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

AT THE SHARP END

C Jackson

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

Author notes that the neglected acute in-patient sector is receiving some attention after two decades of running down long stay hospitals and developing community alternatives.

BALANCING ACT

S Hendy

Community Care, May 23rd-29th 2002, p.40-41

Discusses the dilemmas faced by services in supporting the development of sexual relationships by people with learning difficulties. There is a tension between supporting people to realise their right to engage in sexual relationships and the need to protect them from exploitation. Article proposes a three stage process for developing personal and sexual relationship components of people's care plans that could resolve this tension through a "responsible risk taking" approach.

CARERS ARE PEOPLE TOO

M Bainbridge

Mental Health Today, June 2002, p.24-27

Author suggests friends and families of people with mental health problems are part of the solution and they should be nurtured, not marginalised. Current ways of thinking about people's social networks and their relationship with mental health services are limiting service improvement, leading to missed opportunities and a failure to provide support. What are currently considered as 'carers issues' are central to a range of agendas, not least the promotion of a recovery model of service provision. The article looks at why this is so, suggests some key principles for a new approach and looks at how to overcome some of the obstacles to innovation.

THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD

N Valios

Community Care, May 30th-June 5th 2002, p.32-33

Traditional day centres for people with learning difficulties have been criticised as inflexible and monotonous. However lack of funding is preventing social services departments in England from moving towards more imaginative individualised support.

CRACKS AGAIN

M George

Mental Health Today, June 2002, p.10-11

Article features new guidance on dual diagnosis services and aimed at encouraging integrated working. The Department of Health has published guidance for mental health services that aims to make coherent the current ad hoc approach to complex clients and stop people being lost in the gap between drug services and mental health agencies.

DIRECT CASH IN HAND

G Luckhurst

Mental Health Today, June 2002, p.18-20

The author suggests direct payments offer mental health service users the freedom and flexibility to design their own care packages. Direct payments are cash payments paid to an individual by their local authority social services department as an alternative to, or in addition to, the direct provision of services. Around 5,000 disabled people are already using direct payments but this includes only a small number of mental health service users. Author suggests while risk may be a concern, experience tells a different story.

DRUG HOPE IN MENTAL HEALTH

L Smith

The Times, June 6th 2002, p.9

Reports that the National Institute for Clinical Excellent (NICE) is recommending use of atypical anti-psychotics to treat schizophrenia. These drugs are more expensive than existing treatments, costing £2,000 per patient per year instead of £100. However they cause fewer unpleasant side effects.

HEALTH CHECKS FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES: COMMUNITY LEARNING DISABILITY TEAMS WORKING WITH GENERAL PRACTITIONERS AND PRIMARY HEALTH CARE TEAMS

G Cassidy et al

Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol.6, 2002, p.123-136

Article looks at the methods adopted to provide adequate health checks for people with learning disabilities in a primary health care setting.

LIFTING THE LID

L Greenwood

Health Service Journal, vol.112, May 30th 2002, p.16-17

Describes how patient and staff involvement in the UK's first mental health collaborative led to improved conditions in acute inpatient wards.

MENCAP'S HOUSING ALERT

A Frean

The Times, June 18th 2002, p.2

Thousands of adults with Down's Syndrome and other learning disabilities have no where to go when their elderly parents die, the charity Mencap said yesterday. About 29,000 adults with severe learning disabilities are living with parents aged over 70, yet there are only 227 planned places a year for them in England. The reports calls for an extra 6,000 more places in supported accommodation.

MENTAL HEALTH AND THE NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK

C Lewis, L Eaton and D Carlisle

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, June 20th 2002, p.35-40

Reviews progress in implementing the new national service framework for mental health. Looks at impact of the framework on acute inpatient services, and presents user views of it.

ON THEIR OWN

N Valios

Community Care, June 13th-19th 2002, p.28-29

There are insufficient support services, day care or residential places for adults with autism, leaving many individuals and families without help.

OVERCOMING THE OBSTACLES

J Ridley

Mental Health Today, June 2002, p.21-23

Author considers why it is that people with mental health problems do not seem to be accessing direct payment schemes, using new research from Scotland. The author believes a combination of lack of information and awareness among professional staff, concerns about managing money, uncertainties about eligibility and a fear about future jobs and services were all contributory 'worries' preventing wider take-up.

PARTNERSHIPS, ADVOCACY AND INDEPENDENCE: SERVICE PRINCIPLES AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE

G Mir and A Nocon

Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol.6, 2002, p.153-173

Based on a review commissioned by the Department of Health to accompany the white paper, "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century." This article looks at the principles which are being applied to help shape better services for people from ethnic minority communities with learning disabilities.

TORIES TAKE BLAME FOR REFORM 'HORROR'

L Duckworth

The Independent, June 25th 2002, p.3

The Tories will admit today that their flagship policy of releasing mentally ill patients into community care exposed the public to some of the 'most horrifying' crimes of the past decade. Liam Fox, the party's health spokesman, will acknowledge that the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act, which closed down the old asylums, was implemented too hastily and went too far.

TOUGH NEW APPROACH TO CARE OF MENTALLY ILL DRAWS CRITICISM

P Wintour

The Guardian, June 24th 2002, p.5

Tough new rules requiring some mentally ill patients to be locked away in secure hospitals for longer periods are due to be outlined today in a draft mental health bill. Mentally ill people living in the community who fail to take prescribed medicine could be forcibly detained and taken to hospital for prolonged treatment. The bill makes a partial shift away from the now discredited care in the community programme. Some of the moves have been challenged by labour peers and there has been persistent criticism that funds for mental health tend to be sidetracked into higher profile areas.

VALUED BEYOND DOUBT

M Clayton

Community Care, May 23rd-29th 2002, p.38-39

Discusses the role of the approved social worker in the processes of detention and discharge of vulnerable people under the Mental Health Act 1983.

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