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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2005): Mental Health Services - UK

GAPS IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES GROWS

J. Carvel

The Guardian, Dec. 21st 2004, p.7

The government has warned of a widening regional divide in mental health services, which means that millions of people who live in East Anglia and the North are being denied improved care. Louis Appleby, the mental health tsar, said the mental health budget for England had increased in real terms over the last four years, but some of the money had been spent by local managers in developing the wrong services, and some had been "swallowed up" to pay debts unrelated to mental health.

HELPING OURSELVES: DIRECT PAYMENTS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEER SUPPORT

C. Bewley and L. McCulloch

London: Values into Action, 2004

New regulations lay a duty on local authorities to offer direct payments to eligible people, including those with learning difficulties. Key to take up of direct payments is the availability of effective support to access and manage them. Research looked at the availability of peer support for people with learning difficulties. Very few independent direct payment support schemes run by and for people with learning difficulties were identified. Most independent direct payments support is provided by existing disabled people's organisations and has limited or no involvement by people with learning difficulties.

"INSTEAD OF LOOKING AT MY DISABILITY, LISTEN TO WHAT I'M TRYING TO TELL YOU"

J. Trueland

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Dec.9th 2004, p.14-15

The Disability Rights Commission is launching an investigation into health inequalities experienced by people with learning difficulties and those with mental health problems. The investigation will concentrate on GP services, screening and health improvement.

THE NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK FOR MENTAL HEALTH: FIVE YEARS ON

Department of Health

London: 2004

The National Service Framework for Mental Health published in 1999 has generated a huge amount of activity and impressive range of policy initiatives. Main findings of the report include:

  • suicide rates are at their lowest recorded level;
  • most users report that their experience of mental health care has been positive;
  • staff numbers have substantially increased and modern treatments are in widespread use;
  • specialist community mental health teams have been set up across the country, offering home treatment, early intervention and intensive support for people with complex needs.

OUT OF THE ASYLUM

S. Wellard

Community Care, Nov.25th-Dec.1st 2004, p.30-31

Reviews developments in services for the mentally ill, people with learning difficulties and substance abusers over the past 40 years.

THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE

E. Forrest

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Dec.9th 2004, p.24-25

The concept of choice in health care provision is not applied to mental health as much as other areas. A framework for patient choice in various aspects of the mental health services is scheduled for Spring 2005. There is patient demand for choice in access to psychological therapies, in selection of a keyworker, and in the use of advance treatment directives.

SCANDAL OF SOCIETY'S MISFITS DUMPED IN JAIL

N. Davies

The Guardian, Dec. 6th 2004, p.1, 4-5

Up to 70% of inmates in Britain's jails have metal health disorders. In this three-part series the author notes that every prison in the country now warehouses the mentally disordered: the numbers have been spiralling up since the closure of the old asylums. Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that, if we diverted to treatment all those prisoners who are mentally disordered and/or addicted to alcohol or drugs, 90% of inmates would no longer be held in jails. There are now 75,000 men and women behind bars in this country. The ONS findings suggest that:

  • nearly 50,200 of them have personality disorders;
  • 6,175 are psychotic;
  • more than 35,000 of them have neurotic disorders
  • several tens of thousand suffer a combination of disorders.
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