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

THE BALLOON HAS DEFLATED

N. Valios

Community Care, June 24th-30th 2004, p.34-35

The Valuing People White Paper contained a raft of proposals aimed at giving people with learning difficulties more independence and choice. Three years later, there is growing frustration at the lack of progress in changing people's negative attitudes, setting up advocacy services and closing long-stay hospitals.

CAN NEW CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT STIGMA WIN OVER PUBLIC HEARTS AND MINDS?

S. Gillen

Community Care, June 24th-30th 2004, p.18-19

Government is launching a new campaign to de-stigmatise people with mental health problems. The campaign will target specific groups such as young people, the media and the private sector. There is a particular need to reduce negative reporting in the tabloid press.

CLASH OF WILLS

R. Foggitt

Community Care, June 24th-30th 2004, p.30-31

Liz Sayce, director of policy for the Disability Rights Commission and Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society debate the pros and cons of living wills. These documents, proposed in the Mental Capacity Bill, would allow people to set out in advance what treatment they wish to receive should they lose mental capacity in the future.

A CONTROLLED EVALUATION OF A TRAINING COURSE FOR STAFF WHO WORK WITH PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA

K. Featherstone and others

Dementia, vol.3, 2004, p.181-194

The article examines the effects of a six week training programme on the knowledge, attitudes and coping mechanisms of staff working with people with dementia. It found that although significant changes were visible in staff's knowledge base and attitude, no change was evident for their coping style.

DOES THE BILL ADD UP?

R. Winchester

Community Care, July 15th-21st 2004, p.28-29

The article reports on professional reaction to the Mental Capacity Bill. There are concerns about:

  • the restrictions it places on access to advocacy;
  • its provisions for advance decisions to refuse treatment;
  • possible abuse of the new "lasting power of attorney".

DON'T PEAK TOO SOON

P. Mullin and M. McArthur

Health Service Journal, vol.114, July 29th 2004, p.28

The article argues that existing new services such as crisis intervention and assertive outreach should not be developed at the expense of existing community mental health teams.

FEELING THE WAY

C. Cantley and K. Steven

Dementia, vol.3, 2004, p.128-143

The article explores the field of dementia advocacy in the United Kingdom. Case studies, reflecting the diversity of provision, were taken from seven dementia advocacy services to show how advocates provide services in the areas of consent, instruction and representation, and to examine advocacy relationships. Results show that although providers are clear about the principles of advocacy, in reality the role incorporates numerous dilemmas, ambiguities and uncertainties. The article concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for practice, policy and research.

ILLUSTRATING THE IMPORTANCE OF INCLUDING THE VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES OF USERS AND CARERS IN EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DRUG TREATMENT FOR DEMENTIA

V. Traynor, E. Prichard and J. Dewing

Dementia, vol.3, 2004, p.146-159

The evaluation of the effectiveness of drug treatment for dementia is mainly based on secondary analysis of conventional scientific evidence. The views of carers and users, who evaluate effectiveness in terms of quality of life, are rarely sought. The article argues that the conventional scientific approach is not sufficiently meaningful to carers and users and recommends that reliable and valid measures that explore their views be developed.

A LIFE MORE ORDINARY

S. Coates, S. Barna and L. Walz

Community Care, July 8th-14th 2004, p.34-35

This small-scale longitudinal study looked at whether supported living is associated with improvements in three aspects of quality of life for people with learning difficulties: social networks, opportunities to make choices and exert control on daily life, and development and skills. The results showed changes in social networks were limited, people were more involved in smaller every day choices, and skills improved.

MENTAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Social Exclusion Unit

Wetherby: ODPM Publications, 2004

The report outlines how, for the first time, action will be taken to address the full range of difficulties affecting people with mental health problems rather than focusing solely on medical needs. It proposes action on:

  • tackling stigma and discrimination;
  • enhancing the role of health and social care in tackling social exclusion;
  • facilitating access to paid employment;
  • supporting families and community participation.

ORGANISING AND DELIVERING PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES

Department of Health

London: 2004

The report supports improvement in the delivery of psychological therapy services. It highlights issues of access waits and how to improve care pathways. It draws attention to the needs of service users and carers and to the training and support needs of staff.

OUT FOR THE COUNT

S. Lawton-Smith

Health-Service Journal, vol.114, July 15th 2004, p.29

It is assumed that increased investment in community mental health services should lead to reduced demand for in-patient beds. However, there is no firm evidence for this, and a danger that high costs of inpatient care will continue alongside the significant costs of the new community services.

REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PART 5 OF THE ADULTS WITH INCAPACITY (SCOTLAND) ACT 2000: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF IMPLEMENTATION AND EARLY OPERATION

S. Davidson and others

Scottish Executive Social Research, 2004

Part 5 of the Act, which came into force on July 1st 2002, clarifies the law for health professionals who give medical treatment to adults with incapacity, and provides important safeguards for this vulnerable group. Research examined levels of awareness and experience of the operational impact of Part 5 of the Act in four case study areas.

SOCIAL CAPITAL, SOCIAL INCLUSION AND SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

P. Bates and F.A. Davis

Disability and Society, vol.19, 2004, p.195-207

The concept of social capital has become popular just as the Valuing People White Paper has required learning disability services to work towards social inclusion. Article argues that insights from both social capital and social inclusion approaches may help in the development of services for people with learning disabilities. It is not possible to understand the full consequences of adopting either theoretical approach without an adequate understanding of the other. Examples are given of the implications of this for advocacy services, day centres, rural communities, transition and staff training.

TEENAGE SELF-HARMERS 'LEFT IN LIMBO' BY LACK OF PSYCHIATRISTS AND HOSPITAL BEDS

M. Frith

The Independent, July 28th 2004, p.12-13

Chronic shortages of treatment facilities and trained psychiatrists to care for young people who self-harm are leaving many vulnerable children and teenagers at risk. Some of the most damaged people are being 'left in limbo' because they are deemed too old for adolescent mental health services and too young for adult psychiatric services.

TOO MUCH TALK

R. Fyson

Community Care, June 24th-30th 2004, p.34-36

Learning Disability Partnership Boards were set up to implement the changes envisaged in the Valuing People white paper. The article assesses their progress. Boards have no executive powers, and need to learn to maximise their influence through scrutiny of local strategic plans and lobbying of generic public services.

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