Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2004): Mental Health Services - UK

50,000 PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS 'LEFT TO ROT'

J. Carvel

The Guardian, April 15th 2004, p.10

More than 50,000 people with long-term mental illness are being left to rot by the NHS because they do not qualify for emergency psychiatric care, the charity Rethink warned yesterday. Their survey of more than 3,000 patients identified a "forgotten generation" of middle aged patients who survive with an abysmal quality of life and had received no hospital care or home support over the last 12 months. Many of the day centres providing them with support were closed over the past few years so that the government could divert resources into crisis intervention and services for younger people.

BETWEEN NECESSITY AND CHANCE

D. Hewitt

New Law Journal, Vol. 154, Apr. 16th 2004, p.584-585

The article questions the necessity of a new Mental Health Act, arguing that changes could be made within the framework of the original, without attracting dissent.

BRAVE NEW WORLD

K. Newbigging and H. Rowland

Mental Health Review, Vol. 9, Mar. 2004, p.28-31

The paper provides a brief overview of the distinct histories of the Centre for Mental Health Services Development and the Health Advisory Service, the rationale behind their recent merger, and the strategic direction of the new organisation, the Health and Social Care Advisory Service (HASCAS)

"DOING OUR OWN THING": AN ALTERNATIVE PROCESS FOR BUILDING USER CAPACITY

A. Wilson

Mental Health Review, Vol. 9, Mar. 2004, p.17-20

The project forms part of the Social Inclusion Programme of the South East Development Centre (SEDC) of the National Institute for Mental Health in England. The remit of the SEDC is to support user organisations to grow and increase their membership so as to form a meaningful part of the whole system. The project aims to help in this process by:

  • making a comprehensive list of mental health service user organisations in the South East;
  • developing user forums;
  • helping forums to develop funding bids to the SEDC for projects that would increase user capacity.

ENGAGING COMMUNITIES

S. Yasmeen, P. Bracken and P. Thomas

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2004, p.31-33

A Bradford-based project offers a template for the active involvement of black and minority ethnic communities in initiatives to combat mental ill health, using a community development approach.

GOING HOME?

K. Owen

Judith Trust, 2004

The report relates how 11 women with severe learning difficulties were moved from a long-stay hospital into smaller scale homes. All of the women experienced the move as a negative process, prompting anxiety and insecurity. The patients had no control over what was happening and were given little information and inadequate support. After the moves, very little improved. Daily routines in the new homes were still structured by others, there were few social activities and almost no attention was paid to the sexual and emotional needs of the women. Residents remained isolated from their local communities.

HEARTS AND MINDS

C. Jackson

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2004, p.10-11

There is concern that the government's consultation document on public health improvement, "Choosing Health", marginalises mental health promotion. It misses the point that people's emotional well-being impacts on their eating, drinking and smoking habits. Measures to improve emotional health by tackling material deprivation would lead to a reduction in health damaging behaviours.

IN SEARCH OF UNDERSTANDING

S. Cook

Young People Now, Apr. 14th-20th 2004, p.16-17

The article presents a case study of a mental health service for young people in Plymouth which provides practical, psychological and medical help though a multi-disciplinary team.

INTERMEDIATE CARE AND MENTAL HEALTH

S. Trinder and J. Sullivan

Working with Older People, Vol. 8, Mar. 2004, p.21-24

Two primary care trusts, in partnership with Portsmouth City Social Services, have developed a 24-hour Elderly Mental Health (EMH) intermediate care service. This supports clients and their carers in their own homes. Visits are made by both NHS health care support workers and social services home care workers.

LIVING WITH RISK: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE USER INVOLVEMENT IN RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT

J. Langan and V. Lindo

Policy Press, 2004

Research found that many service users were aware that they could pose a risk to other people when experiencing psychosis and wanted to reduce the chances of this happening. However, many professionals found full and frank discussions about risk to others difficult. Such discussions could increase service user stigma and distress, leading to disengagement from services. On the other hand, some professionals felt that open discussion could lead to increased trust and the potential for collaborative risk management. Service user involvement in risk assessment and management is therefore variable and dependent upon individual professional initiative.

LOST IN LIAISON

C. Lewis

Health Service Journal, vol. 114, Apr. 1st 2004, p.30-31

Liaison psychiatry is concerned with the psychological care of general hospital patients, e.g. a cancer suffer with depression. However, services are little known and underdeveloped. Although there is no mention of liaison psychiatry in the mental health national service framework, other NSFs emphasise the need for medical patients to have access to such services. Barriers to development include a lack of understanding of the service and funding issues arising from the service falling between mental health and acute trusts.

