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Rethink Mental Illness have a large range of factsheets – including one on Work Capability Assessments – http://www.rethink.org/how_we_can_help/our_advice_information/factsheets_az.html

 

This meeting was a joint meeting with St Helens LINks to provide another opportunity for people to find out about and feed into the Acute Care Pathway (ACP) at 5 Boroughs. Karen is the Forum and Carers representative at the ACP steering group and Emma is the LINks representative (she couldn’t attend today’s meeting, so Roman attended in her place).

Several people had sent apologies specifically because of this joint meeting. We have therefore agreed that future joint meetings will be on separate days to our regular Forum. The joint meetings are open to all and we encourage people to attend to make their views known.

We had a long and productive discussion. Key points included:

  • the Trust is still working closely with Open Mind

  • there should now be no ‘wrong referrals’

  • if someone leaves the service, they should be able to get back in promptly if necessary

  • Vista Road will still be there

  • dual diagnosis – they welcome evidence about services that are working well elsewhere

  • the recovery teams will start in December

  • service users and carers will be involved in developing the recovery teams

Lesley described that she has found the new assessment and home treatment teams are working well and have a very positive and pro-active approach.

Charles Walker MP launched a new report into the quality of Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) services across England. The report suggests that an ‘opt out’ system would be better than the current ‘opt in’. More information available at: http://www.uclan.ac.uk/schools/school_of_health/the_right_to_be_heard.php

Members poetry

CORRUPTION

CORRUPTION IN THE STATE

CORRUPTION WHILE YOU WAIT

CORRUPTION AND DISORDER

WHICHEVER WAY YOU ORDER

WORKING CLASS HEROES DOWN BY THE BAY

DRINKING AND SMOKING FADING AWAY

PROBLEMS ARISING TRY TO SETTLE YOURSELF

FINDING IT HARD TO DEAL WITH YOUR WEALTH

ZERO HOUR ZOOMS IN AGAIN

QUIETLY NURSING YOUR PAIN

SOMEBODY WHISPERS THROUGH THE NIGHT

SILENTLY SLOWLY IT WILL BE ALRIGHT

BY BRIAN LUNT 

Emma had attended the meeting of the Acute Care Pathway steering group on 12th June. She gave feedback about the meeting, and provided copies of the minutes.

We gave her a case study about how the model is causing anxiety for one person who is likely to get reduced support. She will type this up and give to 5 Boroughs as a demonstration about how people might be affected by their changes. Another Forum member described how he is waiting on a referral for support through Open Mind.

Everyone was very concerned that access to additional services may be dependent on being supported by a psychiatrist. That includes services such as those provided by together as well as benefits. So that when people are discharged from secondary mental health services, they may lose a lot of support all at the same time.

Some people mentioned that GPs are charging for a letter to support people’s assessments for benefits. If this happens to you, please let us, or Emma, know.

Charles Walker MP is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary group on Mental Health. He described the electric atmosphere in the House of Commons as several MPs ‘came out’ about their own personal experiences of distress including depression, post-natal depression and OCD. The notes of the debate are available in Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm120614/debtext/120614-0002.htm#12061445000002

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) have launched a new survey to build an accurate picture of current healthcare provision by GPs for LGB people which will then form part of a strategy to make sure that GPs are better equipped to acknowledge the needs of their LGB patients.

 The responses will be used to sustain and improve GP services for LGB people across the country. 
It is vitally important that LGB people stand up for their needs and experiences, and have them acknowledged by all healthcare professionals, including GPs. 


The survey, which closes 15th June, is available online at http://www.lgf.org.uk/gpexperiences