News in brief

University hospital pioneers mental health service for war veterans

Cardiff University’s Hospital of Wales is setting up a pilot service to treat war veterans with mental health problems – one of only six pilot services in the UK.

The community-based mental health service, which will benefit veterans in the South East Wales area, will deliver a package of care designed to meet the specific needs of those who have experienced mental health problems as a result of military service.

Over £100,000 has been invested in the scheme by the Ministry of Defence and the Welsh Assembly Government. Health Minister Edwina Hart said: “I am pleased to be able to fund this project because as well as having responsibility for the health service, I have responsibilities to veterans in Wales – an issue I feel strongly about and take great interest in.”

Merthyr Tydfil Social Services “moving in right direction”

Social Services in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council are providing good standards of care, are working towards tackling their shortfalls and are well placed to sustain and improve services according to a Joint Review report published today.

The review, carried out by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales and the Wales Audit Office, says the Council is providing mainly good services and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing social care and support. However, the review suggests that Merthyr’s Social Services are still facing a number of challenges and that there is scope to achieve better quality in the overall standard of work to make sure the right people get the right service at the right time.

The Chief Inspector of CSSIW, Rob Pickford said today: “I am pleased with the progress that has been made to improve Social Services in Merthyr Tydfil. If the Council can continue to develop its services more widely and link this in with corporate aims, I am confident it will achieve even higher standards”

To read the full report, click here.

Schizophrenia link to stress during pregnancy

Research from Manchester University has suggested that stress in early pregnancy may lead to offspring who are more likely to develop schizophrenia.

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal, looked at 1.38 million Danish births from 1973 to 1995, recording whether mothers were exposed to the death or serious illness of a close relative up to 6 months before conception or during pregnancy.

The results suggested that the risk of schizophrenia and related disorders was raised in offspring whose mothers were exposed to death of a relative during the first trimester.

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