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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2006): Mental Health Services - UK

J. Boylan and J. Dalrymple with J. Robertson

ChildRight, issue 224, 2006, p.28-29

Article presents a case study of advocacy for young people with mental health problems within Somerset’s Young Persons Service. A formal diagnosis from a clinician is not required to access the service; rather, the young people themselves define mental health difficulties. An advocacy service is provided for young people using in-patient mental health services and runs regular drop-in sessions at adolescent psychiatric units. As usual, the advocate’s role is to represent young people and assist them in presenting their views. The advocate attends Care Plan Review meetings and other meetings when requested.

N. Crossley

London: Routledge, 2006

The book explores the history of resistance to psychiatry in the UK between 1950 and 2000, and the history of the key social movements which have mounted this resistance, calling psychiatry into question. It also explores the theories and conceptions of social movements as they apply in the health domain and includes a theorisation of resistance to psychiatry which might apply to other national contexts and to social movement formation and protest in other medical arenas.

Could contracts make secure foundations for early entrants?

N. Lakhani

Health Service Journal, vol.116, Apr. 13th 2006, p.14-15

The first wave of mental health foundation trusts are scheduled for launch in 2006. Among the challenges they face is their exemption from the payment by results (PbR) system until 2008/09. Without payment by results, they will continue to rely on block contracts which leave them vulnerable to spending cuts by cash-strapped primary care trusts. In the interim, they may use “model contracts” which offer a guaranteed level of income for three years, with a 12-month notice period required for any changes. However, there are fears that it may prove too difficult to implement the payment by results system in mental health services, so that the interim measure of “model contracts” becomes permanent.

S. Brody and D. Hayes

Community Care, March 30th-Apr. 5th 2006, p.10

Campaigners have welcomed the government’s decision to abandon the Mental Health Bill, but warn that its alternative plans could still extend the use of compulsory treatment.

M. MacAttram

Mental Health Today, Apr.2006, p.10-11

Article explores the role of black churches in supporting black people with mental health problems. Black churches are the largest voluntary organisations in the black community, and the work that they do needs to be recognised financially by the government.

Improving acute psychiatric services: what is the NPSA contributing?

K. Hill

Mental Health Review, vol.11, March 2006, p.27-30

This article outlines the progress of the Safer Wards for Acute Psychiatry (SWAP) project run by the National Patient Safety Agency. This two-year evidence-based project aims to understand the system issues that impact on patient safety in acute psychiatric in-patient services.

L.R. Pembroke

Mental Health Today, Apr.2006, p.27-29

Self-harm is a coping mechanism for young people in emotional distress. For people who self-harm, it is a valid survival strategy which they will use until survival is possible by other means. They therefore need to be taught harm minimisation techniques, including first aid, wound care, and correct usage of dressings.

P. Confue and A. Bell

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.12, 2006, p.117-118

Article looks at the impact of the introduction of Mental Health Foundation Trusts on the quality of care experienced by service users and their families. There are concerns that moves to foundation status may lead to service users becoming more marginalised, to a return to a narrow medical model of care and to the squeezing of local voluntary sector providers out of the market.

P. Bates and others

Mental Health Today, Apr.2006, p.16-18

Government policy encourages health and social care agencies to support clients with mental health problems to make use of community and public facilities and services. The National Development Team has produced a simple “inclusion traffic lights” system to help day centre staff analyse their services. Red services are provided in a segregated building solely for people with mental health problems. Amber services are provided solely for mental health service users, but in a building also used by the general public, such as a community centre. Green services support people to pursue their own interests, using public facilities.

I. Cormac and M. Ferriter

Mental Health Review, vol.11, March 2006, p.21-26

Mental health services have a key role in promoting the physical as well as the mental well being of their patients. This paper describes the physical health problems prevalent in psychiatric patients and suggests ways in which mental health services can improve their physical well being.

J. Laurance

Independent, March 24th 2006, p.24

Ministers have announced new, simpler proposals, which, critics warn, retain the most controversial detention and compulsory treatment elements of the Mental Health Bill which has now been abandoned. An alliance of 77 mental health organisations campaigned against the Bill.

[See also Daily Telegraph, March 24th2006, p.12; Guardian, March 24th 2006 p.13; Times, March 24th 2006 p.34]

M. Brophy

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2006, p.23-26

Article summarises the findings of an Inquiry into self-harm among young people aged 11-25 across the UK. Self-harm is a maladaptive coping mechanism and/or way of expressing difficult emotions. Young people who self-harm are generally very reluctant to engage with formal services, preferring to cope on their own. Young people do not feel that the services currently on offer are meeting or recognising their needs and are more likely to seek help from peers. Services need to become more appropriate and accessible and young people need to be equipped with the skills to maintain their own good mental health.

C.A. Kaplan

Mental Health Review, vol.11, March 2006, p.34-37

Analysis of information held in the NHS Litigation Authority database shows that adverse events and complaints arise mainly from poor communication, failure to follow protocols, failure to seek help when needed, poor note-keeping and problems in contacting staff. The way forward in reducing incidents lies in implementation of new risk management standards, improved staff training, and support for staff involved in clinical negligence cases

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