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Preview: Bill Davis: UK News

Bill Davis: UK News

Stories from United Kingdom news sources.

Last Build Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 17:13:37 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2005 Bill Davis

Securing better mental health for older adults (UK)

Mon, 01 Aug 2005 22:48:35 GMT

 A document from the UK Department of Health that "marks the start of a new initiative to combine forces across mental health and older people’s services to ensure that older people with mental illness do not miss out on the improved services that younger adults or those without mental illness have seen. It provides a vision for how all mainstream health and social care services, with the support of specialist services, should work together to secure better mental health for older adults, and describes how the Department of Health is aiming to help deliver this." The link above leads to an HTML version of the document, which is also available in PDF format.

Mental Health Foundation calls service-user defined outcomes symposium (UK)

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 20:50:59 GMT

 Medical News Today story - "In response to the Healthcare Commission's publication of the final set of star ratings today, the Foundation has called a symposium on mental health service user-defined performance measures. The event in November will provide a think-tank opportunity to examine meaningful measures and how to embed them in the future of health service inspections."

Mind Highlights Trustees' Mental Health Problems (UK)

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 03:36:07 GMT

 Red Nova story - "Mind, the mental health charity, has issued a statement declaring that one in five of its trustees have been compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act. The charity's first audit of council management revealed that 15 of its 24 trustees have had mental health problems in the past year, whereas 18 have directly experienced mental distress and can call on recent experience. A spokesman said the charity decided to make the figures public 'for reasons of transparency and accountability'."

Some Concessions On Mental Health Bill, But Serious Concerns Not Addressed, Says Alliance, UK

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 18:04:43 GMT

  Medical News Today story - "The UK Government's response to the Joint Scrutiny Committee on the draft Mental Health Bill offers some hope but there is a long way to go before Government plans can be made into a workable mental health bill, the Mental Health Alliance said today. Speaking on the day the Government published its response, Alliance chairman Paul Farmer said: ' After seven years and thousands of hours of consultation on this crucial legislation, some of the basic changes required are now being recognised, but we're a long way from workable legislation.' " See also Next Steps For Mental Health Bill at the same source and Anger over new mental health bill (Guardian).

Ministers reject concerns over mental health law (UK)

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 21:26:45 GMT

 Guardian story - "The government today vowed to press ahead with its controversial overhaul of mental health legislation, against the advice of MPs and peers. The Department of Health and the Home Office said the parliamentary committee that scrutinised the legislation was wrong to conclude that it would erode civil liberties. The departments today accused the joint committee on the draft mental health bill of missing the point about the proposed measures to widely extend compulsory treatment and detain people suffering from mental illnesses or personality disorders." See also Mental health committee 'misses the point' ( and Rethink - Mental Health Bill concessions fail to meet concerns (Rethink press release at

Support so key to mental health (UK)

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 00:58:25 GMT

 BBC story - "Government proposals to give doctors powers to compel mentally ill patients to undergo treatment in the community have provoked widespread concern. This week ministers will respond to the criticisms. The BBC went to Nottingham to find out what people involved in the mental health care system think..."

Evaluating Mental Health Services for Older People (UK)

Sun, 10 Jul 2005 23:11:52 GMT

 A review at of Evaluating Mental Health Services for Older People by Jenny Finch (Radcliffe Publishing) - "...The book provides a useful overview of the development of services in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia, along with an insight into the evaluation of these services, before making an international comparison. The detail reflects the author's depth of experience. The various approaches adopted in developing standards and methodologies for evaluation within the context of the former Commission for Health Improvement and with the Health Advisory Service (HAS) in the late 1990s are discussed."

When will mental health chiefs learn? (UK)

Thu, 07 Jul 2005 23:51:31 GMT

 South Manchester Reporter story - "Patient representatives have criticised a Government publication reviewing mental health services for the elderly in the wake of the abuse of patients at Rowan Ward. The report was launched on Wednesday, July 6, following an inspection into services across the country. But Val Bayliss-Brideaux, who organised the Rowan Ward Relatives and Carers Group, said the views and feelings of relatives and carers of those abused at the hospital in 2002 were still being ignored..."

Improve Care For Older People With Mental Health Needs (UK)

Wed, 06 Jul 2005 14:18:43 GMT

 Medical News Today story - "Today sees the launch of a practical leaflet which aims to improve services for older people with mental health needs, especially those who are in receipt of care or who are inpatients in hospital. Aimed at mental health staff, service providers and commissioners, Moving on: Key learning from Rowan Ward is published by The Care Services Improvement Partnership* (CSIP) as a 'hands on' response to the review of inpatient services for older people with mental health needs (2003). This concise and easy to read report presents ten key recommendations for staff that, when implemented, would improve the quality of existing care for older and often extremely vulnerable people." See also the leaflet Moving On (PDF format).

Mental health care 'not holistic' (UK)

Thu, 30 Jun 2005 20:56:58 GMT

 BBC story - "People with severe mental illness are still receiving worryingly sub-standard levels of physical care, a report says. Experts believe poor physical care contributes towards a three times higher rate of premature death among those with severe mental problems. This group is at greater risk of physical illness, often due to their mental illness and lifestyle factors. Among those contributing to the report are mental health charities Rethink and Sane, and the Royal College of Nursing."

New moves to spot mental illness (UK)

Mon, 20 Jun 2005 17:09:29 GMT

 BBC story - "Health officials have launched a trail blazing drive aimed at spotting early signs of mental illness. The Mental Health First Aid scheme is aimed at health service staff, job centres, colleges, voluntary groups, and the police and ambulance services. The push, developed in Australia, was tested in Scotland last year..."

Mental health 'must be priority' (UK)

Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:56:25 GMT

 BBC story - "Maintaining good mental health should be considered to be as important as keeping physically fit, a report says. The Institute for Public Policy Research said progress was being made with how it was treated and perceived. But researchers said the issue needed to be brought more into the mainstream if it was to escape the stereotype of mentally ill people being dangerous. The Department of Health said mental health was one of its top priorities along with heart disease and cancer..." The full report is available for a fee through the IPPR web site.

Community care has led to loss of staff from psychiatric wards (UK)

Thu, 02 Jun 2005 16:39:01 GMT

 May 28 British Medical Journal news story - "A new report indicates that the growing emphasis on caring for mental health patients in the community is having a serious effect on hospital care, leading to an exodus of staff and worsening conditions for inpatients. The survey, by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, was commissioned by the National Institute for Mental Health in England and is one of the most detailed assessments of hospital care ever carried out in England, covering more than 50 trusts and 300 wards. Nearly a third of ward managers reported that their patients were now more severely ill and had higher levels of need..."

Concern over mental health wards (UK)

Wed, 25 May 2005 11:27:53 GMT

 BBC story - "The first national survey of acute inpatient mental health wards paints a grim picture of staff shortages and failure to provide therapy. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health surveyed 300 wards in over 50 NHS trusts across England. It found many wards lack senior medical and nursing staff, and have to rely on bank and agency workers. As a result, many wards are unable to offer therapeutic activities such as cognitive behaviour therapy." See also Mentally ill 'sedated due to staff shortages' at The Guardian and Crisis-hit mental units 'harm patients' at The Independent.

Violence widespread in NHS units (UK)

Tue, 24 May 2005 16:55:13 GMT

 BBC story - "Violence against patients and staff is widespread in mental health and learning disability inpatient units, research shows. A national audit found one in three inpatient service users had experienced violent or threatening behaviour while in care. For clinical staff the figure was 41%, and for nursing staff a massive 80%. The study was carried out by the Healthcare Commission and the Royal College of Psychiatrists."