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

Adults with learning difficulties in England 2003/4

E. Emerson and others

Office for National Statistics and Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2005

A survey of 2898 people with learning difficulties showed that: " Only 17% of those of working age had a paid job " Nearly three in four people had been to a special school. Less than one in five had been to mainstream classes in an ordinary school " One in three people said they did not feel safe either in their homes, in their local area or using public transport. " Nearly one in ten people said they had been a victim of crime in the last year. " Two out of three people in supported accommodation had no choice over with whom or where they lived. " One in ten people with a learning difficulty living in a private household helped care for another adult who was ill, disabled or elderly.

Counting the years

C. Jackson

Mental Health Today, Nov.2005, p.8-9

Mental health problems are prevalent among older people, but they are denied access to specialist services, choice of treatment, and information. Mental health services for the elderly fall under the aegis of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People, which has not received extra funding to modernise them. The Older People's NSF team is now working in collaboration with the Mental Health NSF team, but service improvement so far is patchy.

Following orders

K. Leason

Community Care, Oct.27th-Nov.2nd 2005, p.28-30

There is much opposition in England and Wales to the government's plans for the compulsory treatment of people with mental health problems in the community. However, involuntary community treatment was introduced in New Zealand in 1992 and is supported by patients, carers and clinicians.

Good practice in adult mental health

T. Ryan and J. Pritchard (editors)

London: Jessica Kingsley, 2005

The book is a guide to good practice within adult mental health care, providing a comprehensive introduction to mental health and illness. It draws from the personal experiences of service users and carers, providing up-to-date and topical material covering major issues such as:

  • The concepts of mental health, illness and recovery
  • Advocacy and empowerment
  • Legal and policy issues relating to practice
  • Gender and ethnicity in mental health
  • Violence and abuse.

Hand in glove

C. George

Mental Health Today, Nov.2005, p.10-11

The voluntary organisations are becoming increasingly involved in mental health service provision under contract to the statutory sector. There are concerns that they will become just another arm of the public services and will lose their campaigning and lobbying roles.

Home grown solution

C. Williams, M. Rowlands and R. Lalley

Community Care, Nov.3rd-9th 2005, p.38-39

Assertive outreach provides community based mental health care to people who are severely disabled by their illness and fail to engage with services. Article describes how Knowsley assertive outreach team used a charity's adult placement scheme to help people with severe mental illness regain control of their lives.

Lost in the system

D. Rickford and K. Edgar

Mental Health Today, Nov. 2005, p.27-30

Mentally ill offenders all too often end up in prison rather than in psychiatric hospital beds. There is evidence that diversion schemes which enable the courts to identify mentally ill offenders and transfer them to hospital rather than prison are effective in reducing re-offending. However there is a lack of hospital and community mental health care provision to receive them, so that schemes are in danger of fading away.

The middle wa


K. Leason

Community Care, Nov.3rd-9th 2005, p.34-35

People with moderate mental health problems often cannot be managed effectively in primary care and are ineligible for specialist services. Article presents a case study of a pilot project in Ipswich which is catering for such patients. The team provides a holistic service offering help with employment and housing as well as talking therapies.

Misdiagnosis and neglect: a cause of shame to the NHS

E. Dent

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Nov.17th 2005, p.16-17

People with learning disabilities or mental health problems have poorer access to health services than the general population. They have lower rates of routine screening and other essential routine tests. Symptoms of physical illnesses are often attributed to psychological causes without investigation. They also suffered hostile staff attitudes and discrimination.

Multi-agency working in support of people with intellectual disabilities

R. McConkey

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, vol.9, 2005, p.193-207

This study confirmed that although joint working may not feature highly in policy statements for learning disability services in Northern Ireland, it is none the less happening to some extent "on the ground". The benefits were seen to outweigh the potential drawbacks and they centred mainly on people with learning disabilities getting better co-ordinated services. Factors seen as facilitating joint working included a clear understanding of the purpose of the partnership, the appointment of a co-ordinator, and pooled budgets.

New ways of working for psychiatrists: enhancing effective, person-centred services through new ways of working in multidisciplinary and multi-agency contexts

Royal College of Psychiatrists and National Institute for Mental Health in England

London: Department of Health, 2005

Details progress that has been made over the past three years in reviewing and refocusing the roles of consultant psychiatrists. Aims to provide a framework to help mental health services develop new roles for psychiatrists which are both satisfying and support the delivery of person-centred care.

Partnership working in mental health care: the nursing dimension

K. Edwards

London: Elsevier, 2005

As part of the government's modernisation agenda nurses now need to incorporate a user perspective if they are to engage in an effective partnership in care. The book examines the notion of partnership in care and evaluates the role of mental health nursing in the context of meeting the needs of the users of mental health services. It also examines the barriers to effective partnerships and user involvement.

Real power? An examination of the involvement of people with learning difficulties in strategic service development in Cambridgeshire

C. Dearden-Phillips and R. Fountain

British Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol.33, 2005, p.200-204

Article describes the implementation of the Parliament approach to the involvement of people with learning disabilities in service development in Cambridgeshire. The Parliament approach seeks to embed the influence of people with learning disabilities into the system for shaping services by obtaining and conveying key messages from users to senior managers, by fostering an atmosphere of accountability between senior managers and users, and by developing people with learning disabilities as leaders.

Releasing potential: the future of social work and CAMHS

S. Walker

Journal of Social Work Practice, vol.19, 2005, p.235-250

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are currently undergoing substantive changes in the way they are organised, staffed and delivered. The government intends to increase capacity in the CAMHS workforce by 2006 in order to create improved comprehensive services after years of neglect. New multidisciplinary primary mental health worker posts are being created to fill the gaps in provision and are attracting many social workers due to their preventive, early intervention remit. Social workers' unique psycho-social perspective rooted in principles of social justice, culturally competent, anti-discriminatory practice, and holistic understanding of the interplay between the environmental and internal factors affecting children and young people means that they are ideally placed to participate in and even lead primary mental health work in multi-disciplinary teams.


K. Leason

Community Care, Nov. 17th-23rd 2005, p.32-34

People who self-harm are treated unsympathetically when they present for treatment at hospital accident and emergency departments. Article discusses how the social care profession can help change NHS staff attitudes.

Some implications of the Children’s National Service Framework for social work practice with regard to child mental health

C. Lindsey

Journal of Social Work Practice, vol.19, 2005, p.225-234

The Children's National Service Framework is a 10-year strategic plan to achieve child-centred services and reduce inequalities in care. This paper considers its implications for services for children and young people with mental health problems, with particular emphasis on the role of social workers in multi-disciplinary teams.

The state of care management in learning disability and mental health services 12 years into community care

P. Cambridge and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol.35, 2005, p.1039-1062

Paper reports on developments in the organisation of care management from a longitudinal study of community care for people resettled from long-stay learning disability and psychiatric hospitals. The findings from a 12 year follow up of care management arrangements in 12 learning disability and eight mental health study site services are described. Results are presented in relation to the themes of contracting and commissioning, access to care management, team and inter-professional working, person centred planning, and integration of care management and the Care Programme Approach.

Treatment planning for person-centered care: the road to mental health and addiction recovery: mapping the journey for individuals, families, and providers

N. Adams and D. Grieder

London: Elsevier, 2005

Mental health practitioners need to actively involve their clients in the identification of their needs and the development of a plan that will address those needs. All participants in mental health and addiction recovery need to master the skills of a person-centered approach to developing individual plans. The book addresses the entire process of treatment, from assessment to outcome evaluation, in pursuit of resilience, wellness and recovery.

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