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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2000): Mental Health Services - UK

COUNCILS MAY FACE 800M BILL AFTER TEST CASE RULING

J. Eaglesham

Financial Times, July 28th 2000, p. 7

The Court of Appeal has ruled it to be illegal for local authorities to charge people detained under the Mental Health Act for the cost of compulsory accommodation after their release from hospital. At present about half of all local authorities impose such charges.

COURT DECISION PROMPTS FEARS OF CUTS IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

N. Valios

Community Care, no. 1333, 2000, p. 1-2

Preventive mental health services could be jeopardised after an appeal court ruled that local authorities must foot the bill for aftercare services for compulsorily detained mental health patients. The decision could cost local authorities throughout the UK an extra 100m per year with reimbursements to clients estimated at 800m.

DRUGS CHOICE FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE USERS?

D. Chadda

Community Care, no. 1333, 2000, p. 12

Argues that mental health service users should have a greater say in their treatment and be able to choose from a range of drugs and psychologically based treatments. The focus on patient empowerment in the government's national plan for the NHS may facilitate this.

FALLING THROUGH

R. Winchester

Community Care, July 27th - Aug. 2nd 2000, p. 20

Argues the case for a separate, targeted mental health service for teenagers and young adults in the light of the fact that many long term mental health problems begin in adolescence.

FRAMEWORK WILL SAVE LIVES, CAMPAIGNERS SAY

Anon.

Community Care, no. 1333, 2000, p. 4

Early intervention and crisis teams to be introduced in the mental health national service framework will save lives, said a leading mental health charity. The National Schizophrenia Fellowship welcomed the plan to spend an extra 300m by 2003-4 to back the introduction of the framework. Among the key announcements are:

  • 50 early intervention teams to support young people and families;
  • 335 crisis teams offering on-the-spot assessments and treatment;
  • further 50 assertive teams over three years to supplement 170 planned for next April;
  • about 300 additional staff to be employed within new partnerships between the NHS and prisons;
  • 140 new secure places and 75 specialist rehabilitation beds.

MENTAL HEALTH REVIEW TRIBUNALS

Council on Tribunals

London: TSO, 2000 (Cm 4740)

Report sets out the Council's main views on the government's proposals to reform the Mental Health Act 1983. Expresses concern that, under the government's proposals, the same body would have responsibility for imposing an order for compulsory treatment and/or detention and thereafter for reviewing it. Opposes the government's proposals for single member tribunals and any move towards paper-based hearings.

PICKING UP THE PIECES

A. Ward and J. Woolmore

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, July 20th 2000, p. 28-29

Research in Leeds has identified a group of mental health service users whose lifestyles were often destructive, and for whom care in the community had failed. Leeds Health Authority and the social services department have jointly funded Oakwood Hall as a hostel for "difficult-to-place" mental patients.

PROVISION OF NHS MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Health Committee

London: TSO, 2000 (House of Commons papers. Session 1999/2000; HC 373)

Committee rejects the governments proposals for dealing with dangerous people with severe personality disorder and calls for the closure of the three special hospitals for the criminally insane, and their replacement with eight regional units. It also urges that primary care trusts should be forced to demonstrate benefits to patients ahead of being allowed to provide mental health services.

RESCUE ME

P. Farmer

Community Care, no. 1330, 2000, p. 26-27

Standard six of the National Service Framework for Mental Health states that people caring for someone with a mental illness should have their needs assessed annually. They should also have their own written care plans, which should be implemented in discussion with them.

TIME TO RAISE STANDARDS

J. Mansell

Community Care, no. 1334, 2000, p. 26-27

Suggests issues that the new national strategy for people with learning difficulties needs to discuss, including ending the benefits trap and the postcode lottery in service provision, more investment in supported accommodation, improving staff training, and integration of children's and adult services.

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