Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health – Policy Watch.

June 3, 2010

The June bulletin from the Sainsbury Centre contains the following information: 

ACPO guidance on police responses to people with mental ill health

The guidance Responding to people with mental ill health or learning disabilities has been developed for ACPO by the NPIA, drawing upon the expertise of health professionals, charities, third sector organisations and social care workers.

The press release, quoting Sean Duggan, our joint chief executive, should be available on the ACPO website, but it might be being archived in light of the recent election.


Other information available at the Sainsbury website can be reached through the following link:

Brief summaries of the information follow:


Survey shows steady improvements in community mental health services

September 11, 2008

Published: 11 September 2008

A Healthcare Commission survey of people using community mental health services, published today, has shown continued improvements in care.

A larger percentage of service users say that they have confidence in mental health professionals, receive copies of their care plan and have a number to contact out-of-hours when in a crisis situation.

Overall, most respondents continued to rate their care highly, with 78% describing it as “excellent”, “very good” or “good”, 13% as “fair” and 9% as “poor” or “very poor”. These figures remain consistent with previous surveys.

But the survey also shows there is still some way to go before community mental health services are accessible to all people who need them and include all service users in decisions about their care.

The Healthcare Commission coordinates an annual survey of service users in NHS trusts providing community mental health services in England.  In 2008, these included mental health trusts, as well as foundation trusts and primary care trusts providing community mental health services, and more than 14,000 people responded.

The survey invited feedback from people who were receiving care under the Care Programme Approach (CPA), which was established in 1991 for those who regularly access mental health services. The CPA sets out guidelines for how care should be coordinated and how service users should be involved in decisions.

Under the CPA, all service users should know who their care coordinator is and should receive a copy of a care plan, which they should have been involved in developing and agreeing.  They should also have regular care reviews to discuss their care and treatment with health professionals.

In 2008, 74% of respondents say they know who their care coordinator is, up from 67% in 2004. Over the same period, the proportion of service users who say they received a copy of their care plan increased from 49% to 59%.  The proportion reporting not having had a care review in the last year has fallen from 51% in 2004 to 45% in 2008. 

However, the survey shows that more attention needs to be paid to involving people in their care. In 2008, almost a quarter (24%) of people say they were not involved in deciding what was in their care plan, suggesting no significant improvement over previous years.  Furthermore, 16% of service users say their diagnosis was not discussed with them.

The survey also showed room for improvement around access to counselling services such as talking therapies. Of the 62% of service users who did not receive any counselling almost a third of those (32%) would have liked to.

There was continued improvement in the number of people who say they have the number of someone from their local NHS mental health service to call out-of-hours, up from 49% in 2004 to 55% in 2008.  However, this still leaves 45% of service users without access to a crisis number to call out-of-hours.  

A greater share of service users report that they are definitely involved in decisions about their medication, up from 40% in 2004 to 44% in 2008. But almost a third (32%) of those who had been given new prescriptions over the previous year say that they were not told about possible side effects – although this has fallen from 35% in 2004.

The survey also showed continued improvement in service users’ relationships with healthcare professionals.  A greater proportion report that they have confidence in their psychiatrist, up from 59% in 2004 to 63% in 2008, and that their psychiatrist “definitely” listens carefully, from 68% in 2004 to 72% this year.  Likewise, 75% report that they “definitely” had trust and confidence in their community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), up from 73% in 2004.

Since the survey, the Care Programme Approach has been revised by the Department of Health. As of October, a new system will be introduced whereby only those with more complex mental health needs will be part of the programme. While many of those currently on standard CPA will no longer be part of this formal approach, an assessment of their needs, the development of a care plan and a review of that care by a professional involved, will continue to be good practice for all.

Commenting on the survey results, Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said:

“The survey shows steady improvement in how service users rate key aspects of their care. This is good news for trusts and good news for the people who access community mental health services. But more must be done to improve access to care, in particular to talking therapies and out-of-hours crisis care, and to involve people in decisions about their treatment.”

Speaking about the changes to the Care Programme Approach, she said:

“People may need to access a range of community mental health services from a number of healthcare professionals, so it’s critical that the care is coordinated and accessible. We also know that treatment is more effective when people are involved in their care and are supported to make decisions about their treatment.

“While the improvements are to be commended, the survey shows that there remains a significant number of service users who say that their care is not coordinated and that they aren’t involved in decisions about their treatment.

