Welcome to the August update of the Lambeth Mental Health Carers forum. As a reminder the Mental Health carers forums are not primarily focused on discussing mental health benefits, but are aimed at carers supporting those with mental health needs. The forum usually has organisation who either provide mental health services, commission them or oversee the services e.g. Lambeth Council, South London & Maudsley, Lambeth CCG and Lambeth healthwatch besides others.
For the August forum we were fortunate to members and representatives from Maudsleys Older Adults and Dementia Advisory group. They presented to the forum what the group does over at South London & Maudsley and how they work with unpaid carers who are caring for those suffering Dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinson and so forth.
Before I continue on with a brief update of the work of the older adults Clinical Academic Group, we also had on the August agenda the following.
I updated the member of the mental health Act debate, which focused on the reform of the mental health act and any pressing issues the government needs to take account of.
The debate was led by MP Neil Coyle Labour of Bermondsey and Old Southwark. One of the forums I hold being at Southwark Carers was invited to view the debate, but unfortunately many of the carers could not attend, so it ended up being the members of the Carers Lewisham forum who have visited parliment before.
I did actually update the members of the Southwark Carers forum the next day, particularly one of the Service user SLaM governors who was interested in attending, but most members are not sure what is to happen next. The Lambeth members are pleased to hear that Helen Hayes can attend in a joint Southwark and Lambeth MH carers forum around November.
Going back to the parliament debate, the following MPs took part in the Mental Health Act reform debate.
Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)
Janet Daby Labour, Lewisham East
Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham
Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth
Julian Lewis Chair, Defence Committee
Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East
Johnny Mercer Conservative, Plymouth, Moor View
Steve Reed Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)
Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North
Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care)
Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Many members of the forums are interested in any more updates regarding the mental health act, because obviously whatever the government decides will affect families and unpaid carers supporting their close relatives who have mental health needs.
I also updated the Lambeth Forum on updates regarding the other forums I hold.
Being the following.
– Will have an NHS Serious incident investigator in doing a talk tomorrow at Southwark carers from 4 pm. She is a carer herself and could not make last month, but hope she attends tomorrow as she emailed me stating she is available
– I have also emailed Southwark council to attend again updating on their new carers group and any knowledge of the refresh of Southwark’s carers strategy. Southwark council now has a new project manager for the carers strategy.
– Southwark healthwatch are querying each of the 3 NHS trusts (kings, SLaM and G&STT) on their carers strategies and will update the forum
– I have arranged for the past information manager and counselor to do a session next week about the importance of therapy. She is a member of the BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Which has made me aware of the lack of counselling and therapy for carers and service users.
– I have also arranged for SLaM quality improvement to engage with members for that day, and hope Aaron Brewer who is Quality Improvement Facilitator to attend or send someone else to attend to see who SLaM is doing on their quality improvement.
– I will update the Lewisham forum on the meeting I had with representatives from Lewisham council, Lewisham CCG and Lewisham carers chief exec on a bid we are making to build a Carers Lewisham ‘carers academy’. This bid goes to the governments carers innovation bid scheme and if successful we can train carers on several important aspects at the academy.
Lewisham BAME carers forum at Bromley Lewisham and Greenwich Mind
– I have arranged for the PPG chair of the largest doctors surgery in lewisha, to come in and educate the members about PPGs and carer focus at doctors surgeries. She might speak about the Lewisham PPG network.
– I have also arranged with the help from SLaM for a social worker Errol Chambers from the Lewisham Hospital MH unit to speak to members about his role.
– I will update the members on Lewisham putting together a carers conference raised when my MP Janet Daby attended earlier this year. One of the members spoke to Lewisham on how the conference should look like.
– I will probably also update the proposal from the Lewisham Senior commissioner CCG Karin Barthel on planning the Lewishams CCG stakeholder event.
As you can see as a carer I am busy querying lots of updates.
Going back to the Lambeth forum. The older adults advisory group works through the Psychological Medicine and Mental Health of Older Adults and Dementia Operations Directorate (PMOA). On the group are Service Users and Carers Advisory Group (SUCAG) members, over the years they have made many achievements one being project ‘If Only I’d Known’ where they seek to educate unpaid carers regarding for caring for older adults with dementia.
The Academic group has been involved in contributing to SLaM’s End of Life Pathway, helping in selection and recruiting of staff. Plus having helping and being involved in research at Kings College London. The group have been busy engaging with SLaM’s inpatient wards especially focusing on families and carers there who are unsure of their role.