Back again with another blog post from unpaid carer Matthew McKenzie. I run many carer peer groups and forums and it has been a while since I updated on my SW London carers group. This is because I have been very busy working on my new poetry book for 2022.
Speakers for January
Karen Persaud – Involvement project
Discussion on speakers for the year
Matthew McKenzie – Involvement comparison
Karen Persaud Presents on SWLSTG involvement project
Karen come from a caring background and has been a carer for 14 years. Karen was impressed with the stories that have been shared at my group and felt they related to her at a deep level. Karen explained her past work as a carers champion and the work she did with the Royal College of Psychiatrists on formulating the Community Mental Health pathway, the Mental Health Act review and a few other bits and pieces she got involved in.
Karen felt she could actually influence the way carers were being treated because she was often ignored as a carer in the past and wanted to make a difference. In the long run Karen ended up having to make a lot of formal complaint and even though things were slow going through the formal complaints procedure, she felt thats when things were changed. All this ended up where doors were slowly open for her.
Now Karen is working with SWLSTG it has been quite inspiring. Karen added that she is in awe of what Matthew does especially his commitment and how much he actually takes on and actually gets done.
Karen thanked the carers group for having her and that she was really pleased to present what SWLSTG involvement team has been getting up to.
Karen mentioned about involvement team. The recruitment and the in patient involvement of people with lived experience of mental distress in developing services for the for the vocal trust in the community. What Karen is looking to do is involve from basic involvement to full Co-production as much as is humanly practicable.
The team has grown over the last year. Since she has only been there for a few months at the mental health trust. Karen then explained who was in the involvement team and what day do.
Karen mentioned that she is also passionate about, one of them being CAMHS which is child and adolescent mental health services, but not something that she is directly involved in at the moment.
Since Karen only just started work she has noticed the involvement activities slowly increasing where they have now got six peer support workers who have started, one of whom is a dedicated carer, peer support worker, and her name is Zoe Hannah.
Members of the group asked why should carers be involved which lead Karen to explain the following.
- Carers have a unique insight that can help shape a more appropriate recovery plan
- Carers are more than a point of contact, they play a vital role in patient and service users recovery.
- Carers will often be responsible for managing medication, accommodation, finances and a range of other social, emotional and healthcare needs.
- They may not be clinically trained so it’s crucial that they are supported.
- Carers are a vital piece of the puzzle and their health and lives are impacted by their responsibilities
- SWLStG is committed to improving the experience of carers and supporting carers, supports patients and service users so improves outcomes.
- To show SWLStG commitment, we invest in resourcing and embedding quality standards and processes outlined in Triangle of Care, Carers Engagement Thermometer, NSUN 4Pi in addition to NICE Guidelines and CQC Regulations.
Matthew presents on carer involvement
Since I am mainly on involvement at South London & maudsley, I wanted to compare how involvement was developing at another mental health trust who is part of the South London Partnership.
This part of the group where we want engagement on how involvement works at other NHS trust and I recently asked this off my local mental health trust in regards to involvement as a form of comparison.
I pointed out to the group that one of the worst aspects of being a carer is to be isolated and uninvolved. This means not on being involved for caring for someone, but being involved regarding changes to health & social care services.
The idea basically, you know, one of the worst aspects of care is to be isolated and uninvolved when I say uninformed, I mean getting involved in, I suppose veteran services Metro services not just involved in regards to the care of someone, but how services work and given their ideas and learning from other carers who’ve been involved just as what Karen presented before.
I explained to the group that a good involvements structure easily shows a bird’s eye view of services, and how it reveals involvement for both patient and carer.
The picture above shows an update on the projects showing involvement in the Southwark mental health services. I showed involvement updates and structure for some other services, but felt carers should do the same regarding SWLSTG.
This is the update for January for my SW London carers forum.