“When the new system comes into effect, trusts should ensure that the principles of the CPA should continue to apply to every service user and that the improvements made over the last few years are sustained and built upon. Service users’ care should be co-ordinated by one person, they should be involved in decisions about their care and they should have access to a range of therapies and services.”

The Commission welcomed the government’s announcement last year of an extra £170 million to improve access to talking therapies for people with a wide range of mental health problems.

The Healthcare Commission will use the survey results to assess mental health trusts in the 2007/2008 annual health check performance rating. In 2008/2009, the annual health check will use a broader set of indicators to assess the performance of mental health trusts, looking at many of the issues identified in this survey. The indicators include a focus on coordinated care in mental health, access to crisis resolution services, mental health data quality, and will continue to incorporate the views of service users.

The survey was co-ordinated on behalf of the Commission by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

Survey of users of mental health services 2008

Information provided by the Healthcare Commission: Link below:


July 7, 2008

Embargo: 00:01 Monday, 2 June

Friday, 30 May, 2008






£22million facility to improve specialist care for children


A new state-of-the-art unit for children and young people in South Wales living with mental health conditions moved a step closer today [Monday, 2 June] following approval from the Welsh Assembly Government.


The £22million Assembly Government-funded facility will be developed at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.


The unit, providing a 24-hour, seven-day service, will have a 14-bed planned treatment ward and a five-bed emergency and high-dependency ward, and help children and young people who are experiencing complex mental health problems such as eating disorders, mood disorders and self-harm.


Subject to approval of planning permission and final detailed business case, the new unit is expected to open late next year. The new unit is based in Bridgend due to its central location in South Wales.


Health Minister Edwina Hart said: “There are a range of services to support children and young people living with mental health conditions, whether that be by GPs, education, social services, hospitals, the voluntary sector or access to specialist care.


“I am determined to further improve the care for young people. Specialist mental health services for young people in South Wales have historically been offered at the Harvey Jones unit in Cardiff. However, while work on the new £22million development at the Princess of Wales Hospital which has been planned for some time is progressing well, young people now have access to improved interim facilities at Glanrhyd Hospital.


“The new unit will also enable more young people to receive care closer to their home, family and friends and reduce the need to travel for treatment.


“The unit will provide a more integrated service with an effective and seamless follow up treatment and support after patients have moved on from the inpatient phase of their care. It will also reduce existing reliance on use of specialist non-NHS mental health services outside Wales.


   “On top of this significant capital funding, the One Wales document made a commitment to child and adolescent mental health services. The budget settlement included an additional £4.8million between now and 2010-11 to improve service delivery. This will be complemented by £6.5million allocated to developing a school-based counselling service.”





Dr Meraj Hasan, Clinical Director for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services based at Cwm Taf NHS Trust, said: “Family interventions are an important element in the treatment of adolescents and young people suffering from mental health problems. Best practice is to involve the family in therapy sessions, and in other work with the young person. The new unit will enable such work to develop.


“I’m delighted this much-needed scheme is moving forward. Over the past few years considerable emphasis has been placed on the need to improve mental health services for young people. This unit will be a big step in helping to improve the services we can offer, and in an environment designed for young people.”


David Francis, chair of Cwm Taf NHS Trust, added: “This is excellent news.  We look forward to working with all colleagues in commissioning the new purpose-built unit to improve services to young people across the whole of South Wales.”


Win Griffiths, chair of ABM University NHS Trust, said: “The unit will provide a much better service for children and young people with mental health problems in South Wales. I look forward to its speedy completion and welcome the support of the Welsh Assembly Government for this state-of-the-art unit provided at the Princess of Wales Hospital site.”





  • The Health Minister Edwina Hart has approved the Outline Business Case (OBC) for the development of a specialist, known as tier 4, child and adolescent mental health unit for South Wales. The OBC is the second phase of a three-stage business case process for capital investment in the NHS.
  • The new facilities will be developed and managed by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust, but the services will be delivered by Cwm Taf NHS Trust, which leads on child and adolescent mental health services in South Wales.
  • Health Commission Wales is working with Cwm Taf NHS Trust to improve access to emergency beds before the new unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Bridgend is built.
  • Work is under way to improve access to child and adolescent mental health services in North Wales.
  • A new unit in Abergele will increase the number of child and adolescent mental health beds in North Wales to 16, including a five-bed emergency or high dependency ward.
  • Before the new unit opens in Abergele, the current facilities at Cedar Court, Colwyn Bay will be expanded from a five-day inpatient service to one that is available seven days a week in the next few months.





