Monday 28 February 2011


Let me give you a privileged, early glimpse of "Sue's View", a rolling response to WAG's consultation on the draft Regulations for the Mental Health Measure which our service user champion Sue Barnes is leading. As I said last week we've only just seen the Regs but Sue has already identified the key weaknesses in an otherwise well-judged draft. Sue says:-

"Service users know from experience that a Care Plan needs to be holistic. A Care Plan that just covers medication, for example, is not enough. But we are concerned that the Regulations do not ensure that all areas of life will be addressed in the Care Plan.

What does the new Measure say about the Care Plan?

The Measure requires at least one or more of the following eight areas of life to be addressed in the Care Plan:

● accommodation
● education and training
● finance and money
● medical and other forms of treatment, including
psychological interventions
● parenting or caring relationships
● personal care and physical well-being
● social, cultural and spiritual
● work and occupation

But Assembly Government policy (in their Care Programme Approach guidance published in 2010) states that they should all be addressed. To make sure this happens we need a box for each of the life areas in the Care Plan.

Just to be clear, all service users have needs in all the eight life areas – even if they don’t need help from anybody else with some of them it’s still important that outcomes are recorded! (The only exception to this is that some service users may not have caring or parenting responsibilities.)"

Sue goes on to pin-point another problem:-

"We also noticed that the long-term outcomes need to be linked more clearly to the short-term actions in the Care Plan."

If you agree with Sue do please tell her and also tell the Assembly Government! This link will take you to more details of how to contact Sue and to engage in the consultation process.