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Welfare reform on the Web (January 2007): Mental Health Services - UK

Community development workers for black and minority ethnic communities: final handbook

Department of Health

2006 (Mental health policy implementation guide)

Community development is an integral part of government attempts to improve mental health services so that they can meet the meets of minority ethnic groups effectively. Community development workers will work with and support communities, including the Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary sector, help build capacity within them, and ensure that the views of minority communities are taken into account by the statutory sector during the planning and delivery of mental health services. The new workers are expected to operate at senior level alongside the regional race equality leads within health and social care, focusing on improving commissioning, experience and outcomes for all minority ethnic groups.

Doing it for themselves

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Nov. 23rd-29th 2006, p.32-33

This article reviews positive progress in provision of services for people with learning difficulties since the closure of long-stay special hospitals through interviews with three service users. People with learning difficulties can now live in the community, do paid work and become involved in self-advocacy.

Health inequalities

A. Nocon and J. Owen

Primary Care Mental Health, vol.4, 2006, p.67-71

People with mental health problems are significantly more prone to physical ailments than the general population. They have difficulty accessing physical healthcare due to stigmatisation and discrimination. They are also victims of “diagnostic overshadowing”, whereby physical health problems are wrongly attributed to the mental health condition, and of adverse side-effects of psychotropic drugs.

How mental health foundation trusts are working

W. Moyes

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.12, 2006, p.338-339

The first three mental health foundation trusts in England were launched in 2006. This article reviews their progress, focusing on the impact of payment-by-results, collaboration with social care, and identification of new opportunities in the mental health service marketplace.

Joint investigation into the provision of services for people with learning disabilities at Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust

M. Flynn

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.8, Nov. 2006, p.28-32

Summarises and reviews the 2006 report on the abuse experienced over many years by people with learning difficulties residing in Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust accommodation and in housing supported by Trust personnel.

Looking through users’ eyes

J. Repper and R. Perkins

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2006, p.25-28

This article points out the benefits of the new user focused monitoring approach to mental health service evaluation developed at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. User focused monitoring is based on the premise that, if the evaluation of services is genuinely to reflect the concerns and views of the people who use them, rather than those of providers, then users should lead the process at every stage, from the questions asked, through the collection, analysis and interpretation of data to the final reporting of the results and the development of recommendations for change.

Private family arrangements and the welfare of adults who lack capacity: an analysis of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill

K. Hanson and T. Hamilton

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.8, Nov. 2006, p.16-27

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill aims to improve the system for vetting staff and volunteers who want to work in health, social care or education. This article sets out the concerns of a coalition of disability charities about the Bill’s failure to provide for compulsory checks on people employed privately by family and friends to care for vulnerable adults who lack capacity to manage their own affairs. These arguments are opposed by carers’ organisations who want to avoid increasing the regulatory burden on them.

Proportionate response?


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

There is concern about the number of deaths of psychiatric patients held under restraint in mental health units. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has responded by issuing voluntary guidelines on the use of physical restraint, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists has launched an accreditation scheme for acute inpatient wards.

Square 100

M. Harris

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2006, p.14-15

Describes the development of a version of the traditional children’s game Snakes and Ladders to offer an interactive training resource to help young people communicate their views and the issues that matter to them to service providers, and to ensure that the service providers hear and learn from what the young people have to say.

Tribunals and tribulations

S. Lawton-Smith

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2006, p.32-34

This article reports on a review of the initial impact in Scotland of community-based Compulsory Treatment Orders for people with mental health problems. The new arrangements have generally been welcomed. There is no evidence of any significant increase in the use of compulsion, or of the orders being abused. Mental health professionals appreciate the powers that the new community-based Compulsory Treatment Order provides, but have serious reservations about the burdensome administrative process.

Why every child matters

N. Radcliffe

Mental Health Today, Dec. 2006, p.18-20

One in five children in the UK is said to experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, while one in ten is said to have a clinically recognisable mental health disorder. This article argues against the medicalisation of mental distress in young children, and suggests that their problems may be due to abuse, neglect and conflict within the family which stunt their social and emotional development. It calls for a cultural change in our approach to emotional distress in children away from psychiatry through the creation of integrated multi-professional teams.

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