Welcome to the July 2019 update of the Lewisham BAME Mental Health carer forum. The forum is one of the 4 carer strategy forums I run in the community and has a focus on BAME carers and sometimes Service user issues. As a reminder, the London borough of Lewisham is a diverse community, with many health and wellbeing challanges, but also some successes.
Although it is good we have carer support groups, there must be a physical platform where families and unpaid carers can come together for empowerment purposes. Carers should have a right to have a say about Health and well-being services. For the July Lewisham BAME Carers mental health forum, I had to run it earlier in the month due to a meeting I have at the end of the month.
Usually the forum would be packed, but a lot of members had sent apologies and this is one of the reasons I have blogged about the forum as a way to report back to members who can then feed into their networks.
Lewisham Police Mental Health Engagement
We were joined by Matthew Burns from the Metropolitan Police covering 3 London Boroughs. I believe there can be tension in the community with the police, especially with BAME patients who are not often happy to be brought in for treatment. It was a great opportunity for the community and the police to come together and learn from each other. I feel to have a police officer spend time to engage with us will lead to a great community focus.
Matt mentioned there were a lot of things the police need to work on, especially on looking to reduce section 136 and section 135 across several south London boroughs. The police are funding officers for the mental health wards where Bexley House from Oxleas MH Trust and Ladywell Unit from SLaM MH Trust were mentioned. The police are under a lot of pressure on dealing with patients in crisis out in the community and one of their aims is to build relationships with the community of Greenwich, Bexley and Lewisham.
The police mental health engagement drive is to know and understand the services and groups that can help with mental well-being. During the question and answer session, there was talk about mental health and diversity training, which Matt will take back. One other important note, was during the forum we were joined by Lewisham CCG.
Matt mentioned the police are trying very hard with patients in a crisis but are not fond of enforcing sections unless it is absolutely necessary. Matt stated that the Crisis Cafe in the borough of Bexley took so much pressure off the police and felt we need something similar in Lewisham. Matt is very aware of the Crisis Cafe (Habour Cafe) at Lewisham hospital, but feels despite the great work the cafe does, that its service is still restrictive and the model must be more like Bexley to take the pressure off. The police are looking for certain services that can help patients their families and themselves, especially deescalation services, rather than sections. There should be a serious discussion on the crisis cafes and a few other things.
There was more talk about the lack community resources from the members, plus discussions about peer groups and appropriate adults. In the end I felt we had learned a lot from Matt and felt reassured that we were working to tackling mental health and BAME challenges in the borough.
NHS Long Term Plan
Next up for the July Lewisham BAME carers/SU forum. We had Lewisham CCG engagement presenting the NHS Long term plan. We were made aware that 6 CCGs (Bromley CCG, Lewisham CCG, Bexley CCG, Lambeth CCG, Southwark CCG and Greenwich CCG) are merging and the date is for 1st of April 2020. There was a discussion about the Lewisham alliance and how many borough alliances need to be brought forward. There was a discussion on how the Long term plan would affect GP practices and how GP surgeries are not aligned to Lewisham’s neighbourhood structure, members of the group were wondering about the impact.
There will be another Lewisham NHS long term plan event on Tuesday 16th of July at Laurence House. The event details are below.
Please also view the video on the NHS Long term plan
Going back to the forum, it was presented that the plan will develop Partnerships on integrating health, social care and providers within the 6 boroughs.
Plus it was presented on how a place based board in each of the 6 boroughs will work.
At these based boards, the members will consist of
A director – who is accountable to the local authority and CCG
Several GPs – working with other CCG GP members
A lay member as what we have with current CCG meetings
A Director of Public Health
Local authority officers
It was noted that the Carer forums will request engagement from those driving the NHS Long term plan and continued engagement from members of Placed boards.
Below is a timeline of part of the Long term Plan, but I am wondering if the timeline is flexible.
Governing Bodies agreed to develop proposals to create one south east London CCG as a step towards becoming an Integrated Care System (ICS).
March to May:
Inform stakeholder, staff and partners and get their views, which the carer forums are also interested in.
May to July:
Share and discuss our plans with patients and the public
Proposals to merge considered by Governing Bodies
Application made to merge the south east London CCGs
Establish a single CCG with placed based boards in each part of south east London
As the forum chair, I was pleased with the engagement from Lewisham CCG who will be back again at the Lewisham MH carers forum, which I hold at Carers Lewisham. I am wondering if the other CCGs engage with families and carers the same way, although I have had good results with Lambeth CCG and Southwark CCG,
The last part of the forum was me updating the carer group on the funding initiatives for carers, which Lewisham council can bid for. Some of the members gave their ideas to Lewisham CCG.
The next Lewisham BAME MH will probably run at Mind Greenwich, Lewisham and Bromely in August. I want to remind members of the BAME MH carer forum to update their networks.