Published: 17/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5982 Page 31

Syllabus tackles violence against staff

A national training syllabus to tackle violence against mental health and learning disability services staff has been launched by the NHS Security Management Service.

Promoting Safer and Therapeutic Services seeks to establish training to an agreed national standard for mental health and learning disability staff - the first time this has been attempted.

It was launched on the day figures were released showing that 43,301 incidents of physical assault against NHS staff working in mental health and learning disability settings took place in 2004-05 across England.

The figure for 2002-03 was 59,992.

GPs not enough for depression sufferers Up to one fifth of people who have depression in England need help their GP cannot give, according to a study published by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

Neglected Majority says that in the average primary care trust population, 22,000 adults have a mental health condition in any one week, and there are likely to be at least 1,200 people for whom care from their GP is not enough.

SCMH director of primary care Dr Alan Cohen said intermediate care prevented people being neglected or inappropriately referred to specialist services.

Self-care books ineffective

Giving patients self-care health books does not reduce the number or length of consultations with their GP, according to a report published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care.

A study of nearly 2,000 patients in a large general practice showed that many people, when given such books, said they would be less likely to consult a doctor. But in fact they consulted their doctors to the same extent as patients who were not allocated books.

The explanation may be that patients who dealt with their problem with the help of the books visited a GP for reassurance.

New ward for Essex South

Essex Partnership trust has developed a low secure unit at Runwell Hospital in Wickford after it was found patients were inappropriately remaining on open and intensive care wards.

After assessment of needs, the Oakview unit will offer occupational therapy, activities such as cooking, self-care, numeracy and literacy skills and help for service users to understand their problems.

Meanwhile, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership trust has announced the completion of new clinician-designed medium-secure mental health facilities in Bristol.

The 80-bedded Fromeside unit is the first completed element of the Avon Project, designed to provide modern, specifically mental health facilities across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

For more information on these pieces visit www. good management-hsj. co. uk/ mentalhealth