Carers Lewisham MH Carers Forum June

Mental Health Open ForumWelcome back to another update of the June Mental Health Carers forum 2017. The Mental Health Carers forum is a basically a forum for carers who care for someone using the mental health services. What I mean by a carer is someone who is unpaid and caring out of love, desperation or commitment. Carers are not care workers, carers do not get paid and they do not have clients.

The Mental Health carers forum runs from a carers centre in Lewisham. The forum has been running for nearly 2 years, but there is some exciting news as the forum is slowly networking with other carers and word is beginning to spread. Another Mental Health carers forum has just also started in June and there are plans for a few more Mental Health Carers forums.

If you want to watch the video version, please click the video below.

Going back to the Carers Lewisham MH carers forum. The update was basically presenting to the carers on what the forum is about. The forum was very well attended and some new carers dropped by.

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We got a presentation from a researcher wanting to hear carers experiences of attending ward rounds within the inpatient mental health unit. As a forum we were very interested in the outcome of the research as we want to know what the situation is for carers as a whole.

IoPPN-building

Another update at the forum was my presentation on GP surgeries commitment to carers. I presented on what is called a “Carers policy”. I had picked up a policy from one of the largest doctor’s surgery in the borough of Lewisham.

I presented on the following.

What is a Carers Policy?
Carers Charters
The importance of GP Surgery’s
Training policy regarding Carers
Communication policy regarding Carers
Identification of Carers
Use of Information regarding Carers

The forum looked at the number of GP practices in the borough of lewisham and queried how many have policies in place and what is happening to carers who visited practices that cannot identify carers or if they do not follow up on carers policies.

It was stressed that GP practices are businesses and there also can be a resource issue, but it is worth exploring what the impact is regarding how doctors engage with carers.

Blood pressure measuring

Moving away from the presentation, carers are still awaiting some SLaM staff who have been invited to the forum, but the good news is the clinical lead for the borough has agreed to attend soon. The carers forum is looking to ask some interesting questions on what is happening to carers in the borough, especially mental health carers.

I am also setting up a BME mental health carers forum to look into the aspect of how BME carers are supported.

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