Tag Archives: carers

Southwark MH Carers Forum June 2018

Dg3QQzpUYAAo2uyWelcome to June 2018 update from the Southwark mental health carers forum. As a reminder the mint of carers forums give unpaid carers in care for someone suffering mental health needs a chance to get updates and query mental health services and also services aimed at unpaid carers. One of the things that is important to note is that the forms allow empowerment to unpaid carers.

For this particular form over at Southwark carers, we were lucky to have the Labour MP helen Hayes attend the forum to present a new report published jointly by the Health & Social Care and the Housing, Communities & Local Government Select Committees on the long term funding of adult social care.

At the forum we all admitted that the social care system is broken. There are quite a few reasons why social care is struggling to support those in desperate need. One of the things that has been causing a lot of problems is the austerity effect. We felt that the current government seems to be dragging its heels on supporting and protecting the rights of unpaid carers.

If that wasn’t hard enough we have a double blow in regards to the ‘cared for’ where hospitals are struggling with funding, delayed hospital discharges, difficulty with mental health patients getting support and the rotating door system. All of this applies added pressure on families and unpaid carers who are trying their best to care for their loved ones.

Comforting friend. Woman consoling her sad friend.

The select committee which Helen Hayes is a member of is a cross party initiative that includes a Citizens jury. The committee looked at funding and who should fund social care. The committee also queried what social care should look like.

Too often the poorest in Society are asked to pay for social care that cannot often reach them. Above all they should be transparency not just in social care but within the NHS. It is so important that families and carers are given the support in order to care for their loved ones rather than being pushed out by care workers.

The forum also discussed the integrated social care system where are the city of Manchester has set an example for others to follow.

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The MP felt glad that such a forum is up and running since she felt the current government has failed to give unpaid carers a voice and she will do all she can in order to support the mental health carers forum. We also discussed carers assessments and who should attend the forum.  Unfortunately Southwark Council representatives were due to attend the forum, but were unaware the time had changed.

In future we can send out posters where the MPs can help publicise and support the forum.

MH Forum V2

This concludes the update for June 2018 Southwark mental health carers forum.

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Lambeth MH Carers Forum update June 2018

20140710_143445Here is the update for the Lambeth mental health carers forum held over at 336 Brixton road. This forum alternates in time, so that carers can I do attend during the daytime or evening.

For this particular forum we had two people engaging with the members. The first being Steve badger who is the clinical lead for the Lambeth home treatment team. Home treatment teams are very important in regards to introducing is service user or patient back into the community, but how does this work with families and carers?

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Steve badger explained how the home treatment team worked. He took time to talk about the structure of the home treatment team over in the borough of Lambeth. A lot of discussions centered back onto the “place of safety ward”, this is because a lot of the members were interested in how people were introduced to the service especially in Crisis.

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As usual bed management was often talked about at the forum because there’s a lot of worrying on how patients are introduced to the service not just on me how they end up back into the community. A fair bit of discussion was on consent especially when the patient ends up back home with the family how would the home treatment team engage with the carer?

Steve kindly explain other useful support which carers or patients can use especially the 24-hour Slam helpline and also using the “Living Well network”. There was also some discussion on the new structure changes wear Slam is going back to Borough based services. We look forward to hearing more about the new structure in future forums.

The next speaker at the june lambeth mental health carers forum was Bobby Allen from “carers 4 carers”.

Carers 4 Carers is a charity group set up in Lambeth to offer care services for those who themselves care for their disabled, sick and elderly loved ones. Carers 4 Carers was set up by and is run by Carers and ex Carers. Who want to use their skills and experience of caring to support other Carers.

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Bobby explained how carers get together and exchanged ideas we found out that “carers 4 carers” is a great place to relax socialize and network with other carers. The Lambeth charity is running several initiatives one of them is called “inspirational champions”, which looks at confidence building. Another project is called “Viva”, which concentrates on carers you are over 50 and allows them a chance to exercise and go on trips. The charity has one funding from “Sports England” in order to get more carers to become active.