THE MARK ON STAFF: THE IMPACT OF STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL HEALTH ON THE RECRUITMENT, RETENTION AND STATUS OF PROFESSIONALS

E. Gale

British Journal of Healthcare Management, Vol. 10, 2004, p.105-108

Generally mental health professionals view their choice of career as positive, although few would recommend others to follow their lead. The stigma they felt most acutely was from other health professionals rather than the general public. Mental health is seen as the "Cinderella service" within the NHS and until this image is challenged, individuals will be deterred from working in the system.

PATIENTS OR PARTNERS? CASE STUDIES OF USER INVOLVEMENT IN THE PLANNING AND DELIVERY OF ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN LONDON

D. Rutter and others

Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 58, 2004, p.1973-1984

The paper reports on the findings of qualitative case studies of user involvement in two mental health service trusts in London. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders, including trust staff at all levels and user group representatives, to compare the expectations of diverse stakeholders and the extent to which these were achieved. The study found that Trust managers retained control over decision-making and expected users to address Trust agendas and conform to Trust management practices. Users wanted to achieve concrete changes to services, but had broader aspirations to improve the status and condition of people with mental health problems.

PRINCIPLED APPROACH

B. Tarleton

Community Care, Apr. 8th-14th 2004, p.42-43

A research study has identified six principles that should underpin services for young people with autism. Professionals should know the child and its views while respecting and winning the trust of parents. Children need to be provided with a feeling of control and a safe environment. Children with autism do develop and take more control over their lives, but can be most effectively assisted by multi-agency working.

RACE AGAINST TIME

M. MacAttram

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2004, p.8-9

The article gives an overview of responses to government proposals for improving mental health services for black and minority ethnic people. There are concerns that the proposals are insufficiently radical and fail to address institutional racism in the mental health services. They also pay only lip service to user and community involvement.

RACE TRAINING FOR ALL MENTAL HEALTH STAFF

J. Carvel

The Guardian, April 27th 2004, p.6

All NHS psychiatrists and mental health nurses are to be put through a national retraining programme to root out the racist attitudes that have undermined the treatment of black and ethnic minority patients.

REALITY OUT OF RHETORIC: INCREASING USER INVOLVEMENT IN A MENTAL HEALTH TRUST

R. Perkins and K. Goddard

Mental Health Review, Vol. 9, March 2004, p.21-24

The article describes the ways in which West London and St Georges Mental Health Trust has attempted to increase user participation and involvement at strategic, operational and individual levels.

RIGHT ON TIME

E. Forrest

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, Apr. 1st, 2004, p.26-27

Early intervention and crisis resolution services aim to prevent people with mental health problems from being admitted to hospital. Early intervention services focus on young people with psychotic illnesses. Crisis teams offer users intensive emergency care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, as an alternative to hospital admission.

USER INVOLVEMENT: A CONTEMPORARY OVERVIEW

T. Williamson

Mental Health Review, Vol. 9, Mar. 2004, p.6-12

There has been a dramatic shift from passive recipient to active participant among mental health service users over the last 20 years in the UK. The article presents an overview of what user involvement actually means in relation to the modern mental health system, and people's experiences of having contact with that system. It identifies a number of unresolved issues, particularly relating to the question of how much user involvement can actually achieve and for whom?

WHAT MAKES FOR A GOOD SUPPORTER?

D. Goodley

Community Living, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2004, p.23-24

Self-advocacy groups are made up of people with learning difficulties and supporters or advisors. Effective self-advocacy support appears to be based on assumptions about people with learning difficulties which are optimistic, emphasise capacity over deficit, and consider the impact of environments rather than impairments.

THE WOKINGHAM AND WEST BERKSHIRE MIND CRISIS HOUSE

P. Jenkinson

Mental Health Review, Vol. 9, Mar. 2004, p.13-16

The Wokingham Crisis House is run independently of social services and the psychiatric establishment by a voluntary organisation (MIND). The article chronicles ten years of attempts by statutory services to infiltrate and control the work.

WORKING WITH DIFFERENCE

M. Tidyman

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2004, p.20-23

The article argues for investment in mental health promotion programmes that meet the needs of black and minority ethnic groups through individual and community-based resiliency programmes. There is also a need for concerted efforts to tackle the political and economic problems that impact on the mental health and well-being of black and minority ethnic populations.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web