This is the last of the four MH carer forum update for September. This one runs from carers Lewisham, the Carers Centre is run by and for carers: many of their staff, trustees and volunteers are or have been carers.
The carers Centre provides information, support and advocacy for carers for the borough of Lewisham. You were hoping to have the head of social care for Adult Mental Health attend the forum, but she was unable to make it due to being unwell. The forum members are interested in her role and how it impacts on families and carers.
So instead we discussed the SLaM carers strategy and how that impacts on families and carers throughout the community.
However before I presented the current mental Health Trust carers strategy, I fed back the recent updates requested by the mental health carers forum. We are looking forward to Dr Torstein Stapley the Psychologist with Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma attending in October. Plus we hope Michael McHugh the Psychiatric Liaison Nurse from Lewisham A+E Hospital attends in November.
Other updates included that the forum agreed that it would be good for GP’s to know more about how to support MH carers. Unfortunately, SLaM does not have funding to reprint their Carers handbook and couldn’t prioritise doing this in numbers that would cover all GP practices. The SLaM Patient Information Manager suggested that SLaM ask Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group to put an item in their GP newsletter.
The Lewisham MH Carer forum members are interested to see the Lewisham CCG GP newsletter.
After some discussions I presented the forum about our Local Mental Health trusts Carers Strategy. We looked at the following.
- A Birds eye view of the document.
- Carer governor statement from the strategy.
- The Chief Exec’s Summary.
- SLaM’s Definition of a carer.
- Principles for Practice and what it means.
- Triangle of Care and what that means.
- Family & Carer recognition.
- Carers Assessments and its implications.
- Carer Involvement.
- Informing families and carers.
- Supporting Families and carers.
- How staff are developed to work with carers.
- Working in partnership with community groups.
- Carers Charter.
It was a disappointment that only one of the forum members heard about the trust’s carers strategy and had mentioned that the forum should hold the trust to account on its carers strategy, because in the end it affects not just carers, but ourselves.
After the forum, some members mentioned they were to attend the carers support group that evening to discuss their own personal caring situations. This concludes the update for the Lewisham MH Carers forum for September