Carers 4 Carers have been running sessions at the Oval and Dulwich Sports Centre. The charity is based at Brixton recreational centre. You can find out more about Carers 4 Carers at the following link http://www.lambethforestnetwork.org.uk/carers-4-carers/

Next was a discussion on the recent Slam Carers listening event. This took place on the 27th of June 2018 over at Coin Street Community Centre in Lambeth. To make it easier have broken down the discussion into bullet points

  • Those who attended liked the main speaker who was speaking about planning for the future and where interested in the pack provided by Birmingham & Soulihill NHS Foundation Trust, which led to a discussion on its content and the empowerment carers got to implement changes with support from the Trust, clinicians and Council.

 

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  • They also enjoyed the workshop so especially on confidentiality and being shown in the short film.
  • Some felt the medication workshop with was good but a bit too presentational.
  • Although I could not attend in the afternoon I heard a lot about what people thought regarding the panel of question and it was good to see the chief exec attend.
  • We felt it was a shame that few carers from the borough of Lambeth could only attend.
  • Plus the events seem to lack a way to discuss on tables with carers and staff.
  • Some felt that the confidentiality film was a bit too staged.
  • One carer was unhappy that her question was not asked during the panel debate.

Moving away from the recent carers listening event, I updated the Lambeth carers forum on a new carers support group being set up over at Lambeth Hospital. We hope that the carers support group can link into the Lambeth carers forum. In regards to other updates for the Lambeth mental carers forum is that members are looking forward to updates from Lambeth Healthwatch, updates from health Locker advisory board meeting and one of the Lambeth MPs attending the Forum in future.

This concludes the update for the Lambeth mental health carers forum for June 2018.

Carers week 2018

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Hello everyone welcome to your new blog for Matthew McKenzie a carer from South London. Now as of this blog it is carers week 2018. Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

For this year carers 2018 looks to address caring in the community as where carers can come connected to the community and also keeping carers healthy. It is quite common to know that carers can also be isolated and caring for someone that they have known for most of their lives or at least someone special.

We all want a caring Society so that’s why it is so important and continue to address that carers can be connected to the community.

Family

 

1. Make sure carer centers are still active in the area so at least carers have a safe space to go and get support and advocacy.

2. Make sure staff are trained to be carer aware and engage with carers and unknown carers as much as possible.

3. If you know of any carers or your close to someone who is currently carer, it does not hurt to give them a call to see how they are doing.

4. A good one is to make a Pledge on the ‘carers week’ website. https://www.carersweek.org/get-involved/pledge-support.

5. Educate carers on how they can keep fit and healthy so in order that they can care for others it is important that carers care for themselves.

6. Reward organisations that make a continued effort to raise the profile and support of carers so it can sit a good example to other organisations for instance GP practices, NHS trusts or councils.

Giving help

It is so important that you raise and continue raise the needs of 6.5 million carers across the country. It is a shame that carers have to Sacrifice so much when their loved ones become unwell. Carers don’t often ask for much so that’s why we should at least give carers some recognition.

Lewisham MH Carers forum April 2018 update

IMG_20180529_135451Welcome to the Lewisham MH carers forum update for May. Out of all the four Mental Health carer forums in South London, this is the oldest one I chair. The MH carers forum ran on the 29th of May.

Carers Lewisham have been very good in supporting the forum and helping to advertise it, but we still need to reach other mental health carers in the borough of Lewisham. It is very important unpaid mental health carers know what is going on with the mental health services, let alone being engaged and trying to influence them.

For the month of May, we had guest speaker Stephanie Edwards who is the Clinical Team Leader for the Psychosis service in Lewisham. This forum was highly strategic as the forum members got a brief breakdown of the mental health services in Lewisham. The mental health service structure for the borough of Lewisham was complicated due to the current restructuring of SLaM staff, but hopefully we will have Donna Hayward-Sussex at the April forum, she is the Deputy Director of the Crisis Services within the Psychological Medicine Team.

The forum members need to know and query how mental health staff restructuring will affect service user and carers in the borough of Lewisham. As far as the forum knows, there will be be senior management consultations regarding interim posts.

Lewisham Ward Map

The mental health trust that covers 4 boroughs and a few more regarding mental health services is preparing for the CQC visit in July, they have spent a long time preparing services and involving carers and service users in ward/service inspections, which was good to hear. The MH carers forum appreciates staff have worked very hard.

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Regarding future forum engagement, the members look to be updated on the NHS trusts estate developments, governance structure and involvement oppertunities. I queried how many carers does Lewisham MH services have on the books, but it can be difficult to pin down the answer, still heard that around about over 800 Mental health cases are in the books, so it gives us some idea of the number of families and carers we need to reach.

