Tag Archives: mental health

Ethnic mental health Carer Forum August 2022

Welcome to a quick update from one of my carer groups. This one is from the August gathering of the online Ethnic BAME mental health carer forum. A group that focuses on ethnic mental health carers, diversity, race and mental health. I am being a bit naughty since I have not done an update on my groups for some months (busy working on a few things as usual).

We were lucky to have the following speakers attend for August 2022

  • Dr Karen Jutlla (Dementia Lead for the Institute of Health at the University of Wolverhampton) on Race and Dementia
  • Faith Nyandoro (Senior Lecturer) – impact of culturally and personally tailored music and singing interventions
  • Dr Sheila Hardy​ (GP, Carer and Primary Care Mental Health Trainer) – Parity of Esteem
  • Melanie Crew (Senior Policy and Research Officer at Carers UK) – Carers UK campaign updates

  • Dr Karen Jutlla presents to the group

Dr Karen started out by stating what her current role is being the dementia lead at the University of Wolverhampton. She talked about her research interests which has been on going for 15 years looking at dementia care and ethnic minorities, and what research she can do to improve care. The research then feeds into her teaching. This is where she feels responsible for overseeing all the dementia education on the courses she teaches. Dr Karen mentioned lot of her work is about supporting services, healthcare workers and policy makers to make sure that their services are culturally inclusive.

Karen then pointed out that she invited her PhD students Faith along to the ethnic MH carer forum, because she thought we would be interested in the work that she’s doing. Plus it would be a fabulous opportunity for Faith to get our feedback. This is because the group is seen as people with experts by experience, and Faith is looking at music therapy and the African Caribbean community for people living with dementia and what the benefits of such a creative therapy can be.

To hear more about Dr Karan’s work, check out her website – https://drjutlla.com/

  • Faith Nyandoro presents on music therapy for dementia project

It was now Faith’s turn to present as she mentioned her supervisor is looking at her research interest in dementia and music therapy for people living with people living in the Afro Caribbean community.

Faith pointed out that it is a qualitative study. And the topic is to explore “the impact of culturally and personally tailored Music”. Plus also seeing individual the health and well-being of people living with dementia from black, African Caribbean background.

The group started to ask a few questions on what it means, where Faith explained that they where looking at different types of music in which she also listened to from the Afro Caribbean community, but also Africans include music such as Calypso, Afro beats, reggae and so on to see if that has an impact on the health and well being of people living with dementia.

Faith mentioned what Karen was talking about, in that there’s been different interventions to manage Dementia, and some of the interventions that have come up have been political interventions and medical interventions, using drugs available to treat dementia. There also have been some non pharmacological interventions using therapies that being reality orientations and validation, CBT, and so on. Faith stated that unfortunately pharmacological interventions although good, can come with side effects. So with this, the government really pressing on to looking at non-pharmacological interventions. These interventions may not really need the use of drugs. It can improve the health and well being of people living in the moment with dementia.

Faith continued by stating that few black Caribbean people have access to these non pharmacological interventions. So a critical aspect of supporting people with dementia, particularly people from BME communities is by developing interventions that are meaningful and culturally sensitive. And so in terms of music, which is her area of interest, you can find that the interventions that are out there, should be specifically tailored for people. Just as it is for Caucasian people.

Faith then talked about the different types of music interventions that are out there and what the research has a found out, so researchers suggest that people who engage in arts and health problems are at lower risk of dying and are more likely to report good health. This is because the role of art and music in supporting the patient well-being is increased and being recognised.

The way Faith will work on her research is discussing with participants about their memories, thoughts and feelings and about the music. And this will take about 20 minutes. At the end of the nine weeks. She will then carry out that same assessment that she spoke about with the group earlier. She wants to look at the dementia mood and the quality of life. Where Faith will measure the differences.

Faith then arranged a quick workshop session with the group focusing on her project.

  • Dr Sheila Hardy​ presents on Parity of Esteem

Dr Shelia was next to present, she was happy to see our group feedback on the previous presentation. Shelia mentioned her PhD was on physical health and mental illness, where she was trying to show how important it is to check physical health in primary care. Most of her research was about the impact of training the trainers, training nurses and on the health of people with severe mental illness.

