Community Care Policy In Mental Health Services

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British Community Care Policy in Mental Health Services

British Community Care Policy in Mental Health Services


The biggest problem in filling this need gap is identifying children with mental health problems, not just because of the persistence of the stigma attached to it, but also because children with mental health problems represent a diverse group and our current assessment technologies are limited in the information that they can provide. As a result outcomes for children with mental health problems have continued to remain poor in our society. (Lopez, 2006, 85)

This makes it even more imperative for our society to formulate a comprehensive policy framework that would guarantee minimum basic care (ideally foster case in a home-like environment) (Lovell, 2006, 148)to these children, if they cannot, for some reason stay with their families. Ultimately, such a policy framework must account for protective factors, risk factors, and interventions cutting across race and ethnic considerations. (Lewis, 2003, 7)


Community care policy and practice have been subjected to continued rapid change since the implementation of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. The third edition of this book looks at the impact the modernisation agenda is having on the reforms introduced by that legislation. (Hudson, 2003, 242)

The early chapters set the background and historical context. Later chapters examine the modernisation of public policy - particularly since 1997 (McNicol, 2006, 5)and its implications for community care policy and practice. This includes evaluation of the drive towards partnership and interprofessional working practices. The authors also analyse critical perspectives, particularly from service user and carer movements, and alternative European approaches to community care. (Holloway, 2006, 235)

There is much of concern to CMHNs(community mental health nursing) about the focus on severe mental illness and the establishment of the principle of user coercion in the community. CMHNs will be required to make sense of many policy and practice contradictions. Yet this very fact could provide them with a definitive role in both policy implementation and its future formulation. (Henwood, 2000)

The Policy Context

In the late 1980s and early 1990s there were wide-ranging changes in the delivery of health and social care to older people in the UK, with the aim of the then Conservative government being to contain and reduce public spending. In 1986 The Audit Commission (the UK independent watchdog on value for money in public service) published Making a reality of Community Care. This document noted that some of the chief obstructions to developing a coherent community care policy were fragmentation between health and local authority and mismatched health and social service budgets. Further, they noted that assessments of older people were frequently multiple and services provided were tailored to existing services, rather than a 'needs-led' approach.

Following the Audit Commission's report, the then government appointed Sir Roy Griffiths to review the organization and binding of community care services. A criticism of the Griffiths Report (1988) is the simplistic view it took of health and social care and the subsequent problems that this has caused ...
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