Early makings of psychology 1

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1649 – Rene Descartes publishes THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL, claiming that the body and the soul are seperate

1816 – Johann Friedrich Herbart describes a dynamic mind with a conscious and an unconscious in a TEXT BOOK IN PSYCHOLOGY

1819 – Abbe Faria investigates hypnosis in his book ON THE CAUSE OF LUCID SLEEP

1849 – Soren Kierkegaard’s book THE SICKNESS UNTO DEATH marks the beginning of existentialism

1859 – Charles Darwin publishes ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES proposing that all our traits are inherited

1861 – Neurosurgeon Pierre Paul Broca discovers that the left and right hemispheres of the brain have seperate functions

1869 – Francis Galton’s research suggests that nature is more important than nurture in HEREDITARY GENIUS

1874 – Carl Wernicke provides evidence that damage to a specific area of the  brain causes the loss of specific skills

with thanks to http://www.dk.com

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Judicial Reviews

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Judicial review is a procedure by which a person who has been affected by a particular decision, action or failure to act of a public authority may make an application to the High Court, which may provide a remedy if it decides that the authority has acted unlawfully. Judicial review is concerned not with the merits of the decision, but whether the public body has acted lawfully.

A public authority may be acting unlawfully if it has made a decision or done something:

  • Without the legal power to do so (unlawful on the grounds of illegality)
  • So unreasonable that no reasonable decision-maker could have come to the same decision or done the same thing (unlawful on the grounds of reasonableness)
  • Without observing the rules of natural justice (unlawful on the grounds of procedural impropriety or fairness)
  • in breach of European Community Law or the Human Rights Act

If the court finds that the public authority has acted unlawfully, it, may:

  • issue a mandatory order (i.e. an order requiring the public body to do something)
  • issue a prohibiting order (i.e. an order preventing the public body from doing something)
  • issue a quashing order (i.e. an order quashing the public body’s decision)
  • make a declaration
  • award damages

Damages are rare and not automatically awarded as in county court or in employment tribunal cases, as the court may think that one of the other remedies is more appropriate. They are more likely to be awarded where there has been a breach of the Human Rights Act.

There is a 3 month deadline for making an application for judicial review, from the date of the act or omission that is being challenged, although there is an obligation on the person wishing to make an application to act promptly.

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  • The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They apply in England and Wales only.
  • The Mental Capacity Act allows restraint and restrictions to be used – but only if they are in a person’s best interests.
  • Extra safeguards are needed if the restrictions and restraint used will deprive a person of their liberty. These are called the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
  • The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards can only be used if the person will be deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital. In other settings the Court of Protection can authorise a deprivation of liberty.
  • Care homes or hospitals must ask a local authority if they can deprive a person of their liberty. This is called requesting a standard authorisation.
  • There are six assessments which have to take place before a standard authorisation can be given.
  • If a standard authorisation is given, one key safeguard is that the person has someone appointed with legal powers to represent them. This is called the relevant person’s representative and will usually be a family member or friend.
  • Other safeguards include rights to challenge authorisations in the Court of Protection, and access to Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs).

Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS): In July 2018, the Government published a Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill which will see DoLS replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). Under LPS, there will be a streamlined process for authorising deprivations of liberty. Read more: Liberty Protection Safeguards.

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What happens when a Deprivation of Liberty is authorised?

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When a Deprivation of Liberty is authorised it will set out when and how certain restrictions can be used.

Every person who is subject to an authorised Deprivation of Liberty must have an allocated representative. This can be a family member, friend or, if there is no one appropriate or willing, a paid representative will be allocated.

Further support is available for both the person being deprived of their liberty and their representative, through the Independent Mental Capacity Act (IMCA) service.

When a Deprivation of Liberty is in place it can be reviewed at any point. The purpose of the review procedure is to assess whether:

  • A person still meets the qualifying requirements for being deprived of their liberty, or whether the reasons why they do have changed; and
  • Any conditions attached to the standard authorisation need to be varied

The supervisory body must carry out a review if one is requested by the person being deprived of their liberty, their representative, or by the hospital or care home where they are staying.

A care home should always consult the persons representative.

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Mental Capacity

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How is capacity assessed?

To have capacity to make a particular decision at a given time a person must be able to do all of the following:

  • Understand the information relevant to the decision  including the reasonably foreseeable consequences of making or not making the decision
  • Retain that information – long enough to make the decision
  • Use or weigh the information – as part of the decision making process 
  • Communicate the decision – in any recognisable way

This four point capacity test looks at the decision making process rather than the decision itself. Professionals are expected to record their use of the test as evidence that it was carried out.

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Who should write the Reports

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It is always an advantage to be able to read a Social Circumstances Report that has been written by a Local Authority Social Worker. At Tribunals and Managers Panels all too often the Social Circumstances Report has been completed by a Community Psychiatric Nurse. This isn”t necessarily wrong in itself but it does present problems in terms of “independence”. The independent Local Authority report when done properly will assess the patients social care perspective in critical detail thus offering the panel members an alternative assessment to the usual medical perspective. The Community Psychiatric Nurse completes their assessment based on their own training background which invariably stems from a medical and nursing background. It must be remembered that the patient is usually given medicine (particularly in the Community} by the Community Psychiatric Nurse. This can place that patient in an unenviable  position when it comes to pleading their case for either reducing their medications or discharging the order. The Community Psychiatric Nurse too is also in a difficult position as even though they see the patient regularly it is the Psychiatrist that is really in the “controlling” seat. The Local Authority Social Worker however is free from such constraints and their relationship with the patient is far removed from the traditional patient-nurse/doctor relationship. They would therefore be able to concentrate on the patient in a way that is divorced from the medical procedures and able to act as someone who concentrates on practical social care issues which can very often bring to fruition alternatives to medication and compulsory orders. The continuation of Social Circumstances Reports alongside Medical and in-patient nursing reports are essential but it is also critical that they are completed by the Local Authority There is no reason why a patient when attending Tribunal should not be accompanied by Reports from a Community Psychiatric Nurse/Psychiatrist/in-patient nurse and Local Authority Social Worker. On some occasions that does happen at Tribunals but at Managers Panels it happens infrequently. It can only be an advantage to the patient if all perspectives are laid out in this way so that Tribunal/Panel members are fully informed.If it seems important for Approved Mental Health Professionals  to be involved essentially in the compulsory admission to hospital process why isn’t it compulsory for them ,or at least a Local Authority Social Worker, to be as involved in any appeal for discharge of that order. Are we interested in patients rights or is society and Governments still putting financial considerations before peoples rights?

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Thank You

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A big THANK YOU to all those members of nursing staff all over the country who continue to work on the many mental health wards with great determination and dignity. They all deserve a medal for their hard work whilst the present day government continue to bombard them with constant targets which are, quite honestly, impossible to meet. It seems rather obvious that there are many billions of pounds in the Treasury vaults. Isn’t the health of the nation far more important than the many millions of pounds spent on the present fiasco they call BREXIT??

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