Chapter

Best Value but not best interests: can service users instruct mental health advocates?

Hazel Platzer

in The politics of evaluation

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346063
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303954 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346063.003.0006
Best Value but not best interests: can service users instruct mental health advocates?

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This chapter examines the difficulties representing the views of people using mental health services. It focuses on the effectiveness of Patient Councils in acute psychiatric hospitals, facilitated by group advocates from an independent mental health advocacy organisation. It determines major problems in accurately expressing the views of patients to hospital managers on key issues in the therapeutic environment such as restraint and over-medication. It discusses how services users sometimes tempered their own ideas through fear of reprisal and were also prevented from identifying changes they would like because their own expectations of change were so low. It concludes that evaluation of these programmes needs to focus as much on process as outcomes and to question the underlying mechanisms if it is to make a useful contribution to developing good practice.

Keywords: mental health services; Patient Councils; psychiatric hospitals; medication; advocacy

Chapter.  4635 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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