Author Archives: mmckenz11

About mmckenz11

IT Officer for London School of Osteopathy and a Carer representative for Maudsley. As you can see, I have many interests shown off my blog. I hope to keep it updated with posts and more things to come soon.

Reform of the Mental Health Act Debate

parliamentI was recently invited to observe an important debate regarding the Mental Health Act review. The debate was held at Westminster Hall over in Parliament on the 25th of July 2019.   It must be only the second time I have visited Parliament and if some of my forum members was not there, I would have easily got lost.

I have to thank the Lewisham carer members for attending the debate, it was a lot to ask of them. I wanted to also ask the Lambeth carer members, but that forum was on the same morning and I had to cut my chairing of the forum short. One of the members from the Southwark carers forum wanted to attend, but was held up and I know she is very involved in the mental health act review.

Before I continue, what is the mental health act?

The Mental Health Act 1983 is an Act of the Parliament and it covers how people who are brought into mental health treatment. The MHA also covers the care of mentally unwell persons. There are cases when a person can be detained, also known as sectioned, under the Mental Health Act (1983) and treated without their agreement.

It is important to remember that under the Mental Health Act (MHA), you can be detained if Mental Health professionals think your mental health puts you or others at risk, and you need to be treated in a safe environment.

When someone mentally unwell ends up being detained, they have certain rights.

– They have the right to appeal, and the right to get help from an independent advocate.
– To have someone explain what happens to you and why.
– The right to ask questions on why you are detained.
– The right to confidentiality, although this can be a tricky area.
– The right to be involved in your care plan.

There are also many other rights including equality, but these and other rights can be saved for another blog.

Why was there a debate on the mental health act?

The area many reasons for the debate on the mental health act, the most common being that the times have changed and the mental health act 1983 needs to reflect the changing environment. There are also problems with the mental health act, and I mean big problems.

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The previous Prime Minister asked the Professor of Psychological Medicine at the IOPPN (Sir Simon Weesley) to review the Mental Health Act. There have been numerous challenging mental health cases that challenge the legislation of the mental health act. These cases are very tragic and have lead to many serious incidents and investigations. Some cases have had very long delayed investigations and many patients and their loved ones have suffered for it.

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Health and Well-being in the community

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Welcome back to another blog post by unpaid carer Matthew Mckenzie. I am happy to have been able to write up some posts, despite being fairly busy. I want to put a thought in your head, I know in this society, we do not often have time to stop and reflect. Living in this fast paced life it is so important to stop and think ever now again.

The thought I want to put into your head is this. “Have you thought about where you live”? Is it in the city or suburbs? Maybe a village or town. Perhaps this is not even a deep thought when you step back and observe, but it does not end there. When you look around, what do you see? Are those around the area as busy as you are? Or perhaps do they seem to be more relaxed? Maybe they are letting the world go by.

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Now think about your health and wellbeing, are you lucky to have good health? It is not as easy as everyone thinks, because we are so busy, it is hard to find the time to eat well, exercise or even get a good nights sleep. We all know what happens if we cannot look after our health and wellbeing, but if you are curious then I will explain later.

Being Alive

If you are unfortunate enough not to had the time to stop and reflect then let me put another thought in your head. Do you know that you are alive? Seems weird doesn’t it. Of course you are alive otherwise you would not be reading this right now. Still, its amazing when you really think about it. Your heart is pumping blood around your body, you are able to see the words of the screen and now think about how you are breathing. Thats it!! you are reflecting on your health. It is one of philosophy’s ways of getting people to stop and think. Sometimes we are pressured into doing so much, that when the time has come, we begin to query where our life has gone. We are so focused in keeping up with the rat race (to mildly put it) that we have not stopped to marvel at our health.

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It does not end there though. So you realized you are alive, brilliant! but what about everyone else in your area or community? Are you wondering if they are thinking the same? About their health and wellbeing? Does it look like health and wellbeing is doing well in your area? Perhaps do to the town centre, what do you see? Does the area look healthy?

