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Welfare reform on the Web (February 2007): Mental health services - UK

Double troubles

L. Eaton

Health Service Journal, vol.117, Jan. 4th 2007, p.22-24

Services for people with both a mental health problem and a drug or alcohol addiction have historically been split between the NHS and the voluntary sector and patients may fall through the gaps. Local improvement teams have been slow to implement guidance issued in 2002 and there is a shortage of specialist psychiatrists, but evidence of good practice is emerging.

Give hope a chance

C. Rogers

Community Care, Jan. 18th-24th 2007, p.32-33

Professionals are reluctant to label odd adolescent behaviour as mental illness until the signs become unmistakably abnormal. This leads to delays in access to treatment, when early intervention can prevent adverse social consequences in later life. The aim of early intervention programmes is to give individuals and their families skills to deal with difficulties in their lives so that they do not have to resort to psychiatric treatments.

Impact of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

M. Wigg

Caring Times, Jan. 2007, p.25 + 28

This article summarises the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which comes into force in April 2007, and explains its implications for care providers. The Act makes clear who should make decisions on behalf of people who lack capacity and how they should go about this. This article explains the Act’s provisions in relation to assessment of capacity, use of restraint, lasting power of attorney and role of advocates.

Improving mental health services for older people

J. Hall, H. Waldock and C. Harvey

Mental Health Review, vol.11, Dec. 2006, p.7-13

Since the New Labour government came to power in 1997, substantial guidance has been developed and promulgated in the fields of policy and good practice in the provision of mental health services for older people. The Health and Social Care Advisory Service (HASCAS) has found that implementation of both policy and practice guidance can be highly variable and is influenced by a number of factors:

  • Degree of willingness and level of ability of service providers to work in partnership
  • The quality of team leadership among senior practitioners
  • Information overload
  • Resource limitations
  • Service breakdown at points of transition, such as moving from generic to specialist services
  • Unmet need amongst vulnerable groups such as ex-service personnel, former prisoners, and people with learning difficulties.

Integrated service user-led teaching in higher education: experiences and learning points

L. Simons and others

Mental Health Review, vol.11, Dec. 2006, p.14-18

The primary reason for involving service users in the training of mental health professionals is the anticipation that it will produce practitioners capable of delivering improved outcomes for service users and their carers. An innovative approach to achieve this is to appoint a service user into an academic post within a higher education institution with responsibility for training mental health professionals. This article describes and evaluates the experience of developing such a post at an English university.

Job seekers’ bank draft

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Jan.11th-17th 2007, p.26-27

Describes how investment bank Goldman Sachs has been taking part in a scheme to offer intern placements lasting between four weeks and a year to people with Asperger’s syndrome.

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