Category Archives: Carers Greenwich MH Forum

Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum October 2022

Welcome to the latest update of my Greenwich mental health carer forum. I run this with the support of Greenwich carers bi-monthly. The focus of the forum is to give unpaid carers a chance to query, understand and focus on the complex world of mental health provision, especially trying to influence mental health providers of the importance of unpaid carers. In a sense, carers can be service users as well, so services should take account families and friends supporting those with mental ill health.

Speakers for the October Greenwich forum were

Peter Ley – Oxleas Greenwich Service Manager
Myles Thorpe – Voice & Engagement Officer for Greenwich Area Involvement Network
Jason Mcculloch – Service Manager, Commissioning, Health & Adults Services for Royal Borough of Greenwich

  • Peter Ley Updates MH carer forum

Peter talked to our group regarding the work going on between Oxleas and Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich mind in order to create a well being hub. Peter explained that basically, it’s a merging of those kind of services, to kind of provide something for people where there is an easy to access. So when you go to a GP service, or maybe you just want to drop some concerns, what they are developing is a hub of different types of interventions for people that can be accessed really quickly

The intention is to provide people with prompt access to things that will help on their mental wellbeing. The idea is that rather than go through a kind of long drawn out process of repeatedly being assessed for mental health, the idea is to get to something that’s helpful intevention and be quite quick about it, provide things to people in a matter of days, rather than months. This is opposed to when a situation gets worse, then more kind of time has to be taken to get service users back on their feet.

Peter then mentioned how the pandemic is still impacting the NHS. The impact certainly has been felt from a community mental health team point of view, so they coming back into a greater number of face to face visits at home, rather than using the phone or waiting for people to come to them. So people should notice where there’ll be more of contact that is actually face to face. There should be more home visits. Something new were put in place to help with that is something called “The Care Teams Approach”.

So across all the community teams in Oxleas e.g. psychosis teams, the intensive case management for Psychosis services, what they will be doing is getting two care coordinators together and supporting them two support workers. So the kind of caseloads will spread across four people rather than one. So caseload sizes that those four will be looking after will workout to, ideally 50 patients, but in some cases, is 65. The standard there is that each of those workers does at least 10 to 10 face to face visits each week, which should instantly increase the amount of face to face visits that people can expect to get across the month in the community.

  • QUESTIONS FROM CARER MEMBERS

I’m understanding correctly, your well being hub, I noticed that it’s still a trial at the moment. But the referrals, are you saying that the referral has to be done via the GP? From my personal point, they cannot manage the services that they’ve already got. I’ve got health problems at the moment, and I’m struggling for myself, if I had to reach out about the person I care for, then the chances are, for example, I call trying to get an appointment on an urgent need. When there’s no appointments, you get referred to the Greenwich hub, they call it a Greenwich hub. And all what they do is triage you over the phone, and then refer you back to the GP anyway

You said it’s two CCOs and two support workers. Are they permanent staff, or are they locums? Because Oxleas seems to me to be running on locums. At the moment.

Peter we have not seen you for a while, we do hope you can engage with mental health carer groups, so there is an understanding of how Oxleas supports and engages with carers.

I myself asked the following questions

Who leads regarding care coordinators and social workers? If a Medical director leads regardings psychiatrists, then does Oxleas have a director of Social care? Although I understand care coordinators can be a generic role, plus what sort of training do staff at Oxleas get regarding carer identification and engagement?

  • Bonus update from Debora Mo – Mental Health Commissioning Support and Engagement Officer at SE ICB

Debora updated that they are conducting workshops with clients in a range of supported accommodations in Greenwich. So mainly from bridge support, one housing and Sanctuary. They already had their first workshop but they would like a couple of mental health carers to join if they were able to. There was a contribution for lived experience people, which is London living wage level. The sessions are held at the “London Marathon playing fields” (https://www.accessable.co.uk/venues/london-marathon-playing-fields) and the next one is on the fourth of November. They can only accommodate about one to two carers because the facilitators they are working with are really keen that the group of people who actually have the lived experience.

  • Myles Thorpe on the focus of Greenwich Area Involvement Network

Myles introduced himself regarding his work with GAIN. Myles mentioned it’s a was Community Action Group that worked closely with Oxleas and various public mental health bodies to improve representation of seldom heard groups, this means lived experience of mental health users to engage with the service providers. So this is incorporated in the decision making and service provision. The goal is to improve access to mental health services.

GAIN recently registered as a charity, and Myles is their first member of staff. He is doing research essentially, in connecting with various communities. There’s a whole number of groups, networks and subgroups where all of the information that they gather, whether that’s on service users or members of the community, gets fed into a kind of working group. They try and bring the provision of mental health forward so that it’s fit and efficient based on the resources that they have in the community.