Shelia also spoke about her own caring duties as she is caring for dementia. It was tricky for Shelia to present due to her caring role, but we were appreiciative that she engaged with the ethnic carer group.

There is high interest on why people with severe mental illness (SMI) are more likely to have the following, which Dr Shelia presented on:

  • Why those with SMI’s Die prematurely
  • Have a preventable condition – respiratory disease, sexually transmitted infection, sexual dysfunction, obstetric complications, osteoporosis, cancer, dental problems, metabolic disease, diabetes or pre-diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, and raised cholesterol
  • Lead unhealthy lifestyles – smoke, eat a poor diet, have low levels of exercise, have a high alcohol intake, misuse drugs, engage in unsafe sex
  • Experience diagnostic overshadowing
  • Be prescribed medication which may have a negative effect on physical health, e.g. antipsychotic
  • Live in poverty

Since this forum is an ethnic minority carer forum. Dr Shelia spoke on the following regarding how SMI’s impacted on ethnic minority groups.

  • In England, there are health inequalities between ethnic minority and white groups, * and between different ethnic minority groups
  • Access to primary care health services is equitable for ethnic minority groups, but less consistent across other health services
  • People from ethnic minority groups are more likely to report being in poorer health and to report poorer experiences of using health services than their white counterparts
  • People from the Gypsy or Irish Traveller, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities have the poorest health outcomes across a range of indicators
  • Compared with the white population, disability-free life expectancy is estimated to be lower among several ethnic minority groups
  • Rates of infant and maternal mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes are higher among Black and South Asian groups
  • Mortality from cancer, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, is highest among white groups

Half way through Dr Shelia’s presentation there were a few questions where Shelia explained Why people with mental illness have poor physical health

  • Genetics – low HDL, raised blood glucose, low lung function values
  • Poor motivation (due to their mental health problem)
  • Difficulty in concentration and planning (due to their mental health problem)
  • Less likely than the general population to receive support to change unhealthy behaviour
  • Less likely than the general population to receive medical examination and intervention
  • Physical symptoms often attributed to mental health problem so early intervention not offered

Lastly and most importantly Dr Shelia finished up on what actions can help to prevent health problems

  • Engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviours which include:
  • Eating healthily
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting adequate rest and relaxation
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Avoiding drugs and smoking
  • Safe sex
  • Maintaining physical personal care
  • Seeking medical care when required

Obviously there are more things that can combat the problem of paraity of esteem, but this is a start to educate others on the challenges.

Dr Shelia Hardy has a book out if interested Mental Health and Wellbeing: A guide for nurses and healthcare professionals working with adults in primary care

  • Melanie Crew presents updates from Carer’s UK

Next to present and engage with our ethnic carer group was Melanie who is the Senior Research Officer from Carers UK. She Thanked us for giving her the opportunity to present Carers UK updates.

Carers UK is a national carer’s charity fighing and supporting millions of carers for the UK. They campaign heavily for Carer’s rights and carer awareness.

Melanie spoke on a few updates on what Carers UK have been working on. She mentioned that they have their annual survey running at the moment, which is called “state of caring”. This is where they asked carers quite a lot of questions about their experiences. So it covers issues like “cost of living”, “delays with accessing health care” and other recurring themes like mental health, employment and technology.

Melanie mentioned that it’s really important that they know what carers are struggling with, otherwise they can’t claim to campaign on behalf of people fighting to provide care. Surveys are an important tool because if they are not listening to carers, and asking them what they want or what they need. Then carers will continue to struggle.

Even at the time, they have not had loads of responses, especially responses from ethnic minority carers. So Carers UK are trying to contact lots of different organisations who work with ethnic minority carers, and also try to share the survey with them.

Melanie raised the importance that it would be really great if any of us have the time to go though the survey, as the charity feel that the responses are really important to them.

Melanie then mentioned anothe project that Carers UK are working on called “Making carers count”. This is done in partnership with another national carers organisation called “Carers Trust”.

The project is looking at certain groups of carers that they know less about, so we kind of refer to them as underrepresented groups. This includes carers from ethnic minority backgrounds. So her role in that project is carrying out research which led to a published a research report about the experiences of ethnic minority carers during the pandemic.

