A well known UK orchestra conductor Sir Edward Thomas Downes, CBE, and his wife Lady Joan Downes have died after choosing to end their lives together at the Swiss assisted suicide clinic Dignitas. Sir Edward who was 85 and suffering from a terminal illness, and his wife Joan who was 74 "died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing" according to a statement issued by their family and reported by the BBC earlier today. Their family said that the couple decided to end their lives together as they did not wish to struggle with health problems. According to a statement issued by their son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca, who announced the death of their parents with "great sadness", the couple died on Friday 10 July, reported the Daily Telegraph.
Selected highlights from a new study on immigration, health and gender roles: Mexican wives who stay home when their husbands immigrate to the United States for work have poorer mental health than a comparison group. Shifting gender roles seem to be equally as stressful as the husbands' absence. "Popular American psychology would suggest that their newfound independence might ease the stress of single-handedly managing the household. Being apart from their husbands, who go to the United States to work, does nothing beneficial for their mental health." - Jared Wilkerson, lead study author The study of 47 "sending" and 47 "non-sending" Mexican wives will be published in the July issue of the journal Health Care for Women International.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) commented on a new report by the Care Quality Commission into the West London Mental Health NHS Trust. The report found significant problems at a number of sites including a lack of beds, low staffing levels and serious threats to patient safety. Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "Unfortunately this report shows again what can happen to patient care when staffing levels become woefully low. When a quarter of jobs are left unfilled, leaving staff working 15 hour shifts, it simply becomes impossible to deliver the right level of care that patients need and deserve.
Commenting on the Care Quality Commission's report into the West London Mental Health Trust, NHS Confederation Chief Executive Steve Barnett said: "What happened at this trust is unacceptable. Some of the findings of the report show the organisation failed to care for often vulnerable people on a number of levels from staffing issues to the leadership of the trust. "While this report concerns incidents that took place some time ago and we do not believe this is representative of mental healthcare as a whole, we must learn from what has happened here and make sure that the NHS provides the best support to an often challenging and vulnerable group of people.
Commenting on the final biennial report from the Mental Health Act Commission released by the Care Quality Commission, Mental Health Network director Steve Shrubb said: "While the Commission rightly acknowledges that often very vulnerable people are looked after effectively and with care, we know there is more to do to make this the norm across all services. "The commission is also right to highlight the high number of community treatment orders and we agree that we need a more detailed understanding of how they are being used. "The Mental Health Network has been calling for some time for the mandatory training and accreditation scheme for all staff who may be engaged in restraint practices to be set up as soon as possible.
Urban allotments, reading groups and computer training for the over 50s are just some of the good practice initiatives featured as part of a new approach to public mental health and well-being, announced by Care Services Minister Phil Hope today. 'New Horizons' marks a new era in mental health. It sets out a dynamic new approach to improving well-being for the whole population, aiming for the first time to create a powerful alliance that can target the root causes of poor mental health. The consultation launched today was developed with a wide range of partners, all of whom have a vital role to play. As well as health services, the response of local authorities and education will be critical.