Being alive has its responsibilities

Being alive does have its responsibilities. We must try to be aware that every decision we take affects our health. To be a healthy person, you have to make healthy choices. Sometimes we have the information and power to follow up on those choices, but its not the same for everyone. Depending where you live, you might not get all the options to decide how healthy you will be. A community is only as healthy as much as it is supported to do so.

Still, because of community, we all have a part to play. If one person makes the choice for a healthy life, then others can learn and follow. Especially if they observe what we all have in common. Being part of a community means we have something in common, we often have to share things and express our identity. What one person does in the community usually affects the community some how. If the trend in the community focuses on healthy lifestyles then it will influence more in that community.

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Important events of Nursing in the UK

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Hello again.  I promised I would do a blog of timeline of Nursing in the UK.  Well, its not really a timeline, but a video of some important events in regards to Nursing in the UK.  Usually I do blog posts focusing on unpaid carers, but I felt it time to expand some blogs in which unpaid carers come into contact with.

I have been meaning to do this video blog for a while now, since carers have a lot to say about the field of nursing, probably due to the importance nurses have when the cared for ends up unwell.  However even carers can become unwell and every one else.  The great contribution nurses have given should be recognised and I am sure to do more blog posts to promote health and the NHS in future, although mainly from a carers perspective.

The video timeline is below, please enjoy.

Lewisham BME MH Carer/SU Forum July Update 2019

965946_fa217b70Welcome 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.

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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.

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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.

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There will be another Lewisham NHS long term plan event on Tuesday 16th of July at Laurence House. The event details are below.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/help-us-to-shape-the-future-of-the-nhs-in-lewisham-and-south-east-london-tickets-63638911698?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

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
Healthwatch Representation
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.

March 2019:

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

September:

Proposals to merge considered by Governing Bodies
Application made to merge the south east London CCGs

April 2020:

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,

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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.

 

 

National MH Nurses director forum – Building Resilience

D_BbtpdXYAEqkWdThanks for stopping by my blog-site. I thought to try and note down a lovely conference I was involved in as a guest speaker, but before I begin explaining more about the National directors nurses forum 2019. I want to pitch some ideas for any unpaid carer reading this blog post. Have you ever wondered what inspires team leaders on hospital wards? Have you wondered about how senior nurses inspire their staff? What makes nurses tick and how do they become more resilient in there roles?

As carers, I often try and get families and carers to become excited about the NHS. If not that, then try to inquire what the NHS is doing for you or what you can help the NHS in regards to promotion and co-production. We carers are unique in our roles and sometimes we stay silent and get on with it, but we should try use our voices to influence health services.

About the National MH Nurses director forum

I now want to talk about the forum which runs each year, I think the one for 2019 was the fourth of its kind. The NMHND forum aims to focus on leadership for mental health and learning disability nursing. It also wants to help spread best practice in mental health and learning disability nursing. It helps bring together those who work in the field of nursing to help raise the voices in regards to the pressures of nursing.

You can find out more about the National Mental Health Directors Forum (NMHND) off their site shown below.

https://mhforum.org.uk/

Plus you can find out about Directors of Nursing for the UK through the forum site.

https://mhforum.org.uk/trust-breakdown

The 2019 National MH Nurses Directors forum was held at Warwick University. I was impressed by the conference center and the facilities, which also had a bar, large canteen and many conference rooms. I was told Warwick University had many conference centers and as a carer guest speaker, I felt I was really spoilt since I was provided a room at the center, the Dinner, Breakfast and lunch was fantastic.

The theme of the 2019 NMHND forum was on “Building Resilience”, which was fitting due to the pressures the NHS is under. Plus if the NHS is facing large challenges, it will filter down from leaders, to senior staff and front line staff and guess what? The patient and carer will be next in line. So I was glad that the National MH Nurses forum raised the theme, but it was not moaning and groaning, we sought to find answers, solutions and inspirations into building resiliance. We do not want nurses to struggle and leave the profession.