Melanie updated on more research, ideas and campaigns from Carers UK, where members got the chance to ask questions and probe about projects. I appreciate Carers UK engaging with our ethnic mental health carers forum and look forward for more updates in the future.

Carers UK is working on a new campaign, if interested see the link below

New Prime Minister must act quickly for unpaid carers

Carer of People with Autism & Psychosis – KCL group

Hello fellow unpaid carers. Kings College Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and neuroscience are launching a new group. The groups will be facilitated by Madeleine Oakley who is the Senior Teaching Fellow in Mental Health Studies at Kings College London. Madeline also has experience of care as she is also a family carer of her young adult son who has autism, who has a learning disability and mental health problems.

Please see poster below and you can also contact Madeleine at madeleine.oakley@kcl.ac.uk

August Carer News Updates 2022

The latest edition of Matthew McKenzie’s online carer, mental health and ethnic mental health news is out for August.

AUGUST 2022 Carer and Mental Health news

For the August edition we have

Cost of living crisis: Bills soar for carers – Sky News : Sky News reports on the soaring costs of bills making life harder for unpaid carers.

Impact of cost of living crisis on unpaid carers – Mobilise : GBNews report and interview where Sarifa, an unpaidcarer in Newham talks about her experience on the cost of living crisis.

Carer wellbeing : New online course developed by Matthew McKenzie. Only £2 via paypal or just contact me to access the course

New Data Shows The Number Of Unpaid Carers Has Almost Doubled Over The Last 10 Years : New Data Shows The Number Of Unpaid Carers Has Almost Doubled Over The Last 10 Years To Over 10 Million In The UK

Haringey residents welcome campaign launch by Carers First  : Carers First is rolling out free emergency plan packs exclusively in Haringey for people who care for a relative or friend.

A coproduced approach to tracking young Black men’s experiences of community wellbeing and mental health programmes : Funded by Mind, Centre for Mental Health has designed a new, culturally informed approach to monitoring young Black men’s outcomes for accessing wellbeing support.

SIGN UP TO NEWS SITE HERE

Bromley, Greenwich, Bexley & Lewisham Ethnic Carer Forum April 2022

Hello fellow mental health carers. Have not blogged an update in a while regarding my carer forums. Probably due to being busy publishing my 3rd book on mental health carer poetry. More on that later. I have also been developing online courses aimed at mental health carers. I am now preparing to work on my 6th online course “caring for someone with a mental illness”.

Back to this blog update. This is an update from my monthly ethnic carer forum. A forum for those from ethnic backgrounds caring for someone with mental illness.

Speakers

  • Rev Dr Cameron Langlands – Head of Pastoral & Spiritual Care at South London & Maudsley
  • Carl Nando – Amenity Care update
  • Rubbia Ali – Black families involvement in new elearning.
  • Rev Dr Cameron Langlands – Head of Pastoral & Spiritual Care at South London & Maudsley

Did you know I also facilitate the West London NHS trust ethnic carers peer group? We recently had the Head of Pastoral care visit and engage with carers from the black community.

So it was great to have Rev Dr Cameron Langlands attend and engage with our community group. Dr Cameron looks after the chaplaincy service at South London and Maudsley. Dr Cameron takes care of service users who are inpatients and will often see people in community, but only if they are tied into the SLaM services. Dr Cameron would love to engage with more patients, but there are only three chaplains in the full time role. Plus they have four sites to cover, as well as some community settings.

They also have a part time Imam who works with them on a Tuesday. Plus a part time Deacon who works at ladywell unit over in Lewisham on Thursday.

Dr Cameron has been in the NHS now for just over 20 years in chaplaincy, and what they find particularly within mental health chaplaincy is that when people say they want a specific chaplain, often they don’t. Because they’re looking for is someone who is an appreciation as to where the patient is coming from. That would be who has the ability to sit and listen to them, especially on the difficult situation that they’re in. This is where the nursing staff are trained to do that, but unfortunately, they are often incredibly busy. So that allows those within the chaplaincy team to be able to augment the clinical team and do that.

The team are running a training program for transpersonal therapists who are in training. They focus on more spirituality based transpersonal side of things, and have to do 100 hours within psychiatric setting. So most of the work now has a chaplaincy volunteer as well. They can dovetail into the service.
The other thing they do is that they can offer volunteers in the befriending service that run via the volunteer coordinator as well. So they tie in with people in community who have either been discharged from service but still want that link or are being looked after by their GP or their community mental health team.

Dr Cameron has also asked for a befriender in a new service that runs twice a year, the befriender service is now online, the service can also be accessed in person. The course is ran over a 10 week period and it covers all aspects of mental health.

Dr Cameron mentioned that In South London, they have managed to secure funding from the from NHS England, and have started a bereaved suicide service, which is aimed at those who have been bereaved by suicide, or those who have been witnesses to suicide or attempted suicide. In that team, they have got a bereavement manager, two support workers and a couple of counselors, and they are the only service in the UK to have two community champions employed in that service reaching out to people on non faith based basis.

QUESTIONS FROM CARERS

  • Can there be a conflict on spiritual conversion regarding a patient’s faith?
  • How is spirituality being used as a way to be inclusive and, and bring out these outcomes to be more favorable towards those ethnic communities using those services?
  • Is there a spiritual and pastoral policy? Is it inclusive of families and carers?

  • Carl Nando updates on AmenityCare update

Next was Carl Nando’s turn to update the carer forum on his project Amenity care, which looks to support carers with a package for the person suffering ill health. Carl talked about how Mental health is one of the key pillars for Amenity Care and its clients.

Carl talked about the struggles he had in the past supporting his parents and the racism they experienced. Carl feels this is an issue for today. Carl mentioned how tough it was to provide that care and how it inspired him to set up his own business that focuses on advocacy and support for those suffering ill health.

Carl thinks it is very important to have more black own mental health businesses tailored to the community, but there are struggles and getting access to business support is difficult. There were lots of questions from carer members on how Carl can raise the awareness of black mental health and at the same time run a business.

  • Rubbia Ali presents on Black families involvement in new elearning project

Lastly it was Rubbia’s turn to present to the ethnic carers group. She is a research worker at King’s College London. She spoke about her current study where they just received funding and they are now working on a project tailored to black families. It is called Black families involvement in E-learning. This is being led by two psychologists at King’s College London, by Dr Valentina Cardi and Dr Juliana Onwumere.

The study has two aims. Firstly, to understand the experiences and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the carers of children and young people (6-24 years) from Black minority ethnic communities in the UK. The second aim is to explore with carers of children and young people from Black minority ethnic communities, the type of information they would find helpful to include in an online course that aims to offer carers skills to support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing. The Be FINE study will employ a mixed methods design, using both online surveys and individual and group-based interviews.

The study has two parts; an online survey and focus groups. To participate, individuals have to be parents or carer of a young person from a Black racial minority and the child has to be aged between 6 – 24 years. We then ask that the participant fills out the online survey, this should take around half an hour. The participant will receive £15 amazon voucher for participating. Following this, the participant will have the chance to also sign up to the focus groups.

This concludes the brief update for April – phew! I am so far behind!!

July Carer News Updates 2022

The latest edition of my online carer, mental health and ethnic mental health news is out for July.

Click below to view latest carer news by Matthew Mckenzie for July

JULY 2022 Carer & Mental Health news

For the July edition we have

Swindon Carers Centre: 2022 AGM Recording : YouTube video of Swindon Carers AGM. Hear the latest updates on what the carers centre has been doing for carers.

Carer Activism : My latest online course for carers. This one is on applying activism for carers who struggle with engagement from health and social care. Only £2 via paypal.

Walking the Walk: How can we use carers’ experiences to improve end-of-life care? – BMJ : Paper on how carers experiences of end of life care can reflect on professionals.

State of Caring Survey 2022 – Carers UK : Carers UK release their “State of caring survey” for 2022. Important to collect the experiences of carers.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2021-2022 : Latest update and report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

SIGN UP TO NEWS SITE HERE

SW London MH Carer Forum March 2022

Welcome to my March 2022 update of our SW London mental health carers forum. The group is a hybrid group of my other forums. Usually my carer forums focus on engagement and updates, but this one sometimes acts as a peer and network group for those caring for someone with mental illness.

Speakers for March 2022

  • Karen Persaud – SWLSTG – Carers, friends and family involvement coordinator
  • Gary Baker – Carers Support Worker – Richmond Mind
  • Antonia Buamah – Patient peer support – EMHIP– Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project.

Karen from South West London & St George Presents

Karen who sometimes attends and engages with our group updated us on carer developments at the local SW London mental health trust. Karen spoke about the new carers peer support worker Zoe Hannah. The new role will be running for one year and should hopefully continue onwards.

The trust is actually really committed to pushing forward the lived experience workforce as part of their overall service delivery. This is where they have four services user peer support workers in posts. SWLSTG are also currently reviewing the trust’s carers strategy, which is quite outdated.

The new strategy will also be reflecting on the need for the trust to do more around supporting carers through their carers recovery journey, because carers go through a recovery alongside supporting loved ones through their own recovery journey. This means it is trying to balancing out wellbeing needs.

The next update for SWLSTG is there new recovery college course, which is being facilitated by Kingston adults education, college. The course has been adapted for wellbeing techniques for carers, families and friends. The course should be running for 10 weeks. Karen also updated briefly on the friends, families and carers group incase new members of our forum are interested in trust involvement.

Last updates from Karen was on the carer awareness training for staff, especially on induction for staff. This would involve carer communication skills plus carer involvement in the planning and discharge.

Gary Baker – Carers Support Worker – Richmond Mind presents

Gary fed back on how Ricmond Mind works closely with Richmond carers regarding mental health carers. Carers can be self refered or be referred to by another professional. Once they received that referral, Richmond Mind will contact the carer. From there the carer will be given access to support and workshops.

Gary mentioned that quite a few people tend not to like the term carer and tend to prefer being called a client or the person’s relative.

  • Responses from carer members.

Are services at Richmond could be offered in Merton or Kingston? (quite a few members asked about the services)
My question was on engagement from SWLSTG, I wondered if Richmond Mind staff have been invited to meetings. Gary talked at length regarding carer champion meetings.
The next question I asked for engagement from community mental health teams. This is where Gary mentioned that there was not enough.

Antonia presents on the Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project (EMHIP)

Antonia talked about how the Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project (EMHIP) is an attempt to reduce inequalities in access, experience and outcome of mental health care in South West London (Wandsworth & Tooting, Battersea locality). It was developed through the leadership and activism of leaders within the African, African Caribbean, and Asian communities.

The EMHIP advocates for a practical, locally based service improvement programme, co-designed with service users and local Black and Asian communities, based on established evidence, building on existing community led, co-produced projects.

In the UK, people from the Black and Asian community are being denied equal and compassionate mental health care.

  • They more likely to be brought to and kept in without their consent.
  • They are more likely to access mental health services through the police and criminal justice systems.
    find themselves unwell and back again, once released, particularly men
  • be forcibly restrained and given more than the recommended amount of medication.
  • The fence of mental heath for the Black and Asian community has been broken for several generations and the many promises of repair (partial or full) has not materialised to date.
  • We have delved deep, hence, our toolkit EMHIP– Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project.

Antonia pointed out that as a community we’ve recognised that our broken fence must be repaired once and for all and have forged collaborations and partnership with many friends

South West London CCG (CCGs are now replaced to Integrated Care Boards)
South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
Local context of Black and Asian – voluntary, faith and community groups

This can be organized via the non-profit Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN)

The Hub offers our guests, visitors and other attendees a communal safe place to sit down, relax and have a conversation in a hospitable environment.

Service/Sessions provided:

¨ Physical Health and Wellbeing checks
¨ Citizen Advice Bureau/Housing First Aid
¨ Pastoral Systemic Therapy
¨ Mental Health and Wellbeing Out-patients type clinics
¨ Explore training or employment opportunities
¨ Promote on-going recovery
¨ Social life wellbeing
¨ Effective “active sign-posting” to the supportive local services or agencies

More information can be found below

Website: http://www.emhip.co.uk

Email: info@emhip.co.uk

This was a brief update for my SW London mental health carers peer group. For the month of July SW London NHS will be engaging our group regarding SW London’s mental health strategy. I for one will hope it will include families and carers.