  • QUESTIONS FROM CARER MEMBERS

It’s good to hear that carers are going to be involved and I hope fully involved, not not just as an afterthought, which we feel we are at the moment.

Wasn’t there a recent event regarding GAIN? I was wondering that turned out?

So Myles and myself sit in different things together, apart from the fact we do communicate a lot, but we also sit in different meetings that involve others like Oxleas and BLG Mind. So we are trying to focus on a united front, in a sense of all the work that’s happening, and also share all this information and knowledge.

  • Jason Mcculloch updates on Royal Borough of Greenwich Carers Strategy

Jason talked about what his remit covers, which is a number of service areas, but unpaid carers is one of them. He has been coordinating the delivery of a new carer strategy for the borough of Greenwich, this is a joint carer’s strategy with health colleagues, which was launched formally a couple of weeks ago, down at town hall. The launch was followed up with an event at Greenwich carer center. They are now planning further events in the evening, where the date is to be confirmed.

Jason was at the meeting to let everybody know that they have launched this new carer strategy that they are now moving into the sort of implementation phase of that strategy.

One of the key aspects of the strategy for Jason is that carers should receive a consistent level of service regardless of where they connect with health and social care services across the borough. So whether it’s at the GP, whether it’s with a social care team, either at the carer forum or with Oxleas, whether whether it’s a hospital, and you should expect the same basic level of service, the same sort of consistent information and advice.

In the background to make sure that colleagues across the health and social care sector and are aware of the strategy. We need to make sure they are aware of the commitments within it and understand what services are available for carers, which you can access or can be referred to. So as of this moment they are starting that work now, talking to the various social work teams getting engaged with GPS, and so on.

  • QUESTIONS FROM CARER MEMBERS

I’ve done so much for my son in the last two years. And I sit my listen to all these promises, and all the research and projects that have been done. And I’ve heard it all before they come and they take information from us, and then we don’t see them again.

Were there any mental health carers on your working working group? I was on this for 4 or 6 years ago, I was part of the original carer and strategy working group that you were setting up, but it all fell apart and I never heard anything more about it. Will there be more focus on mental health carers this time?

Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum January 2022

Welcome to the first Greenwich MH carers forum for January 2022. This is a forum aimed at unpaid carers in Greenwich to get engagement from their local mental health NHS trust, as well as Queen Elizabeth Hospital based in Woolwich and other providers of health & social care.

It might seem kind slow how I am updating my blog site, but I have been so busy working on my poetry. I am hoping to release my third book close the end of the year. It will be a book of poems regarding experiences of care, especially providing unpaid care for someone suffering mental illness.

Speakers for my Greenwich Mental Health carers forum were

Marcianne Coggins from Oxleas PALs and Complaints
Jo Mant Oxleas NHS trust stakeholder lead

Jo Mant presents on engagement at Oxleas

It was requested that Oxleas Patient Advice & Liason engage with carers. There were some technical hitches, so PALs and Complaints had to engage with the forum in February. Jo Mant also attended and she was glad to see members she knew from many years ago.

Jo Mant talked about the opportunities for engagement within the NHS trust, because there are some new developments coming forward with involvement and the Oxleas involvement registry. Jo who is the stakeholder engagement lead at Oxleas NHS FT talked how people can have a voice within Oxleas. Jo talked about how Oxleas is a Foundation Trust, and all foundation trusts are accountable to local communities, and are accountable through membership. Oxleas have members who are members of the public that live in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, or more widely in the rest of England, and they have some work to do with carer members. This means they are accountable to them. These members are invited to events and are also invited to have their say, to help Oxleas develop services.

Jo mentioned Oxleas used to have annual focus groups to sort of develop their strategic direction for the following year, that has shifted slightly when Oxleas started a piece of work just before the pandemic hit. Oxleas was trying to work on a big massive engagement program which will involve members, this being the public and carer’s groups to help shape a new strategy for the NHS trust.

Jo moved on to talk more about the membership, which is a great opportunity for carers to get involved with the NHS trust. Jo kindly shared the link of involvement and engagement oppertunities to our forum members, where she mentioned we can look at them after the meeting. Jo continued to mention that by becoming a member, you receive updates from Oxleas NHS FT and you will receive emails of involvement oppertunities and up to date news.

Jo finished up by talking about Oxleas NHS big priorities for their new five year strategy. One of them is around patient rights, and the other one is about creating great ‘out of hospital’ care to both Oxleas mental health agenda and also their physical community health agenda. Jo reminded us that Oxleas is a mental health and physical health community provider. So they have worked on a wide range of service perspectives in Greenwich and they’re different in each borough as in Bexley and Bromley. Oxleas Membership has been invited to focus groups, and that is to help Oxleas develop what that looks like what they’ve been particularly looking at at the moment. One query is how long people do have to wait for treatment, and what does it translate to put in place to help people to recover? As in what support do people need? Plus What information do people need?