About the Forum Chair and Organisers

To open the event we had Mel Coombs who is the Director of Nursing at Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. I felt comfortable with her chairing style and that put me at ease as I felt welcomed. I was fascinated by her inspirational story into the role of Nursing and felt she was ever so dedicated in her field, but more on that later.

You can find out more about Cambridge and Peterborough NHS trust and their board of directors below.

https://www.cpft.nhs.uk/about-us/board-of-directors.htm

I was also welcomed by Professor Hilary McCallion CBE and was shocked that she remembered me from when I spoke at South London and Maudsley carer conference almost 6 years ago.

If it was not for Hilary, I doubt I would be speaking at the Nurses forum that day and thank her for involving me at such a level. Prof Hilary is the Director of Nursing and Lead Nurses National forum, plus she is also a Trustee of Dementia UK and Bethlem Museum of the Mind, which I aim to get involved on Bethlem museum latest project soon, watch this space.

Last but certainly not least was Peter Hasler who I have known for a very long time and has inspired me to get involved at South London and Maudsley as a carer when I first started out learning more about the NHS. Peter has many roles, but he is the Forum Development Officer.

What happened throughout the day

After the welcome by the chair, I spoke about resilience as a Carer and the impact of mental health needs in the family. I spoke passionately and from the heart as I wish to lead by example when I want to raise the profile of families & carers in the NHS.

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My talk consisted of the importance of Carers being empowered to network
My background and the Triangle of Care, plus the Health Service Journal.
Carers Navigating the NHS
The need for support from nurses and also resilience of carers.

I hope my message was inspirational and I felt those who work within the NHS have families and patients in mind. I want to inspire nurses to join and avoid leaving the profession, especially in the mental health field, which is very challenging.

We then had Ruth May who Chief Nurse of NHS England speaking about “Nursing Resilience in delivering the NHS Long Term Plan”. I am looking forward to hearing more on how she can help educate us on the NHS Long term plan. She answered many challenging questions from the audience and I noticed she has her work cut out, but her passion and drive shows that she will make great progress.

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After the break Prof Hilary McCallion spoke about patient Observations on inpatient wards. As a carer, her talk was easy to understand and there was an interest in psychiatry as she provided many insights as to why patient observations in hospital mental health wards was so important.

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I admired her knowledge and energy and I felt jealous when someone in the audience got her the questions correct and won a box of chocolates.

After the lecture the forum split up into 3 work-group sessions. The first session was presented by Learning disability nurses Simon Jones and Alison Williamson from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust on PBS in Forensic Services.

You can find out more about Oxford NHS Trust below

https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/

The second Session was on Stepping Up via Resilience through the CQC, which was presentation by Amanda Griffiths and Jane Fullard from the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust, which recently got an Outstanding ranking from the CQC on their mental health services.

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This was the session I joined, probably due to the CQC paying even more attention to the Triangle of Care and being active on twitter, plus engaging with my Carer strategy forums. Amanda and Jane spent a lot of time education myself and other trusts in the room, which an impressive presentation. As a side note, I met nurse from SLaM based in Lewisham who spoke kindly about my presentation. I was glad we had more SLaM staff at the forum and hope they will also continue to engage with the carer forums.

You can find out more about Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust below

https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/

The third and final session was on How do mental health practitioners understand & experience resilience which was presented by Simon Wharne of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. I have nothing but admiration for Sussex staff and their CEO Sam Allen who has supported my work for quite while and they are heavy advocates of Triangle of Care. I will never forget Sussex involving me as a carer at their event a while ago.

You can find more about Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/

After a tasty lunch at the conference center, I got the feeliing at ate too much and it made me sleepy, but I couldnt help myself as I networked with NHS staff from other trusts. There are going to be some exciting projects coming up soon.