Iechyd Meddwl Cymru

June 18, 2008



 Iechyd Meddwl Cymru


A Well Being and Mental Health Service

Fit For Wales



Michael AH Williams


April 2008


The following is an extract from the opening page of the Michael Williams Report.

If you wish to read the entire report then it is saved in the Pages section under Essential Reports.   This a seriously important Consultation and if you would like to make a response to the recommendations, or to receive help in making a response, please contact Jen, Debbi or Tony on 01291-673728

1.                This paper was requested by, Edwina Hart MBE AM, the Minister of Health and Social Services.[i] Its principle recommendation is that a statutory body responsible for mental health and well being in Wales is established. For the purpose of this discussion I have called it, “Iechyd Meddwl Cymru[ii] – a mental health and well being service for Wales.” [IMC].The organisation will include teaching and research as part of its remit.


2.                IMC’s proposed structure will be unique to Wales but in line with the Government of Wales’ health policies and strategies.[iii] [iv] [v] [vi]


3.                IMC is not an attempt to copy other UK models of health care, although it will benefit from good practice wherever it originates from. A recent WIHSC survey of health leaders indicated that a majority of them felt that Wales’ mental health services were not as good as those provided in England.[vii] The WIHSC survey also noted that there is no robust evidence base to commend any particular structural arrangements for the delivery of mental health and social care services. The evidence is largely anecdotal.


4.                IMC will emphasise the positive benefits of addressing issues relating to a person’s well being at all stages through life. This is of benefit not only to the individual but also to communities and is of national importance. The service needs to unite primary care, community mental health services, social services, and acute services in a common code and purpose to provide service users with care that is seamless. Care should not be adversely affected by organisation boundaries, age or budgetary controls.


5.                IMC will involve the voluntary sector and the private sector in the best interests of the service user. The funding of both the voluntary and private sector needs to be addressed in commissioning terms and the wide span of funding sources for the voluntary sector needs to be simplified.

[i]        The author has reviewed available literature and research. However, this is not presented as an academic paper. It is intended as guidance to the Minister and to act as a catalyst for a discussion of the mental health and well being service in Wales.

[ii]         Mental Health Wales

[iii]        One Wales 2007 WAG.

[iv]        Designed for Life 2005 WAG.

[v]         Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities 2007.

[vi]        Making the Connections Beyond Boundaries.

Langley Beddow Magill. 2007 WISHC “NHS Barometer 2007 Report of the 2007 Confidential Survey of Leadership Opinion in Wales” -University of Glamorgan.





Mental Capacity Act Training.

February 15, 2008

Two more free training days.   If you or a relative are likely to be affected by the Mental Capacity Act then it would be a positive idea to take advantage of training.



The Workshops provide an opportunity for voluntary organizations and user and carer groups to explore the Act and Code of Practice and its implications and to prepare to lead sessions on the Act with their own staff teams

WORKSHOP 1.    6 MARCH 2008, 11.00 AM – 3.00 PM

WORKSHOP 2.   19 MARCH 2008 11.00 AM – 3.00 PM

Facilitator: Gabe Conlon

Gabe Conlon is an experienced social care trainer and management consultant who has delivered the POVA Train the Trainer workshops for several agencies in S E Wales. His company Practice Solutions has been commissioned by the Pan Gwent Consortium to support implementation of the Act

Gabe will present an overview of the Act and Code of Practice and explore the implications of the act for vulnerable adults, their carers and the services they receive. He will particularly focus on the implications for domiciliary, day, residential and nursing services and introduce provider managers to material which will assist them to cascade his training to their staff

The Workshops are WAG funded and no charge will be made for attendance.

Allocation of places per workshop: 20

Lunch will be provided

For further information please contact Sheila Mann on 01633 414600 or e-mail

Why miss this opportunity? – go with a friend.

Mental Health and Older People.

January 16, 2008

A mental health pandemic and an inadequate Government response mean that over 3.5 million older people who experience mental health problems do not have satisfactory services and support, according to the final report from the UK Inquiry into Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life – a major independent inquiry supported by Age Concern.

The UK Inquiry into Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life has published its final report, Improving Services and Support for Older People with Mental Health Problems. 

The report follows the Inquiry’s first report, Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life, which was published in June 2006.

