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

Autism: the need for understanding

A. Batten

Professional Social Work, July 2005, p.10-11

Comments on some recent developments in children's policy, how they will impact on people with autism and their families, and the need for greater understanding of the disability.

Balancing the transitions between local generalist and tertiary specialist commissioning of adult services

J. Hall

Mental Health Review, vol.10, June 2005, p.23-26

Presents and overview of current arrangements for commissioning adult mental health services, challenges arising from them, and areas for improvement.

Barrier grief

E. Forrest

Health Service Journal, vol.115, July 21st 2005, p.25-26

There is a belief in the mental health sector that poor commissioning practices are slowing modernisation. A problem has been identified in the balance of power, with large mental health trusts running rings round their client primary care trusts. The difficulty in measuring outputs is key. Strong commissioning also needs the involvement of carers and service users.

Consultation in child and adolescent mental health services

A. Southgate (editor)

Oxford: Radcliffe, 2005

Consultation between professionals can help individuals and services, both in terms of skills development and inter-professional relationships reducing the need for cross referrals and patient waiting. It enables existing skills and expertise to be spread widely, whilst contributing to a more thoughtful culture in mental health. This book describes the consultation between practitioners in child and adolescent mental health services as a way of addressing needs and co-developing skills. This title supports the National Health Service Framework for Children.

Consultation on the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Service

Department of Health

London: 2005

This new service was introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to support and represent the most vulnerable people who lack capacity to make the most serious decisions about medical treatment and accommodation. The consultation includes questions about:

  • The operation of the service, including funding, commissioning, standards, training and skills needed, and monitoring and accountability
  • Definitions of serious medical treatment
  • Whether to extend the service beyond people who have no family or friends and to situations other than serious medical treatment and accommodation.

Dual diagnosis 2005

Y. Walsh and A. Frankland

Mental Health Review, vol.10, June 2005, p.7-14

Presents a review of current research on, government policy regarding, and services for, people with a dual diagnosis. In the context of this article the term refers to people with two or more concurrent disorders, one of substance misuse and the other a mental health disorder.

Fair shares? Supporting families caring for adult persons with intellectual disabilities

R. McConkey

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol.49, 2005, p.600-612

In the UK and Ireland, care for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) is mainly provided by their families. However, little is known about the characteristics of these carers, the support services they receive, and whether their access to the latter is equitable. A survey of 1500 family carers in Northern Ireland showed that:

  • Nearly half of adults with ID were being cared for by both parents
  • Around one third lived with lone carers
  • 20% lived with another relative.

Access to services for carers such as respite breaks appeared to be related to the level of their relative's dependency on them for personal care.

'Go for it!': supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder in employment

J. Ridley, S. Hunter and Infusion Co-operative

Scottish Executive Social Research, 2005

Research investigated the employment support available for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in Scotland. "Employment support" covered a wide spectrum of provision, including "supported employment". The latter was defined as real work for 16 hours a week or more in an integrated setting with ongoing support. The study identified aspects of good practice and explored the direct experiences of individuals and their families.

Government response to the report of the Joint Committee on the draft Mental Health Bill 2004

Department of Health

London: TSO, 2005 (Cm 6624)

Government reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that the Mental Health Bill provides a treatment framework that will prevent people with mental disorders from harming themselves or others. Among the recommendations of the pre-legislative scrutiny committee that the government has accepted are:

  • Placing the guiding principles on the face of the Bill. This means that they will be relevant to all aspects of the Bill's provisions
  • Clinicians will be unable compulsorily to treat people whose sole mental disorder is drug or alcohol dependency.
  • Improvements in patients' rights, for example in relation to advance decisions and statements, Tribunal involvement in psychosurgery, patients' rights to decide whether advocates can see their records, and patients meeting with advocates in private.

Just ask the inpatients: revealing a clearer picture of acute services

M. Fraser

Mental Health Review, vol.10, June 2005, p.32-34

Article summarises the findings of three recent pieces of research on conditions in psychiatric wards. The research highlighted concerns about patient safety, inadequate staffing levels, and poor physical environment.

Mental health tribunals and the Draft Mental Health Bill 2004

T. Eaton

Mental Health Review, vol.10, June 2005, p.35-38

The mental health tribunals proposed in the Bill take control of the whole process of compulsorily detaining people in hospital. The new tribunals will have the sole power to make orders continuing the patient's liability to some form of compulsory detention; instead of reviewing detention only on an application by (or on behalf of) the patient, there will be a new system of automatic referral to the tribunal of all detained cases within the first 28 days of admission. The intention is to limit the power of the clinical supervisor and to replace medical decisions with legal ones.

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