The presentation showed what things Oxleas were testing out and are trying to co-produce regarding service improvements to take the NHS trust forward. The other project is about how Oxleas has been a great place to work, which is more of a staff focus. So lots of work around the trust providing great opportunities for people to get involved.

The other thing that’s being developed and gathering momentum is the involvement hub or an involvement register. The trust has been involved with register, it’s run by someone who is head of service user involvement. She’s also head of the lived experience Practitioner program for Oxleas. Plus she is also head of volunteering, which has got a very wide remit around engagement and involvement.

What Oxleas want is to see people join the involvement hub and people who are in that involvement register will receive training To help them undertake some roles, like a big part of Oxleas recruitment processes, but also they’ll be involved in workstreams to help co-produce work through to develop the strategic direction of the NHS trust.

Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum October 2021

Welcome to the October update of my Greenwich Mental Health carer forum. As with my other carer forums, this one focuses on engagement from the local mental health NHS trust that covers greenwich, that being Oxleas MH NHS trust. I run this forum with heavy support from Greenwich carers who fight and advocate for the needs of unpaid carers in the Royal borough of Greenwich.

Speakers for the October Greenwich MH carer forum were

Peter Ley (Oxleas NHS) – Service Manager
Sue Horbury (Oxleas NHS) – Online Patient system
Laurelle Morgan Bruce (Oxleas NHS) – Oxcare

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Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum August 2021

Welcome to a brief update for my Greenwich mental health carer forum. One of the carer groups I run with the support of Greenwich carers. As usual the forum focuses on unpaid carers who care for someone with serious mental ill health. The forum runs very 2 months since I mostly focus on my other group for greenwich, which is a carer peer support group.

The greenwich MH carer forum also focuses on engagement with unpaid carers rather than a peer supportive environment. Speakers for the Greenwich MH carer forum were as follow.

Victor Aigbe-Anderson – Social Care Assessor

We also had engagement from Greenwich CCG who have been active engaging in my carer groups.

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Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum June 2021

Here is a brief update of our Greenwich mental health carer forum for June 2021. This carer forum focuses on empowerment for mental health carer, while my Greenwich Mental Health carer peer group is on peer support and carer networking.

We were joined by MP Matthew Pennycook who is the Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich.

Matthew was mainly here to listen to unpaid mental health carers, which he could take up be it compliments or concerns. I could not go into any details but a few issues were raised one on the state of GP practices. We were also joined by Nosizo Magaya who is CQC’s lead inspector for Oxleas.

Matthew Pennycook MP for Greenwich

Nosizo spoke about what the CQC that being Care Quality Commission does and how they engage with NHS staff, patients and those who care for service users.

Nosizo reminded us that the CQC are a regulator, so they regulate all health services in England. She felt that perhaps the CQC could describe themselves as the Ofsted of health care. The only difference with the CQC and Ofsted is that they can prosecute, if they feel that there are providers that are not providing the adequate care.

So the CQC as an organization has got teams of inspectors that go in and review the care that’s been given to people. Sometimes they respond to whistleblowing, or any responses from any member of the public. Typically, if they do get a concern, they will contact the provider. If the person who gave the CQC the information is happy for them to share it. The CQC will contact the provider and ask for feedback and query what happened with this consent that has been raised. Their teams are a combination of different people on their health care professionals, anything from doctors to nurses, physiotherapists, and also some that are not healthcare professionals being expert by experience.

Nosizo also mentioned that they are based according to team, so the London mental health and community health service team would look after oxleas and she is the main contact for oxleas. Some queries from members were worried how long it would take to raise questions to the CQC, although another carer reminded that even if the CQC did not speak to a carer during inspection, it is always wise to raise a query off the CQC’s website.

You can check out more from the CQC off the site below.

https://www.cqc.org.uk/

Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum March 2021

Welcome to my Greenwich Mental Health carers forum update for March. This is the 2nd Greenwich MH carers forum for 2021, since this is a fairly new forum aimed at families and carers who are caring for someone with mental illness.

The forum is not a support group, although there are times discussions may dwell on a supportive nature as members switch to talking about their own unpaid caring experiences. The Royal Borough of Greenwich MH carers forum aims to give families and unpaid carers a chance to talk to Mental health, health and social care services about how they can also support carers. The forum is a chance at engagement, involvement and empowerment for unpaid carers who would like to know what is going on with services. There also might be a chance to influence services when the Royol Borough of Greenwich mental health carers network grows in numbers.

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