcare.

Personalised residence


Community Care, Nov. 3rd 2011, p. 22-23

This article presents a case study of how autism and learning disability provider Dimensions implemented direct payments for people living in one of its residential homes. Each resident was allocated an individual service fund, a type of personal budget held by a provider. They could then use the money to fund their preferred activities, supported by a member of staff of their own choosing.

School-based mental health service for refugee and asylum seeking children: multi-agency working, lessons for good practice

A. Chiumento and others

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.10, 2011, p. 164-177

The Haven, established in 2003, works with refugee children in schools across Liverpool, providing therapeutic support based on specific modalities including art psychotherapy, psychodrama and horticulture. The team maintains links into Tier 3 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), facilitating timely transfers for specialist treatment if required and ensuring good clinical governance over Haven’s cases. Feedback and a review of the Haven have indicated benefits of this style of multi agency working, especially that refugee children are more likely to prefer to access a school-based mental health service than a CAMH clinic. Using outcome measures and quotes, the evidence indicates that the service achieves its aim of improving the mental health of refugee children.

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