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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 1999): Mental Health Services - UK

ABOUT THE SIZE OF IT

C. Kaye and A. Franey
Health Service Journal, vol.109, May 13th 1999, p.24-25

Special hospitals are facing their third major upheaval in a decade with their proposed assimilation into mental health trusts. Their size is likely to continue to decrease, but the need for them remains. Patients' needs would be best served by smaller hospitals offering more specialised care, closely integrated with other forensic services.

DIRECTORS CRITICISE PLANS TO REDUCE THE ROLE OF APPROVED SOCIAL WORKERS

M. White
Community Care, no.1271, 1999, p.2-3

The Association of Directors of Social Services has strongly criticised proposals from the Mental Health Act Review committee that approved social workers should no longer be involved in sectioning mental patients to hospital. The ADSS felt that approved social workers bring a crucial non-clinical perspective to bear.

FROM LONGCARE TO THE WHITE PAPER

J. Churchill
Housing, Care and Support, vol.1, Dec. 1998, p.26-27

The recent report of the independent Longcare enquiry clinically exposed the weaknesses in the claims by Buckinghamshire Social Services that there was nothing wrong with the way they had handled allegations of abuse in a home for learning disabled adults going back over many years. It reveals how local authorities can fail vulnerable adults and shows why we need to change the system of regulation of registered care homes.

LOW-COST, HIGH-QUALITY SERVICES: MAKING 'EMPOWERMENT' AND 'INCLUSION' A REALITY

C. Poll
Housing, Care and Support, vol.1, Dec. 1998, p.16-20

Rigid eligibility criteria for social services mean that the future is bleak for some people with a moderate learning disability. Alternative low-cost, flexible models of support can both meet the aspirations of the people themselves and provide a solution for local authorities. Key Ring's living support networks constitute a successful example.

MODELS OF IMPERFECTION

N. Maguire
Health Service Journal, vol.109, May 13th 1999, p.20-22

Forensic mental healthcare needs radical change. National standards should be established. An effective model needs to be developed to integrate special hospitals and secure units and community care.

POLICY CONTRADICTIONS AND COLLABORATION IN COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN BRITAIN

F. Ledwith
International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol.12, 1999, p.236-248

Results of a study of inter-agency collaboration in the provision of community mental health services in one city in Britain suggest that co-operation was being seriously damaged by contradictory central government policies of tight operational control while fostering internal markets in purchasing and providing.

REVIEW OF THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT 1983: DRAFT OUTLINE PROPOSALS OF THE SCOPING COMMITTEE

Department of Health
Wetherby, 1999

Proposals give prominence to the principles of non-discrimination and patient autonomy. Recommends the banning of electroconvulsive therapy for people withholding consent who have the capacity to do so. Other specific proposals include the right to an assessment and the establishment of an independent tribunal to replace the existing Mental Health Review Tribunals. The most controversial proposals are those relating to the extension of compulsion to those living in the community. However safeguards are being developed, including an independent body to approve the imposition of compulsory treatment, and making any decision involving compulsion take into account the patient's capacity to consent to treatment.

SAFER SERVICES

National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness
Wetherby: Department of Health, 1999

Report calls for compulsory treatment for people with severe mental illness whether or not they show signs of relapse, and suggests expanding the proposed mental health legislation to cover this area. Other recommendations include the scrapping of mandatory independent inquiries into deaths involving mental health patients, clear policies on the clinical management of personality disorders and co-morbidity services for patients who also have drink or drug problems.

TO CLOSE OR NOT TO CLOSE?: THE FUTURE OF LEARNING DISABILITY HOSPITALS IN SCOTLAND

K. Stalker and S. Hunter
Critical Social Policy, vol.19, 1999, p.177-194

Article deals with the resettlement of people with learning difficulties from Scottish hospitals. Research has shown that resettlement is in disarray, with particular difficulties in planning, financial arrangements and inter-agency collaboration. There is a risk of hospitals being perpetuated or reconstructed, particularly through the activities of NHS Trusts.

TOWARDS A FULL LIFE: RESEARCHING POLICY INNOVATION FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

D. Felce and others
Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999

Describes results and implications of a sustained programme of research into a national policy to improve the quality of life and social standing of people with learning disabilities. Focuses on the 'All Wales Strategy', through which the Welsh Office encouraged local service providers to think creatively about new ways of supporting people with learning difficulties and their families. Covers policy analysis, changes in work patterns of multi-disciplinary teams, consumer involvement and advocacy, innovations in the provision of residential services, changes in arrangements for supporting families, and day time activities.

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