The forum moved on to Resilience in your NHS Career Journey, were we got to hear personal stories from Mel Coombs, Christine Hutchinson who is the Nurse on Learning Disability at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Francis Adzinku who is the Service Delivery Director at Oxleas NHS Foundation trust.

You can find out more about Lancashire and Oxleas below.

https://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/

http://oxleas.nhs.uk/

I would like to give Special thanks to Warwick university and Radcliff conference center as I found the food, facilities and guest room excellent.

How I felt about the event.

I was delighted to be invited to participate in such an influencial nursing forum. If I did not blog on such a forum, it really would have been a missed opertunity. I felt the event was very well organised and kept to time.

I enjoyed the art work of the event done by Dr Pen Mendonca.  The art really summed up the day as words cannot always be the best representation of describing things.

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I hope to meet up again with Prof Hilary McCallion again over at SLaM and most of all I was impressed by the caring attitude of the audience making me feel welcomed as a carer among friends.

I would like to mention Lookout for my next blog which will be a video timeline of UK nursing throughout the ages.

Thank you for reading.

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National Co-Production week 2019

10177241_747738765268892_5890142387668348507_nWelcome to another blog by Matthew Mckenzie unpaid carer for someone close. Most of my website focuses on unpaid carers caring for someone with mental health needs and healthcare in general. I do not just often blog and post, I try to be active out in the community. I have been runinng carer strategy forums close to 4 years to seek co-production and engagement from those who provide health and social care.

Engagement from my local mental health trust has been fairly good, although getting people’s time is not easy, but engagement from commissioners is even more difficult, perhaps not enough staff perhaps. Co-production with the CCG’s and council has been very slow and sometimes I am wondering if it is valued, although I hear of some good works, I still feel its lacking.

Did you know that from the 5th of July it is National Co-Production week? This is the week were those who use services and their unpaid carers can use their voices to express what they know or want to understand about co-production. It is also a chance for health professionals to showcase their co-production examples and also learn how to increase co-production.

What is co-production?

Unfortunately co-production can be a loose term and is used all too frequently. To strip it down to its basic premise. It could be defined as “users of a system joining together to influence the way that services are designed, commissioned and delivered”. Still, such a term cannot be agreed by everyone and the meaning of co-production might chance over time.

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Even more importantly, co-production aims to shift the culture of power towards the end users, because the problem is what health commissioners and designers feel on who is experienced to create policies and commission services. It sometimes is not always health professionals and commissioners fault, as co-production becomes difficult if only a few users want to be involved.

This is one of the reasons why National co-production week helps to try educate others on the importance of co-production. It should be a time where patients and carers focus on what we can do, rather than what is always being done to us.

A culture problem

Health services, social care and psychiatry often suffer from a problem of a top down organisational structure. Only the experts know best and there is pressure for them to produce results. If its not about saving costs and producing quality results, its also the culture of the health professionals being highly educated to know what is best. History unfortunately has shown the mistakes where the culture of who knows best can do untold amount of damage to the community. The culture barrier can stop/limit the end user or community from using their voices to get involved and tackle inequalities of health and social care.

Co-production-ladder

Too often health professionals and commissioners have the idea that because the end user was not educated about health and social care, that some health experts feel end users do not have anything to contribute. The policies, practices and principles are guarded for dear life and the impact on the community is limited.

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Why it is important to understand healthcare as a Carer

smallerWelcome again to another post from carer Matthew Mckenzie.  I have done a new video regarding the NHS and why it is important to understand healthcare services at an unpaid carer.

The video covers aspects of querying GP surgeries, hospitals and pharmacies.

 

The video also covers using these services and why it is so important carers review them.  Sorry the sound on the video is a little low as I tried using my laptop as the video recorder, but next time I will use the camcorder.

I hope to cover more videos regarding health services and unpaid carers in future.

Hope you enjoy.