Social care staff and providers face prosecution for wilful neglect or ill-treatment

These proposals, which would also apply to health services, are designed to fill a gap in the law left by section 127 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These created offences of ill-treatment or wilful neglect for people with mental disorders committed by staff or guardians, or people who lack capacity to take relevant decisions by care staff or attorneys or deputies appointed to take decisions for them. Click HERE to read more

Mind report 21% drop in the number of adults with mental health needs who received social care support since 2005,

Cuts to local authority social care budgets – the majority of which have hit since 2009 – have left a funding shortfall for care of up to £260 million, the charity said. Mind extracted the data from research published by the London School of Economics in December last year. When demographic changes are accounted for, the fall in the number of mental health service users in receipt of social care support since 2005 could be as high as 68,000 – a 48% drop. The reduction in the number of people with physical health needs receiving social care support was 33%.

The report also found that almost a third (30%) of councils had halved the number of people with mental health problems receiving social care support.

Mental Health Foundation: Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 will take place from 12-18 May. This year's theme is Anxiety.

The success of Mental Health Awareness Week is largely down to the generous support they receive from organisations and individuals throughout the UK who get involved by publicising the week, organising activities and events, and hopefully having some fun as well.

To find out more click on link

DWP on Verge of Meltdown over Big Welfare Projects

The above claim made by Margret Hodge MP, Chair of the Commons Public Spending Committee, prior to the publication of a report critiquing the Governments awarding of contracts to private firms. The DWP, in particular, are cited as particularly struggling with implementing welfare reforms via the use of private firms to deliver in areas such as IT contracts, back-to-work provision and benefit assessments. All of which has resulted in a stretch of negative publicity - "Time and again when we see failures ... it's a failure of government to manage contracts," states Mrs. Hodge".

The Original Article to which the title refers was by Jane Dudman and Rowena Mason, and appeared in The Guardian on Friday 14th March 2014 to view the original article click HERE

Crisis in children’s mental health services? - Children treated on adult mental health wards on the rise

child mh wardNew data reveals that more children and young people have been treated on adult mental health wards in the first eight months of 2013/14 than the whole of the previous year. 250 children and young people aged under 18 were treated on adult mental health wards in the first eight months of 2013/14. Between April and November 2013 Provisional data published yesterday by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows that, 250 under-18s were recorded as spending time on adult mental health wards as a result of 303 admissions to hospital. Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had the highest number of young people treated on adult wards, while Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust had the most bed days.
Under the Mental Health Act (2007) adult mental health wards are rightly deemed to be inappropriate settings for treating under-18s, and young people aged 16 and 17 are only meant to be treated in adult wards in exceptional circumstances. These increases have happened despite promises in recent years from a succession of government spokespeople promising to end their use for children and young people.

Lyn Boyd, Mental Health North East CEO stated "MHNE are both shocked and saddened by this news. The legislation clearly states that an adult mental health ward is not an appropriate setting for vulnerable children with mental health problems. MHNE calls upon the government to take urgent action to reverse this trend and improve early intervention services. "MHNE would like to express our dismay that two well known mental health charities have used this
news as a crude attempt to raise funds"

Mental health units 'heading for a mid-Staffs scandal', warns senior psychiatrist

According to the above-titled article by Daniel Boffey, published in the Observer 02/03/2014, the country's top psychiatrist has expressed concerns that due to government cuts in NHS funding, the Mental Health sector is "heading towards its own mid-staffs style scandal".

From feedback MHNE has received from Member organisations along with service users and carers, it would appear that whilst there have been some exciting new projects and developments in the delivery of mental health services in the North East, many would agree with the views expressed in the article.

We would invite readers of our bulletin and visitors to our website to send us your views and let's open up the debate.

To read the full Observer article Click HERE

CQC launches call for people to share their experiences of care received during a mental health crisis

CQC announce - we have now launched our public call for people to share their experiences of the help, care and support they – or someone they care for – may have received during a crisis.

Specifically we are asking people who experienced a mental health crisis within the last two years and tried to get help from their local services to tell us about the help, care and support they received. We are also encouraging carers to share their experiences, and local groups or organisations that work with people who have experienced a crisis and / or that have an interest in the quality of crisis care in their local area to share their knowledge with us.

Hearing from those with direct experience and knowledge of services at a local level is central to a themed piece of work we are carrying out into mental health crisis care and we want to make sure as many people find out about this opportunity as we can. We hope that you are able to use your own channels and networks to let people know about this opportunity to share their experiences.

You can find the online questionnaires at I have also attached some posters and flyers to promote the call for evidence locally (these will soon be available for download from For those that might want to talk about this work via Twitter, @Carequalitycomm has tweeted using the hashtags #mentalhealth and #cqc.

People can tell us about their experiences until the end of April 2014 and what they tell us will help us to build a better picture across England of where crisis care work well and where they do not.

Whilst we cannot receive responses after the end of April, people will still be able to tell us about their experiences with a specific provider by using our online forms or by calling 03000 616161.

Mental health advocacy & human rights: your guide

This guide has been produced by the British Institute of Human Rights, as the result of a three year project working with 20 voluntary and community sector organisations in England including several that work people suffering from mental distress.

The aim of the project was to examine the ways in which human rights can contribute to the improvement of delivery of health and social care services.

The premise of the guide is to support advocates working with service users with mental health problems. With some sections being of specific interest and relevance to service users in particular.

The cut out section at the front "five things everyone should know about human rights" Click HERE for a PDF version of the guide.

New Public Service Agreement for Crisis Mental Health Care

There is a new agreement between public sector organisations which seeks to improve mental health crisis care.

The Crisis Care Concordat has been signed by 22 organisations including NHS England, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and is supported by third sector organisations.

Please see the link below for the joint statement about how public services should work together to respond to people who are in mental health crisis.

NICE: Public Health Programme Guidance - Domestic violence and abuse

NICE’s Public Health Programme Guidance on Domestic violence and abuse - how services can respond effectively (PH50) has been published today, 26th February 2014.

The full guidance and background papers, are available now on the NICE website:

NICE Pathways is an online tool for health and social care professionals that brings together all related NICE guidance and associated products in a set of interactive topic-based diagrams. Please see the link to the Pathway for this guidance here: