Welcome to a brief update of my february ethnic mental health carer forum. As usual the forum is an engagement platform for those caring for someone suffering mental illness from an ethnic background. I run the forum via zoom with the support of several mental health trusts.
Speakers at my carer forum for February were
- Lisa Fannon the Public Health Training and Development Manager for Lewisham updating on Health inequalities
- Ellie Wharton Senior Project Manager for Health Innovation Network
- Engagement from the Police on mental health
- Lisa Fannon presents on health inequalities project
Lisa wanted to update us on the health inequalities project. Since last month there was a discussion with KINARA who attended and talked about the work that they are undertaking in the community, specifically around the Birmingham and Lewisham health inequalities review that is being undertaken with the African and Caribbean communities.
That work has now been concluded and she has received a report. Lisa hopes that they will be able to launch all of that information with an event that’s taking place soon. Lisa reminded that some of us may have received the invite to that event already, but she wanted to ensure that as a community group that we were aware what is happening.
The event will be overseen and organised by Public Health Lewisham. They will also plan to have a additional event following the one just mentioned and it will specifically be for community members. This will be essentially a second in series of events around health inequalities where they are aiming to bring together community groups, and members of the health and social care and health and social care leaders talk about health inequalities. Lisa wants this to be done in partnership with the health and well-being to address health inequalities in Lewisham, and bring together everybody to discuss the situation.
There of course will be opportunities to look at some of the achievements of this work, but also to discuss further action on what needs to be done to tackle health inequalities. Lisa mentioned they will look at what kind of plans that they are hoping to undertake across this year and what future needs is happening at the event.
The event will run in the evening at a Community Centre, where she has sent in advance of this meeting, information about the event to Matthew.
- Ellie Wharton presents on the Health Innovation Network
Ellie wanted to tell us about the mental health patient safety network event, which is part of their mental health safety improvement programme. Ellie apologised for the acronyms flying around on the programme, but thanked us for inviting her to join and speak at our ethnic carer group.
Ellie agreed with some members that health inequalities is such an important topic, which is why they have chosen it for their second event to focus for the safety network. Ellie talked about what the Health Innovation Network is, which is an Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England.
The AHSN exist to speed up the best in health and care. They have been commissioned by NHS England and Improvement to focus on Mental Health Safety. Which involves developing a Safety network and supporting quality improvement work in certain areas (such as restrictive practice).
Their principles are central to how the programme runs:
• co-design with people with lived experience
• Creating shared learning, connection and Joy
• Foundations of systematic QI
• Engaging with inequalities where they exist
• Working with their foundations and all the good things that already exist
Ellie then pointed out a member of my ethnic carer forum and stated one of the members was involved in the event. This is when the carer member spoke on her section regarding health inequalities and carers.
Ellie then talked about the mental health safety network.
The network is an interactive designed to bring together individuals across the system with the shared goal of improving mental health safety it is co-hosted by the HIN and the 3 south London Mental Health Trusts (South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, Oxleas NHS Trust and South West London & St George NHS Trust). It’s purpose is to create value through sharing learning, creating connections and building energy and capability in safety improvement
The event welcomes people who share the MH safety network’s goals of improving mental health safety. Registration is open to people with lived experience of mental health services, including carers, clinical and managerial staff from NHS, independent and private health and social care providers, commissioning leads, local authorities, voluntary sector partners, police, emergency services and other system partners.
Ellie then talked to us about the agenda of the event.
- Mental health Police engagement from South London
The forum gets engagement from the police every now and then. This is mostly because the police have an interest in mind while helping those in a crisis, they want to connect and reassure carers. The police talked about what sites they cover this being Sutton, Croydon and Bromley although its quite a small team.
Their main sort of role and objectives is being a direct liaison with the NHS and mental health trusts. There are other objectives dealing with assaults against NHS, racial assaults against NHS staff where the perpetrators is having mental health issue.
The police then talked about section 136 and how they have been dealing with a lot of escalations. The police think the section is being overused. They think there’s things that they can do as a team to prevent that. There was also some talk about what they can do to help with people out in the streets dealing directly with mental health issues.
The police try and get out and about to the hospitals as well. They have got a police liaison officer that works at the hospital and who deals with crime at other Hospitals.
In a nutshell the police work directly with mental health patients once they were coming into contact with police.