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

DERELICTION OF DUTY

D. Carlisle

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113 October 2nd 2003, p.12-15

The accommodation that houses Britain's mental health patients is archaic. Crumbling walls, dark corridors and lack of privacy are just some of the things patients have to endure every day. The article focuses on Springfield, London's largest psychiatric hospital, where £100m is required to cover the backlog of repairs and maintenance, but the problem is countrywide. There are a number of reasons for this, including under funding, community care developments and various government strategies and targets. However things are beginning to change. New mental health trusts have been created and in many cases the estate manger is a board member. This gives managers new power over budgets and allows them to compete for funding on an equal level with acute trusts.

ETHNIC DIVERSITY AND MENTAL HEALTH IN LONDON: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

F. Keating, D. Robertson and N. Kotecha

London: King's Fund, 2003.

Working paper reflects on changes in mental health services for black and minority ethnic groups over the past five years and includes a discussion of issues for women, refugees and asylum seekers. In particular services are said to be failing black and minority ethnic women with mental health problems, who have been marginalised within current policy debates. Primary care services are particularly criticised. Voluntary sector organisations which are attempting to meet the needs of the black and minority ethnic communities remain under-funded.

FROM OUTSIDE TO INSIDE: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC COMMUNITIES IN ENGLAND

S. Sashidharam

Mental Health Review, Vol. 8, September 2003, p.22-25

There is evidence that black and minority ethnic people are subject to racial discrimination at every level within the mental health service. The article comments on the recently published document "Inside Outside" which offers a set of proposals and a strategy to improve mental health services for black and minority ethnic communities in England.

GIVE US THE MONEY

Anon.

Mental Health Today, Sept. 2003, p.8-9

At local level, Black people do not trust mainstream mental health services, while the black voluntary sector, which provides the sort of care they want and engages with its community, remains under-resourced and marginalised.

GRADUATION DAZE

C. Lewis

Health Service Journal, vol.113, Sept. 11th 2003, p.34-35

Reports progress in employment of graduate mental health workers by primary care trusts. Managers need to create a career structure for them and define their roles more clearly.

HUE AND OUTCRY

L. Main

Mental Health Today, Sept. 2003, p.10-11

Describes attempts by mental health service users/survivors to form an independent national alliance to campaign against the government's proposed changes to the Mental Health Act 1983. They are driven by a perceived lack of service user representation within the Mental Health Alliance, a group of voluntary sector and professional bodies which has led the campaign against the proposals.

LESS EQUAL THAN OTHERS

N. Valios

Community Care, 21-27 August 2003, p.24-26

Patients with learning difficulties are struggling to get equality of care through the NHS, despite having greater health needs than the general population. Although the government is attempting to tackle the gulf through its white paper, "Valuing People", which states that every person with learning difficulties should have a health action plan by 2005, the attitudes and assumptions of many still need to be challenged. Doctors are often unaware of having a person with learning difficulties on their caseload and medical students have scant training on the needs of this group. People with learning difficulties could prove to be the acid test of NHS modernisation.

LIFE CHOICES

L. Sharpe

Professional Social Work, Sept. 2003, p.10-11

Author comments on the draft Mental Incapacity Bill, focusing particularly on the proposed new system of Lasting Powers of Attorney to act on behalf of people who lack capacity to decide for themselves. Those appointed to this role would be charged with decision-making in the person's best interests, taking into account any advance decisions.

MASTER MIND

P. Smith

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, October 2nd 2003, p.23

An interview with National Clinical Director for Mental Health Professor Louis Appleby, covering improvements in services, recruitment and retention of staff, funding concerns and the Mental Health Bill.

THE MENTAL HEALTH OF BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE

M. Wilson

Mental Health Review, Vol. 8, September 2003, p.7-15

The paper focuses on the provision of mental health services for Afro-Caribbean, Asian, mixed race and refugee communities. It demonstrates that there is a policy impetus for improvement of mental health service delivery to black and minority ethnic communities. Many users would argue however that changes are not yet evident on the ground in hospitals, day centres, residential homes, etc.

PATIENT CONFINEMENT

S. Marchant

New Law Journal, Vol. 153, No. 7095, September 12th 2003, p. 1356-1357

On July 16th 2003 the Court of Appeal declared two cases of seclusion unlawful. In both cases the seclusion was contrary to the Mental Health Act's Code of Practice. This article explores the issues surrounding seclusion, including human rights and investigates the status of the code. It concludes that each departure from the code must be deliberate, documented and with good reason and not simply a matter of policy. Departure must also take into account the safeguards contained in each chapter, assessing each on its own merits as to the protection it provides.

PICK AND MIX

P. Smith

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, September 11th 2003, p.13

The article discusses the implementation of the new patient choice agenda in mental health services in England, focusing on the feasibility of introducing choice over drug treatment, counselling, rehabilitative services and key workers.

SENTENCE STRUCTURE

A. Tarleton

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, October 2nd 2003, p. 28-29

It is estimated that up to 90% of the UK's prison population have a diagnosed mental health problem. This is a challenge for the NHS, which will have full responsibility for prisoner health by 2006. The report looks at mental healthcare at Bullwood prison in Essex, which has introduced a mental healthcare team. The programme includes individual and group sessions and the team is hoping to extend its support to evenings and weekends, when prisoners can be at their most vulnerable.

SHOOTER FROM THE HIP

P. Smith

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, September 4th 2003, p.20-21

Mike Shooter, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, gives his views on the draft Mental Health Bill and the impact of the mental health national service framework.

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