Click here to download:

Mental Health News.

January 15, 2008

Courts failing to use the option of mental health treatment for offenders outside prison, says new report. 

From the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.   For more information click on Mental Health News in the Pages section on the right.  This report is interesting.

New page added.

January 15, 2008

A new page has been added in the column on the right – Network and Forum notes.

This is so that the Notes of meetings are available in full for anyone who wants to read them.   Summaries are also included on CONCUR newsletter.   Printed copies can be made available if requested, altho anyone with internet access can can copy and print these pages.   Any comments, criticisms, or paraise – please let us know.

Mental Health Promotion Wales

November 6, 2007

First Edition of Mental Health Promotion Wales/World Mental Health Day.The Wales Centre for Health is delighted to publish the first edition of Mental Health Promotion Wales, the quarterly newsletter from the All Wales Mental Health Promotion Network.

The network is committed to engaging with as wide a group of stakeholders as possible and believes its members have a vital role to play in the development and future success of this project. The publication of the first edition coincides with World Mental Health day, this year focusing on mental health in a changing world: the impact of culture and diversity.

Issue 1 – Mental Health Promotion Wales

Yet another NHS shake up coming?

November 6, 2007

The following is from the Mental Health Wales website and if you would like to read similar items, then please click on the link to Mental Health Wales – under Links in the right hand column. NHS Shake-up Imminent
BBC1’s news magazine programme The Politics Show yesterday publicised the exclusive interview given by Health Minister Edwina Hart to Hafal’s quarterly journal Mental Health Wales and in particular to comments made by the Minister pointing to imminent and major change to the NHS in Wales.The Politics Show highlighted that the Minister had chosen to give a candid interview to patient group Hafal, in which she gave clear and unambiguous indication of a shake-up in the way health services are commissioned in Wales.The autumn issue of Mental Health Wales, which contains the interview with Mrs Hart, is available on-line from today.

 edwina-hart-am.jpg  Edwina Hart AM  Assembly Government Health and Social Services Minister. In the course of a wide-ranging interview, the Minister gives her forthright view on the “plethora” of commissioning bodies in Wales, calling them “not effective” and promising change.

The BBC’s Politics Show feature drew on comments Mrs Hart made in the Mental Health Wales interview, including her assertion: “In general I think there are too many commissioning bodies. We need to do something about it. That is my view.”

The Minister goes on to say: “There is a plethora of commissioning bodies and it’s very difficult for people to understand what it all means in terms of the services they receive. I don’t think this plethora allows us to have effective commissioning. It’s all about continuity of care across the piece.”

Welsh health services are planned and commissioned by the 22 Local Health Boards, one in each local authority area. But patient groups and others believe the system is too complicated and costly, and leads to uneven service provision across Wales.

Asked for her own views on the number of commissioning bodies in Wales, the Minister told Mental Health Wales: “People are getting lost in the gaps between providers of services but, worse than that, some people are getting batted back and forth between various places and that’s not acceptable.”
Cross-party support for change is evident within the Senedd: Conservative shadow health minister Jonathan Morgan said of the current structure: “It will get worse of course now that the Health Minister is going to be merging some of the health Trusts and creating these super hybrid trusts.
“The problem with that is that the rationale for keeping these mini-LHBs will simply disappear because if they can’t compete with NHS Trusts now, they certainly won’t compete with the new bigger trusts.”

And AM Helen Mary Jones, Assembly Government coalition partner Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on health, said: “It is clear that we cannot go on as we have been.

“There are too many organisations and too much money being spent on administration and, of course, these are resources that we cannot then use for front-line care.”

Bill Walden-Jones, the Chief Executive of Hafal, said: “It’s entirely appropriate that the Health Minister used a patient group to signal her intentions on this matter because this is a move which looks to address their needs.

“Hafal has argued for many years that the Welsh Assembly Government needs to invest in front-line services and not bureaucracies. It can’t be right that with a population of just 2.9m Wales needs 22 separate legal entities – the Local Health Boards – to commission NHS services.

“There are excellent people working in commissioning and it would be great to see them freed up in a streamlined NHS to develop joined-up services and work alongside patients to improve services for everyone.”

Mental Health Wales is the quarterly journal produced and published by Hafal, Wales’ principal charity for people with severe mental illness and their carers. Mental Health Wales is a client-led publication that keeps patients, professionals, policy-makers and the wider public informed about current mental health issues.