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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2003): Mental Health Services - UK

CHILDREN CARING FOR PARENTS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS: PERSPECTIVES OF YOUNG CARERS

J. Aldridge and S. Becker

Bristol: Policy Press, 2003

Many professionals from adult mental health services are unaware that children are undertaking caring responsibilities. There is therefore a lack of interventions that recognise the needs of families, rather than the parent or the child in isolation. Study also suggests that while some children can experience emotional distress when they don't fully understand the nature of a parent's mental illness, caring can strengthen the parent-child bond and can help some children cope with their fears and concerns about their parent's well-being. Calls for a recognition of children's contribution to care and for statutory support to be made available to them to supplement voluntary sector projects.

DEVELOPING CAPACITY IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

M. Wilson

Mental Health Review, vol.8, June 2003, p.8-12

Describes how Wandsworth Primary Care Trust has applied government guidance to its local workforce development strategy. Discusses moves to develop management and clinical capacity and to promote the continuing professional development and diversity of its workforce.

DRAFT MENTAL INCAPACITY BILL

Department of Constitutional Affairs

London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 5859)

Proposes a new legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who are unable to decide for themselves in England. Confers a general power on medical professionals and carers to informally make decisions in the best interests of the person lacking capacity. Proposes a new system of Lasting Powers of Attorney which would allow people to appoint someone to act on their behalf if they should lose capacity in the future. Also sets out the circumstances in which Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment are valid.

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COSTS OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health

London: 2003

Puts at £12.5bn the costs of care and services for people with mental health problems provided by the NHS, local authorities, the private sector and families and friends. In addition, lost output and welfare benefits payable because people cannot work cost £23.1bn. Finally, estimates the human costs of reduced quality and loss of life among people with a mental health problem at £41.8bn. Some 39% of working age adults with mental health problems are without a job, representing a loss to the economy of £9.4bn, which outweighs the £6.5bn spent on NHS treatment.

HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS TO CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH CLINICIANS: DEVELOPING A GENERIC PROFESSION

J. Duncan

Mental Health Review, vol.8, June 2003, p.26-29

Describes how generic clinicians with backgrounds in specialist nursing, occupational therapy, and social work were successfully introduced into Lanarkshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). The new structure offers:

  • an integrated career pathway for all CAMHS professionals;
  • a framework of uniform pay, terms and conditions;
  • retention as clinicians with increasing seniority rather than progression into managerial positions;
  • continuing professional development.

THE HEALTH OF PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES IN THE UK: EVIDENCE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE NHS

J. Elliott, C. Hatton and E. Emerson

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.11, June 2003, p.9-17

Evidence from a review of the UK research literature on the health needs of people with learning disabilities shows that they have significantly poorer health than the population in general in a number of priority areas for the NHS. They also have particularly poor health in a number of additional areas involving significant mainstream NHS resources. Despite their greater health needs, they receive poorer support from mainstream services across primary care, hospital services and screening programmes. Findings suggest that the NHS should prioritise the needs of people with learning difficulties as a vulnerable group requiring urgent attention if general priorities for health inequality reduction and service standards are to be met.

IMPLEMENTING PERSON-CENTRED PLANNING BY DEVELOPING PERSON-CENTRED TEAMS

H. Sanderson

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.11, June 2003, p.18-25

Person-centred planning is central to Valuing People. Article presents a model for person-centred teams based on research. Examples of how teams worked to implement plans supporting people with learning difficulties are shown to illustrate this process and clarify why it requires a change in thinking as well as a change in practice.

LISTENING TO YOUNG PEOPLE

C. Street and J. Svanberg

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2003, p.28-30

Reports the results of a survey of young people with mental health problems, their parents and child and adolescent mental health service staff in England and Wales. The young people raised concerns about:

  • inpatient staff shortages;
  • lack of information;
  • long waits for admission;
  • lack of support after discharge.

When in hospital, they wanted a range of daily activities to be available on wards to prevent boredom and more access to education.

NATIONAL WORKFORCE PROGRAMME

R. Hope and J. Allcock

Mental Health Review, vol.8, June 2003, p.3-7

Article describes the role of the National Institute for Mental Health (England) in the context of its national workforce programme. This focuses on staff recruitment and retention, education and training, skill mix and workforce design and development.

PLANNING FOR TOMORROW: REPORT ON THE FINDINGS OF A SURVEY OF LEARNING DISABILITY PARTNERSHIP BOARDS ABOUT MEETING THE NEEDS OF OLDER FAMILY CARERS

London: Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, 2003

Report finds that Learning Disability Partnership Boards in England are struggling to identify, meet and plan for the needs of older family carers of people with learning difficulties.

SCOPING THE FIELD: SERVICES FOR CARERS OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

H. Arksey

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.11, 2003, p.335-344

Paper reports findings of a review of the literature on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions for carers of people with mental health problems. The majority of the studies reviewed were conducted in the US and targeted on carers of people with dementia. There was relatively little research evaluating interventions and services singled out in UK policy initiatives as potentially useful in supporting this group of carers, and further evaluation studies are needed.

THE THERAPEUTIC MILIEU PROJECT: REFLECTIONS ON AN ATTEMPT TO CHANGE CULTURE IN AN ACUTE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE

J. Hook

Mental Health Review, vol.8, June 2003, p.21-25

Describes an attempt to improve the adult mental health services in Southampton. The outcomes of the project were mixed: significant and lasting changes did occur but the initiative fizzled out due to restructuring and the loss of the key managers involved.

VALUING HEALTH FOR ALL: PCTS AND THE HEALTH OF PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

A. Giraud-Saunders and others

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.11, June 2003, p.26-33

Reports on a development project aimed at promoting the constructive engagement of primary care trusts with the health experiences of people with learning difficulties. Project work was most successful where it was linked into mainstream NHS priorities, using good information and specialists' expertise to support mainstream practitioners.

VALUING PEOPLE PRIORITIES SQUEEZED BY OTHER SOCIAL CARE COMMITMENTS

C. Jerrom

Community Care, June 19th-25th 2003, p.18-19

Research shows that services for people with learning difficulties are underfunded and failing to support these vulnerable people and their families. At the same time there is evidence that the new Learning Disability Partnership Boards, which were set up to represent users and drive change locally, are failing to make an impact.

WHAT'S NEW: LEARNING FROM THE CAMHS INNOVATION PROJECTS: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Z. Kurtz and C. James

London: Department of Health Publications, 2003

Summary report covers key learning from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Innovation Mental Health Grant projects, which are multi-agency programmes with funding from the Department of Health, local authorities and health partners.

WHO GETS TO DECIDE?

K. Leason

Community Care, July 17th-23rd 2003, p.28-30

The government's draft Mental Incapacity Bill aims to improve the way decisions are made on behalf of people who lack capacity to decide for themselves. However there are concerns that the provisions of the Bill would give people with learning difficulties less control over their lives than now, as power of decision would be transferred to parents and professionals such as doctors.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO INVOLVING USERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

C. Bamber and M. McKeown

Mental Health Review, vol.8, June 2003, p.13-16

Article argues that service users should be systematically involved in all aspects of the mental health service training agenda, and describes steps to achieve this in the North West of England. Sees a more proactive approach to the training needs of the voluntary sector as a means of both strengthening the mental health workforce and bringing about a more inclusive role for service users.

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