Stephanie Edwards is preparing for Lewisham’s People’s Day, so the forum looks to provide cards, posters and leaflets.

After discussions, I brought out a large map of SLaM’s services and Stephanie took time to explain what the services in Lewisham are about, who was responsible and answered queries from the forum members.

There is concern that not enough carers in the borough know what is going on and are not getting involved. There are plans to have the forum held alternatively in the evenings at the Depford community centre. We also hope the carers support group can be set up in Lewisham Hospital so new carers can gain therapeutic support since there is limited time for carers stories at a Carer MH Forum.

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The forum has requested an MP visit soon from the borough of Lewisham to boost carer empowerment and understand carer issues with the borough

This concludes the update for the Lewisham MH carer forum.

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Southwark MH Carers Forum May 2018

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Here is the update from the forum I run after the BME MH Carer/SU forum in the afternoons.  This forum is aimed at unpaid carers in the borough of Southwark, although mental health professionals are free to attend.

The May carer forum was very well attended with representatives from Southwark CCG, Southwark Healthwatch, Kings Health Partners and nurses from the Southwark inpatient acute wards.

At the start of the forum I presented what a mental health carer is, that being basically an unpaid carer supporting someone with mental health needs.

We then had Eliza Hinchliffe presenting on Kings Health Partners project ” Mind and Body Programme”

She presented on the new Mind and Body programme, which is a Kings Health Partners initiative between Guys&St Thomas, Kings College Hospital and SLaM. The Mind & Body programme looks to close the gap between mental health needs and physical health needs.

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The forum discussed ways engagement can be made with carers in mind. There is an offer to promote the forum via the hospitals in Southwark, which means families and Carers can link up on what is going on.

The forum hoped to have Mick Wright Turner – Head of PMIC Southwark Pathway, but he was unavailable.  However we were very impressed that nurses from the Mental Health unit attended the forum to speak about the carers pathway progress.

Next up to present was Karen Clarke who is the mental health lead at Southwark CCG. The forum is particularly interested in collaborating with her regarding updates on mental health services in the borough of Southwark, especially services that needs to give more thought/involvement and engagement about families and carers.

Karen spoke about her role and an introduction about Southwark’s mental health strategy. There will also be a IAPTs review,  the Southwark wellbeing hub review and more updates.  The forum spent some time comparing it to Lambeth’s Mosaic clubhouse. The forum would like southwark CCG to help promote what we do and let carers know there is a place to be heard.  Karen aims to continually engage with the forum, so carers and carer champions can be involved and spread the word.

Next was Southwark Healthwatch updating on projects regarding carers?

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Southwark Healthwatch spoke about their new initiative to engage with carers about mental health services.

The engagement officers took the time to ask carers on what they think would be a mental health crisis and where would the carers take their loved one during a crisis and would like to interview carers about mental health services in the borough of Southwark.

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The forum again would like Southwark Healthwatch to help promote the forum, which Healthwatch agreed via their community board.

The next part of the forum looked into engagement requests Updates

There was a very short discussion on meeting the MP Neil Coyle, the MP has helped promote the forum and there will be a Southwark MH event in Parliament with members of the forum talking about why such a forum is needed.  All members noted that this will bring much needed awareness of what carers are trying to do while being empowered to do so.

Members are also excited that MP Helen Hayes is due to visit the forum in June.

Lastly we had an update from Carers involved in SLaM Foundation Trust

I have been helping train staff on the wards, one ward was actually done over at the Maudsley, this is in regards to carers & confidentiality. The training is being done with help from the trusts Modern Matrons.

Another member of the forum attended NHS England’s conference and raised if their 5 year plan includes try Triangle of Care.

This concludes the update for the Southwark MH Carers forum, stay tuned for the Lewisham carers forum update and also the Lambeth Carers forum update.

 

Lewisham MH Carers forum April 2018

Welcome back to my MH carer forum update from the Lewisham carers group. At the Lewisham Mental Health carer forum, we discuss carer engagement from our local mental health trust, 3 party organisations, the council and lewisham based GP surguries.

We also discuss carers rights, reports and learning about the carers role. For the april 2018 meeting. We discussed the report sent back from out local Mental health foundation trust, which is South London & Maudsley.

