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

DEVELOPING SHARED POLICIES: LESSONS FROM THE FIELD

D. Davidson

Mental Health Review, vol.4, no.2, 1999, p. 24-27

Looks at the experience of a community trust in North London that worked together with the local social services and housing departments, the health authority, the police, the CHC, the hospital's patients' council, user groups and voluntary organisations to develop a policy on client confidentiality and shared record keeping.

DIFFERENT STROKES

P. McCurry

Community Care, no.1273, 1999, p. 26

The absorption of a Surrey learning difficulties NHS Trust into another health trust focusing primarily on mental health has highlighted concerns over the provision of learning difficulties services. Campaigners fear that combining mental health and learning difficulties in the same trust will have adverse consequences for the latter and argue that it goes against the trend for providing community-based services.

KEY ISSUES FROM HOMICIDE INQUIRIES

C. Parker and A. McCulloch

London: Mind, 1999

Argues that poor risk management and problems with communication are the most common failures contributing to homicides by people with mental health problems. Non-compliance with medication has been overstated as a factor by health agencies and the government. Claims are based on reviews of previously published independent homicide enquiry reports.

NO EMPOWERMENT, NO COMMENT

L. Ward

Community Care, no.1275, 1999, p. 26-27

Examines the development of the self-advocacy movement for people with learning difficulties in the UK. People with learning difficulties are making their views, wishes and voices heard and are influencing policy and practice. They are carrying out research, advising service purchasers and providers and working as lay assessors.

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH DRUG TREATMENT

Zito Trust

ZT Monitor, issue 7, 1999. 9 p

Submits evidence of the need to address non-compliance with treatment, particularly drug treatment, by patients in the community. Evidence comes from a full analysis of 50 independent homicide inquiry reports, new figures recently published by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by Mentally Ill People, and the results of two surveys of users and carers. Calls for better training of social therapists working with those with complex needs, more widespread prescribing of new drugs now available for schizophrenia, and more powers to treat non-compliant patients in a clinical setting before they begin to relapse.

ONCE A DAY

M. Lindsey and O. Russell

Wetherby: Department of Health, 1999

Contains examples of, and advice on, good practice in enabling people with learning disabilities to access and receive good quality services from primary health care teams.

OPEN AND SHUT CASE

C. Moore and J. Wolf

Health Service Journal, vol.109, June 24th 1999, p. 20-22

Acute mental care consumes about two thirds of all mental health spending. However, many beds are blocked by patients who no longer need intensive support. More than a third of these patients are readmissions. They stay in hospital because of a lack of alternative services. If each patient left hospital when ready, inpatient costs would be almost halved. A range of alternative crisis services, including 24-hour nursing care and staffed hostels are needed.

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