Click here to skip to content

Welfare reform on the Web (October 2006): Mental health services - UK

An analysis of key principles in Valuing People: implications for supporting people with dementia

L. Forbat

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, vol.10, 2006, p.249-260

This article reports on an analysis of the views on eight key people involved in the development and implementation of learning disability policy in England. The analysis focuses on how the four key principles of the strategy document Valuing People (choice, independence, rights and inclusion) were embedded in the way participants talked. Each of these four principles has important implications for provision of services for people with learning difficulties and dementia. The core finding of the research is that the principles were not embedded in interviewees’ responses.

Complexity and change in the United Kingdom’s system of mental health care

B. Hannigan and D. Allen

Social Theory and Health, vol.4, 2006, p.244-263

In this paper the authors draw on ecological theories that conceptualise the world of work as a complex, dynamic and interrelated system to underpin a wide-ranging case study of the historical evolution and contemporary characteristics of mental health care in the UK. The historical exemplars discussed demonstrate the degree to which, in an interrelated system, change in one part can reverberate elsewhere with significant consequences for the system as a whole. Sources of system disturbance are varied and examples highlighted here include advances in technologies, interoccupational competition, social and ideological developments, and policy interventions. The New Labour government’s modernisation agenda is triggering widespread and unpredictable change in the ecology of mental health care work through its introduction of multidisciplinary teams, its promotion of care standardisation, and its blurring of professional boundaries.

Developing women only and gender sensitive practices in inpatient wards: current issues and challenges

J. Copperman and K. Knowles

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.8, Aug. 2006, p.15-30

This article explores the current implementation of Department of Health policy in relation to the creation of women’s wards and improving inpatient safety for women in psychiatric units, drawing on interviews with service managers, practitioners and users. The review suggests that, while there are improvements in provision for women in inpatient settings, some are still not being offered the option of a women-only ward on admission to hospital, and that changing a culture which accepts a lack of physical and relational safety for women presents real challenges.

Equal treatment: closing the gap: a formal investigation into physical health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems

Disability Rights Commission 2006

Evidence from primary care health records shows that people with mental health problems and people with learning disabilities get worse healthcare than other citizens. From December 2006, the NHS will come under the Disability Equality Duty which places them under an obligation to ensure that their policies and practices do not discriminate, and do promote equal opportunities for disabled people. However, a wide range of practices, identified by this investigation, clearly breach this duty. Primary care organisations need to change their approach to both root out unequal treatment and to explicitly target these high risk groups for health checks and follow-up treatments.

Evaluating partnerships: a case study of integrated specialist mental health services

T. Freeman and E. Peck

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.408-417

This study offers an evaluation of the county-wide implementation of specialist integrated community mental health services in Hertfordshire. It considers the establishment of a range of partnerships between the county council and multiple NHS bodies under Section 31 of the Health Act 1999, relating to mental health, learning disability, drug and alcohol abuse, and child and adolescent mental health services. Arrangements included: integrated county-wide provision via a partnership trust; pooled commissioning and provision budgets; and joint commissioning arrangements between eight primary care trusts and the county council at a joint commissioning partnership board, supported by a joint commissioning team of officers. The evaluation explores the impact of integrated provision on service users, carers and team staff between 2002 and 2004.

Focus on learning difficulties

M. Ahmed (editor)

Community Care, Sept.21st-27th 2006, p.45-48

Now that most long stay hospitals for people with learning difficulties have closed, government is focusing on moving residents off NHS campuses, where they are legally classed as patients and have few rights, and into the community. However, as demand increases due to increased longevity among people with learning difficulties, many councils are struggling to fund the services needed to support growing numbers of clients.

Insiders on the outside: primary mental health work in schools

P. Huddart and others

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.5, June 2006, p.28-35

In order to improve access to child and adolescent mental health services, link workers have been placed in schools in West Lothian since 2002. This article reports the early results of an ongoing evaluation of the impact of these link workers. School staff reported an improvement in referral systems for children at the early stages of mental illness, quicker access to specialist services and an improvement in heir own knowledge and skills.

Integrated care pathways in mental health

J. Hall and D. Howard (editors)

Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2006

The book gathers together recent developments in the field of integrated care pathways in mental health and combines discussion of relevant and developing theory with accounts of real-time developments in practice. Integrated care pathways are advocated as means of ensuring consistent, evidence-based, high-quality care and are integral to the modernisation process which seeks to ensure that care experiences are built around the needs of service users, their families and carers. The book describes the process of developing integrated care pathways, illustrating the main challenges and identifying the benefits of their implementation.

Just the job

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Aug.24th-30th 2006, p.28-29

About 90% of people with learning difficulties in the UK are unemployed. This article surveys the employment opportunities available, including Remploy sheltered workshops, social enterprises and placements in mainstream firms such as Sainsburys.

Mental health policy and practice

H. Lester and J. Glasby

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

The book offers an overview of important developments in mental health care providing both the necessary historical background and wider health and social care context to show how policy impacts on clinical practice. The authors review the evidence base across the whole spectrum of mental health services and lay particular emphasis on the importance of inter-professional partnership for effective practice across sectors.

“Nobody values us”

M. Ahmed

Community Care, Aug. 24th-30th 2006, p.26-27

Cash-strapped Cornwall County Council has made extensive cuts to services for people with learning difficulties and their families, putting severe strain on carers. Funding problems in Cornwall appear to be linked to a failure by the NHS to transfer funding into community services for people with learning difficulties when long stay hospitals closed down.

The outcomes of partnerships with mental health service users in interprofessional education: a case study

D. Barnes, J. Carpenter and C. Dickinson

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.426-435

This paper reports the findings of a five year evaluation (1998-2003) of a post qualifying programme in community mental health in England which made a sustained attempt to develop partnerships with service users. Users were involved in the commissioning of the programme and its evaluation, as trainers and as course members. In general, the students reported positive learning outcomes associated with the partnership orientation of the programme, and learning directly from and with service users. A higher proportion of programme users reported good user-centred assessment and care planning, and showed greater improvement in life skills than the comparison group.

Same difference

E. Dent

Health Service Journal, vol.116, Sept. 28th 2006, p.22-24

As much as 10% of NHS mental health services are provided by private companies and voluntary organisations. These can be cheaper and more flexible than state run services, and coming from a niche market tends to make them competitive. Opportunities for joint ventures with the NHS are growing and highlight the trend towards community-based care, cohesion and co-operation.

Tackling race inequalities: community development, mental health and diversity

P. Thomas and others

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.5, June 2006, p.13-19

This paper describes the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of a community development project that aimed to overcome inequalities in access to mental health services experienced by members of black and minority ethnic communities in Bradford. Project participants wished to solve their problems through shared spiritual, creative, fitness, social and learning activities, help to get work, and peer support. They took a lead role in developing these options and were not dependent recipients. There was also evidence that the project was facilitating dialogue between local communities and statutory services.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web