I usually attend and chair carer forums across South London, so it was important quality improvements for the mental health services get views from Carers. The report is fairly well written and easy to digest. I had printed out some copies for members to read at the Lewisham MH Carers forum.

We spent most of the time discussing the report, especially page 7 of the report, because that is where the write up of the carers forums were placed regarding carer issues. Despite the report being very easy to read, there were some problems. Some members felt the report was too vague and missed some things out. Other members of the Lewisham MH Carers forum felt the report is lacking in a conclusion on what needs to be done to tackle quality issues.

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One of the members of the forum is going to raise their concerns back at the trust, although I am glad the quality project did mention our concerns. We hope SLaMs Head of quality can engage with the forum regarding SLaMs quality priorites.

We also had a guest speaker at the forum who promises to return to the forum again. The head of the Ladywell Mental Health unit based at Lewisham Hospital engaged with the forum. I was delighted that she was able to make it, even though she had to deal with many emergency meetings. Sam Grey spoke about her role and what a Unit manager does. She described around 7 wards and their purpose and gave an update of changing service structures regarding borough based services rather than trust wide services.

I spoke about the need for a carer support group to be set up for the whole of the Unit, mainly because such a support group existed there years ago. Plus families and carers can always make the tuesday evening for a support group. I am fortunate enough to get support from the trust’s modern matrons who themselves focus on quality priorities. The forum wanted updates and engagement from the Ladywell Unit’s phamacist also the psychriatric nurse from Lewisham hospital, unfortunately we are not sure if it is possible to get their time, but the forum is interested on how such staff deal with medication issues and also how Lewisham hospital’s A&E engages with patients and their friends/families.

I hope the update was a useful read, see you next time.

Southwark MH Carers Forum March 2018

Untitled-2Welcome to an update of how the March 2018 Mental Health carer forum went. I usually try to chair several carer forums around South London and on Friday the 23rd of March we had a forum at Southwark Carers. As stated in previous posts, one of the core aspects of the carer forums is to give carers the space, platform and voice for engagement at their local mental health trust.

Fortunately the forums are very much supported by our mental health trust and at this particular forum we had engagement from the Southwark Modern Matron for South London & Maudsley. Matron’s used to be used very much earlier on in the NHS history and now South London & Maudsley are bringing them back to help with quality standards, engagement with wards and a whole lot more.

South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has 4 Modern Matron’s each one for the four boroughs the trust provides services in. For Southwark the Modern Matron focuses on Physical Health, Lambeth is on reduction in violence on wards, Lewisham focuses Quality improvement and Croydon on Learning disabilities and Carer engagement. As a note all 4 do a whole lot more, but these are some of the core aspects the matron’s work on.

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Zara the Modern Matron for Southwark spoke about how important it is to build relationships with the staff on the Acute wards. She spoke how she trained for the role and her passion to make a big difference. As a carer, I was very interested in what she had to say and her way of speaking made me even more interested in mental health overall. The modern matron for the borough of southwark also spoke about how care plans will hopefully be more of the focus in ward rounds held at the 4 hospitals. She spent a large time engaging with carers at the forum about SLaM’s “Carer engagement & observation plan” and changing the culture of how NHS staff can engagement and involve carers.

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Lots of big projects are happening with Maudsley working with the two other big Mental Health NHS trusts that being Oxleas and the other being South West London & St Georges. We also heard about the importance of the 5 year physical plan from SLaM looking at

– Stoping smoking
– Smear tests
– Denistry
– Nutrianal health and more

One of the reasons for the 5 year plan is that patients with mental health needs often tend not to focus on their own physical health needs and the NHS trust feels that mental and physical health should be the focus in health and recovery.

Other parts of the forum is that the borough of Southwark’s MPs have responded and will have time to engage with the forum, we are still waiting to hear from the last MP. The other good news is that the mental health lead for Southwark CCG will visit the forum in the coming months. So far, I am very impressed with the support the forum is getting from the borough of Southwark, but unfortunately there still is a lot of work to do in order to bring changes for families and carers.

The last part of the forum was exploring the following question regarding improving services for SLaM. I wanted to collect information from carers on how they feel South London & Maudsley could improve the quality of it services.

Hopefully we can get more carers attending the forum, but if not that then at least they can have an option to try attend a carers support group, which we hope will be set up to catch hidden carers or those who feel their role is not about caring.

Thanks for reading.