ABSTRACT

Introduction An analysis of inquiries that addresses the dimension of gender offers an alternative approach to the form. Rather than considering the inquiry as an interrogative tool which seeks to establish a sequence of events and ascribe accountability, the report can be viewed as a social document. From this perspective, inquiries can be used as source material for an analysis of how mental health services interact with their users. Despite an increasing emphasis on psychosocial theories and models in mental health work and literature, services still struggle to recognise and respond to the particular needs of different social groups. This is especially the case for service users who are women, people from minority ethnic groups and those who are learning disabled. This chapter examines what the inquiries communicate about the ways in which services conceptualise and meet the needs of women, as service users, carers and professionals.