Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 19th October, 2011


Report of the Cabinet Member for Social and Care Services


Charter for Mental Health


Purpose of the Report

1.             To secure Cabinet approval for the proposed Charter for Mental Health.


That Cabinet:


1.             Notes the Charter, developed in part by the relevant statutory agencies in the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff in consultation with key stakeholders (including service users and carers); and

2.             Agrees that the Charter will be implemented within the services provided by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to people with mental health problems.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that Cabinet is aware of this initiative and its implications.

2.             To ensure that the support services directly provided or commissioned by the Council adopt best practice in responding to the needs of people with mental health problems.


2.             A Charter for Mental Health is being introduced across England and Wales. It describes in one document the values, principles of service, rights and responsibilities which should underpin the delivery of support to people who have mental health problems. For example, the Charter expects that staff who support people with mental health problems will be respectful, compassionate and understanding of every person's unique life experiences. The Charter provides service users and carers with a clear set of statements about what they can expect from services. Implementing the Charter will help to ensure better services that more effectively support people’s recovery from mental distress.  Additionally, it will mean that the actions of staff and organisations are well grounded in what service users and carers say about the sort of help they find most effective. A copy of the Charter is attached at Annex A

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             The Vale is working closely with Cardiff City Council and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to improve access to and delivery of services for adults with mental health problems.  Part of this programme involves creating integrated management arrangements for the service, as agreed by Cabinet in May 2011.  Adopting the Charter for Mental Health across the three organisations will ensure that all staff are working towards the same outcomes for service users and that there is a clear direction. For staff who come from a wide range of professions and disciplines, the Charter provides one set of consistent values, makes clear what is expected of them and what they can expect from their organisations. The Charter will assist the Council and its partners with efforts to secure an effective multi-agency approach to the delivery of services, with a shared and explicit value base.

4.             The Charter aims to engage all potential partners. Delivery will involve:

·               service users and carers;

·               local providers of services, both voluntary and statutory;

·               specialist services, including drug and alcohol services; and

·               service commissioners.

5.             As service commissioners, the Vale of Glamorgan Council will be expected to encourage mental health service provider organisations in the independent and the third sectors to adopt the Mental Health Charter, if they have not already done so. The guidance on implementing the Charter suggests that its twelve fundamental statements should be on display in public places throughout the area. 

6.             Accountability for ensuring that the Charter is operative across the three statutory organisations will rest initially with the Integrating Health and Social Care Services Programme Board which has an established place within the governance arrangements within each organisation. The Director of Social Services will provide periodic updates to the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee regarding implementation of the Charter so that it can exercise effective oversight of developments within this area of service.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

7.             Any training requirements for staff not directly involved in the provision of mental health services would be addressed within the corporate training department's existing budget and within ongoing disabilities and discrimination training.

8.             The plans for integrating management arrangements in respect of mental health services across the Vale and Cardiff make provision for training collectively all multi-disciplinary staff teams.  The financial implications of any additional training would be met from within the existing budgets of the three sponsoring organisations.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.             Section 149 of The Equalities Act 2010 has replaced and incorporated the Race Relations Act 1976, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Public Sector Duties.  Adopting the Charter will help to ensure that the Council meets the extensive statutory responsibilities that arise from this section.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.        A multi-agency partnership has completed a joint Equality Impact Assessment. This assessment highlights the explicit aim of the Charter to improve case management practice and the provision of services so that they are properly inclusive and more person-centred. Potentially, introducing the Charter will have a very positive impact upon people who have mental health issues. The Charter complements the Vale of Glamorgan Council Equal Opportunities Policy. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.        Adopting the Charter will contribute to the corporate objective "working with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents in ways that will safeguard and support those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need; help people to keep fit and healthy; and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all."

13.        The Vale of Glamorgan Council is "committed to promoting equality of opportunity and providing equal access to its employment opportunities, services and facilities for everyone within the community. It will do so by enabling employees and service users, partners and contractors to access their rights and to be treated fairly and with respect." 

Policy Framework and Budget

14.        This is a matter for Executive decision. 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.        There are no implications for individual Wards as a direct result of this report.  Mental health service users have contributed significantly to developing the Charter.  A wide cross-section of local stakeholders has been involved in the process as part of an ongoing programme for modernising mental health services.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.        Social Care and Health.

Background Papers

Annex A - Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Charter for Adult Mental Health Team.

Contact Officer

Lance Carver, Head of Adult Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Equality Coordinator, Chief Executive Office

Operational Manager, Customer Relations

Operational Manager, Corporate Training

Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services