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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2002): Mental Health Services - UK

CINDERELLAS IN THE MIDDLE

Anon

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2001, p. 12-13

Increased support for carers of people with mental health problems is a government priority. Article describes the work of the newly launched Network for People Supporting Carers in Mental Health, which aims to collect and disseminate information on carer support issues and to promote good practice.

THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF SPECIALISED FACILITIES FOR SERVICE USERS WITH PERSISTENT CHALLENGING BEHAVIOURS

A. Hallam and N. Trieman

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 429-435

Reports results of a longitudinal evaluation of the services provided for 67 patients with persistent problem behaviours following the closure of Friern Hospital in North London. The patients moved to four highly staffed rehabilitation facilities, where the total cost of their care was, on average, £1230 per week. Although there was no change in their overall psychiatric state over the five years of the study, there was a 50% fall in the number of challenging behaviours they exhibited. At the five year follow-up point the cost of care had fallen by an average of £170 per week and 24 people had been able to move to more independent accommodation arrangements. Indicators suggest that the initial high cost of care was justified by the overall long-term outcomes.

GOOD INTENTIONS - UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES

C. A. Henley

Disability and Society, vol. 16, 2001, p. 933-947

A commendable degree of success has been achieved in relocating people with learning difficulties from residential institutions into ordinary community settings. However the challenge of developing sound structures to aid the meaningful community integration of these people remains. Author argues that specialised day centres have a vital role in this process. However the influence of normalisation theories on current policy has frustrated the development of a coherent national day care strategy.

HOME CHOICE

A. Wood

Community Care, Dec. 6th-12th 2001, p. 36-37

Recent government strategies challenge the status quo in providing housing and support for people with learning difficulties. Article describes a collaborative approach to meeting this challenge in London by giving such people choice in housing and support, including the opportunity to own their own homes.

NO ORDINARY LIFE: THE SUPPORT NEEDS OF FAMILIES CARING FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH PROFOUND AND MULTIPLE LEARNING DISABILITIES

Mencap

London: 2001

The number of people with profound and multiple learning difficulties has increased from ca. 20,000 in 1985 to ca. 40,000 in 2001. The majority of these people are cared for by parents, with very little help or support from statutory services. Carers routinely spend 18 hours a day caring, yet receive an average of 20 minutes a day of outside help, for which they are expected to pay. Report argues that services are rationed according to who is "at risk". Because neither those being cared for full time by parents, nor the carers themselves are at risk, other priorities dominate.

POLICY AND PRACTICE IN MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION IN ENGLAND: AN OVERVIEW

L. Coombes, J. Coffey and H. Bartlett

Managing Community Care, vol. 9, Dec. 2001, p.7-17

Survey identified a number of common principles or characteristics of good practice that could assist in planning a meaningful mental health promotion dimension to mental health services. These include:

  • promotion of joint working between agencies responsible for delivering mental health promotion;
  • involvement of users and carers in planning and delivery;
  • ready availability of information in a variety of forms;
  • ready availability of training courses;
  • availability of activities that aim to reduce discrimination and social exclusion;
  • recognition of the importance of housing, the environment, employment, crime, and recreation in mental health promotion.

SMOKE GETS IN THEIR EYES

L. Friedli and C. Dardis

Mental Health Today, Jan. 2002, p. 18-21

Results of 9 focus group discussions show that mental health service users perceive medical staff to be ignoring their physical health care needs, particularly in the field of health promotion.

SPEAKING OUT

A. Eustaco

Community Care, Jan 10th - 16th 2002, p.36-37

The project manager reports the results of an evaluation of a local advocacy scheme aimed at people with learning difficulties. Users and carers valued the support given to resolve practical issues, while volunteers also saw the value of the scheme much more in terms of individual empowerment. Article points to the potential of citizen advocacy for improving participation in, and control of, policy debate by people with learning difficulties.

THE STATE THEY'RE IN

Anon

Mental Health Today, Jan, 2002, p.8-9

The latest report of the Mental Health Act Commission reveals that many acute psychiatric units in England and Wales continue to be short-staffed, overcrowded and in some cases downright dangerous. The misuses of compulsory powers and poor standards of care highlighted in the Commission's previous report continue.

TSAR VERY MUCH

L. Appleby

Mental Health Today, Jan. 2002, p. 16

Outlines how the implementation of the NHS Plan will bring major improvements to mental health services provision.

USER FOCUS GROUPS AND BEST VALUE IN SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

P. Cambridge and M. McCarthy

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 476-489

Paper examines the problems and potentials of employing user focus groups as part of an approach to defining and reviewing Best Value in local authority and jointly commissioned services for people with learning disabilities. Draws on experience from three local authority initiatives and wider experience of Best Value to describe the development of user focus groups to help review adult placement, outreach and day services for people with learning disabilities.

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