New Law Enables Wales to Lead the Way in Better Mental Health Services; THE PATIENTS' VOICE COLUMN Sue Barnes Is Hafal's Service User Champion

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 7, 2011 | Go to article overview

New Law Enables Wales to Lead the Way in Better Mental Health Services; THE PATIENTS' VOICE COLUMN Sue Barnes Is Hafal's Service User Champion


Byline: Sue Barnes

IN MY first column, in December, I told you how excited I felt about the Mental Health (Wales) Measure - the first new Welsh mental health law to be passed since the 10th century.

The Measure, which received royal assent in December, offers Wales the chance to lead the way in the provision of mental health services in the UK.

For the Measure to bring about the change service users want, it is absolutely essential that its accompanying regulations are up to scratch.

This is why today is such an important day, as it marks the beginning of an Assembly Government consultation programme on three sets of draft regulations.

For service users like me, the most important regulations concern care planning. There's a lot of talk about the importance of care planning in the arena of mental health, but for those who know nothing about care plans, this is what they are for.

Put simply, a care plan should set out the long-term goals and objectives of a service user in all areas of life, and the actions that need to be taken to achieve those goals.

The Measure says all patients receiving secondary mental health services have the right to a care plan and that the planned outcomes must relate to one or more of the following areas: accommodation; education and training; finance and money; medical and other forms of treatment, including psychological interventions; parenting or caring relationships; personal care and physical wellbeing; social, cultural and spiritual and work and occupation.

It's clear to see why care plans are so important.

Think how the areas above relate to you. Whether you have a mental illness or not, planning ahead in terms of your accommodation, your finance or your occupation is important. …

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