Here is the September update from the Lewisham BME carer/SU forum. This is one of the only carer forum, which Focuses on carers from the Black Minority Ethic Community, mainly Afro Carribean, but not strictly.
For this update we were fortunate to have the Lewisham HR lead for mental health staff attend and brief the forum. As a forum we did not know how much the HR lead has to do, which is quite a lot!! The fun runs from the Family Health Isis centre over in Lee.
You are thankful for having the public and patient lead for Lewisham and Croydon link the HR lead with the forum, although I did feel a little sorry for the HR lead being thrown a lot of questions, but she did mention she was glad she came to hear first hand what Service Users and carers had on their mind.
As a forum, questions were raised on the following.
1. What is HR doing to promote more BME staff to higher positions at SLaM
2. How are HR tackling disciplinary issues among BME staff.
3. How is SLaM reducing the need for Agency staff.
4. Why isnt carer awareness/engagement training manditory on wards and in the community.
5. What carer training is provided anyway?
6. What is the latest updates regarding interview panel involvement.
7. Do BME mental health staff less sympathetic to BME service users?
The forum was quite excited to hear that more BME staff were promoted within the Lewisham area and as a form we hope to engage with such staff.
We also have a discussion on how the SLaM board could try and engage with community groups. Plus I updated the Forum on the recent SLaM family and carers listening event. We are looking forward to see if a carer support group can be set up at Ladywell unit, the forum was wondering why newer carers are having trouble being referred to community groups.
The BME carer/SU Forum looks forward to Lewisham’s Police Mental Health lead and also the SLaM place of Safety staff, along with one of the MPs for Lewisham attending the October forum.