Archive for February, 2012

5 Boroughs

People brought concerns to the meeting that they had heard rumours that Vista Road is closing down and CPNs are having to re-apply for their jobs. They also described that CPNs are now on call rather than by appointment and that there will be no more team reviews. We phoned Vista Road during our meeting, but they didn’t have any more information for us. We know from previous experiences that sometimes the rumours and stories that circulate can be far from the truth.

Ian Mountain will be coming to the next Forum meeting in March. He will update us on the proposals for the Acute Care Pathway which include plans for the CMHTs including Vista Road. Please do attend this meeting for more information.

Ambulance service

One person described how there had been changes to the ambulance service so that carers couldn’t travel with the person they support. This wasn’t specifically about mental health so we suggested they took this up with the Carers Centre.

Work Capability Assessments (WCA)

Some people described how these had worked ok for people who have support workers, but they are concerned for people who do not have support. If you are asked to fill in forms or attend a WCA meeting, do seek advice (for example from DASH or from St Helens Benefit Contact Centre. They have details of all local organizations and are very helpful. They have private interview spaces. Their contact number is 01744 676666.

Dogs and mental health

We talked about how pets can be really helpful for mental health and well-being. There are organisations like Dogs for depression and support dogs are a common sight in some hospitals (including mental health Trusts thanks to campaigners like Marion Janner). We also talked about how it is important to consider pets when someone has to go into hospital – including worries about the cost of kennels if someone is in hospital for some time.

Erica Crisp – PCT commissioner

Erica will be leaving the PCT at the end of March. She has always been very supportive of our groups, keeping us informed and making sure that service users and carers are heard. We thank her for all her support and wish her all the best in her new role.


Personal Independence Payment: assessment thresholds

The DWP is seeking views on the second draft of the assessment criteria. There is an easy read document at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-easy-read.pdf If you do not understand the documents, or find all the information too overwhelming, please let them know.

The Spartacus group are encouraging people to respond to the consultation. They have put some information, forum discussions and simplified documents, online at http://wearespartacus.org.uk/

  • 5 Borough’s Acute Care Pathway – Ian Mountain will be at the March Forum

  • PCT consultation and Crisis Services – Scrutiny report – no more news

Pat’s Petition

The petition has now got over 33,000 signatures. Please do pass the link onto friends and family.

Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families”

Read and sign the petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968


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