Tag Archives: carers

Lewisham BME MH Carer/SU Forum August Update 2018

Welcome to the latest update of the Lewisham BME MH carer/SU forum for august. This is the first time that the forum took place in the evening, so to allow other carer members Who cannot always attends during friday morning.

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For the August forum, we hoped to have the Mental Health Act officer attend and give a presentation regarding the Mental Health Act and how south London and Maudsley were going to adapt to the latest changes to the mental Health Act. Unfortunately he could not make it, so we decided to discuss south London and Maudsley carer strategy.

I presented and broke down the 2015 – 2019 NHS Trust Carer strategy. We discussed the following

– What do trust defines as a carer
– Why it is important to understand the trust carers strategy
– What the trust has done so far for carers, laid out in it strategy.
– What the trust promises to do within been the carers strategy.
– The Triangle of care
– Principles of practice
– The trusts carers charter
– Holding the trust to account regarding it’s carers charter.

It was a shame that’s you in the audience knew about the care act 2014, plus not many even you about the trust carers charter. So it was worthwhile spending over 2 hours presenting and explaining the strategy.

There was very good questions and discussions regarding the current carers strategy. I pointed out that if anyone wants to read up more on the carers strategy, They should query the following

– Look for patterns, repeated words.
– Pay attention to what they have done and what they are going to do.
– Dates of things to be done (at back of strategy)
– What is brief? Whats unclear?
– When questioning who is responsible for things within the strategy, have an idea on asking how things would be done.

As long as one is civil and respectful in querying and asking about carer issues and carers strategies, then we can expect transparency and progress. Due to pressures within the NHS, we do not expect everything to be perfect, but it does not hurt to engage and ask questions we are well aware that staff are working very hard to engage with us.

I pointed out that in September there is to be a discussion at the trust regarding the carers strategy and implementing a new carers strategy. Due to organisational changes at the trust, it would be vital that the carers strategy focuses even more on borough based carer engagement and involvement.

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Lewisham MH Carers forum August 2018 update

IMG_20180828_141300Hello everyone, welcome to the latest update from the Lewisham mental health carers forum, which took place on August the 28th carers Lewisham. I know I have missed a few updates regarding the other forums that took place in July, I am hoping to add those at a later date.

As a quick reminder, the MH carers forums give a chance for carers to get updates, engagement, empowerment and also query NHS services and policies. We had some good attendance for the latest lewisham carers forum.

The forum usually runs for 2 hours, however so much was discussed at this particular forum we actually overran. I gave updates from our local mental health trust, which is South London and Maudsley. The NHS Trust has been really good in engaging with carers forums from the Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon and Lewisham.

As a forum we are excited to have future guest invites from lewisham hospital in regards to how they engage with mental patients at A&E. We are also excited to have the attendance of the social care lead in the coming months. We also hope to get engagement from the director of carers Trust. The forum has achieved a lot over the past 2 and a half years.

As a forum we were glad to hear how the modern matron in charge of carer engagement feedback how the trust aims to look into the Triangle of care. We are also hoping that a new care support group start up at the inpatient unit soon. As a forum, the members were very impressed with the director of Lewisham mental health services attending and engaging with some exciting ideas and projects.

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For this month, we were very lucky to have Lewisham CCG engagement officer attending and listening to a lot of the members feedback and updates. The engagement officer told us about her role and the role of lewisham CCG, we got updates about some new projects and the importance of patient participation groups at doctors surgeries. As a forum we discussed NHS service provision, however a lot of questions should be saved for the Lewisham CCG AGM.

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The CCG engagement officer educated and updated us on the recent health promotion projects in the borough of Lewisham. The engagement officer was well aware of my activities in the borough of Lambeth and Southwark and felt that we can learn from what they are doing over there and vice a versa.

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I updated members that the NHS trust mental health act officer is due to appear this Thursday at the BME MH carers forum, plus members are interested on updates regarding the trusts carers strategy, however there is a strong feeling that the carers strategy must encompass local engagement rather than being too heavily trustwide focused.

I also updated members that SLaM are looking to discuss the Carers Strategy, plus that their AGM is coming up.  We are interested on who will win staff awards.

As usual many of the members feedback on what they are doing in regards to carer empowerment projects. Members of Keen to have a local carers listening event, however we are wondering about promotion and networking.

We look forward to more engagement from Lewisham CCG and also Lewisham Healthwatch, but importantly from a local NHS Mental Health Trust and Lewisham hospital.

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.

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

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.

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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.