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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2006): Mental health services - UK

Carers and confidentiality in mental health: considering the role of the carer’s assessment: a study of service users’, carers’ and practitioners’ views

J. Rapaport and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.357-365

This research sought to identify good practice in information sharing between professionals and carers of mental health service users. The study involved policy research, a survey of service users, carers and professionals, stakeholder interviews and group events. Few policies that addressed the principles underpinning information sharing were found. However, examples of good practice in professional involvement of carers that took account of carer rights and responsibilities emerged. It became clear that the carer’s assessment was an important tool for gaining understanding of the care context and enhancing information sharing.

Decoding Valuing People

M. Burton and C. Kagan

Disability and Society, vol.21, 2006, p.299-313

Valuing People, the UK government’s policy framework for learning disability in England, represents a bold initiative to transform the way people with learning difficulties are supported. It provides a policy context for the enhancement of learning disabled people’s inclusion in community and society, and the reversal of some of the systemic disadvantages they have experienced. However, there are contradictions and tensions within the framework due to underlying neoliberal assumptions and a somewhat romanticised view of people with learning disabilities. This article explores these tensions, focussing on key issues around person centred planning, direct payments and access to paid work.

Nobody’s talking

L. Tickle

Community Care, June 22nd-28th 2006, p.30-31

Reports that the Black Mental Health Network has withdrawn its co-operation from the Department of Health on running the consultation on controversial amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983. While the Network was working in partnership with the Department of Health on the scope, implementation and facilitation of the assessment consultations, it found that the Department was organising its own events independently.

Out of order

P. Ramcharan

Community Care, June 22nd-28th 2006, p.34-35

The public behaviour of people with learning difficulties can be problematic, but is a product of biology rather than a matter of choice. Anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) are being used inappropriately to purge communities of such unwanted members.

Users’ views of looked after children’s mental health services

A. Beck

Adoption and Fostering, vol.50, Summer 2006, p.53-63

The aim of this study was to gather the views of young people in the care of the London Borough of Lambeth and their carers about three issues: the young people’s mental health, their access to mental health services, and their experiences of those services. Data were gathered using a postal questionnaire with open-ended questions. The results highlighted a number of themes: young people tended to identify internal emotional problems while their carers predominantly focused on externally visible problem behaviours; young people valued contact with social workers but reported this to be lacking; and both groups described barriers to accessing mental health services. These included physical barriers, such as distance to travel, and psychological barriers such as the perception that only “mad” people use such services.

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