Joint Southwark & Lambeth MH Carers forum April 2022

Hello fellow carers. A quick update from my past carer forums. This is the April update of my Joint Southwark and Lambeth mental health carers forum.

Speakers for this forum were

Naomi Good – Engagement from Guys & St Thomas NHS FT

Rachel Braverman – Expert by experience at Royal College of Psychiatrists

Just a quick note, I cannot remember if Rachel managed to attend this forum. I think should could not make it and attended my south west London carers group at a later date.

It was however good that Naomi engaged with carers who look after someone with a mental illness. The thing is that patients also use physical health services. So it was important to get stakeholder engagement from Guys & St Thomas hospitals.

Naomi Good Presents to the forum.

I know Naomi very well when she used to work at NSUN, this being the National Service User Network. Naomi did a lot for developing the 4PI involvement standards at mental health NHS trusts. These standards are still very much in use today, although there still needs to be a lot of work done.

Naomi is now the stakeholder engagement at GSTT and is also a carer herself and spoke on the following.

  1. Joint Programme for Carers and Patients in Covid Recovery
  2. Surgical Strategy – delivery workshops and steering group
  3. Apollo Programme – Electronic Health Care Record
  4. Carers Strategy – development

Naomi started by presenting the Joint Program for Carers and Patients.

Basically the programme aims to make sure the views of patients, carers and the public help with future service changes during the pandemic especially those who have been most affected by the pandemic. GSTT want to continue to improve and provide the very best care to patients, especially to those who are:-

Waiting for treatment
Virtual access to care
Struggling with Long COVID

There actually were some workshops back in April and May which Naomi presented on the surgical strategy

The Apollo Programme

The Apollo Programme

Naomi then spoke about how Apollo will be the most ambitious programme of transformation they have undertaken. GSTT will be replacing many of the systems (both digital and paper). GSTT currently use with a single, integrated and comprehensive source of information across Guys and St Thomas’ (including Royal Brompton and Harefield) and
Kings College Hospital Trusts. Epic is a US-based provider of electronic health records (EHR). It is used in some of the best hospitals around the world including the majority of top-ranked US hospitals, and UK trust’s such as Great Ormand Street and Cambridge.

GSTT Carer Strategy

I asked a quick question regarding GSTT’s carer’s strategy in which Naomi responded they do have one. The GSTT carer’s strategy is embedded within each of the different strategies, but there is an effort in refreshing that and making sure it is available across the trust, which is seen as priority area.

GSTT involvement

Naomi talked about how others could have the opportunity to make a huge impact to the care of patients and the experience of carers across Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London. During the programme to date, the carer’s voice has been integral to shaping how they will support carer’s to access care on their loved ones behalf’s. In future phases of the programme, patients and carers will help GSTT to user test the patient-facing applications, and design their patient communications and training programmes.

• Reimbursement of time spent in workshops and meetings in line with Trust policy
• Reimbursement of travel expenses, childcare costs, and carer costs
• Access to various IT training opportunities
• Foundation Trust Membership (for those 18 years of over).
• Job references

Joint Southwark & Lambeth MH Carers forum March 2022

Welcome to a brief update on my joint Southwark & Lambeth mental health carers forum. I run this forum online via zoom once a month. It used to run from Maudsley hospital, but had to move it online due to the covid situation. I am guess I am so lazy to move the forum back to the mental health hospital. Will have to see.

Another update is I have started my volunteering at my local accute hospital trust, so I will be having a carer stall for families of patients to visit me. Lewisham & Greenwich trust have been helpful in giving me a spot to engage with families and carers. There will be lots to work towards, but it certainly is a good start.

Going back to my Joint Southwark and Lambeth mental health carers forum. The speakers for March 2022

  • Claire Parry – Maudsley Psychotherapist on updates at psychotherapy projects at the NHS Trust
  • Rebecca Davies & David Meyrick – Developments for families & carers in the borough of Southwark
  • Annette Davies – Carer peer groups and PCREF.
  • Natalie Marshall – Community peer lead and support for unpaid carers

Claire Parry presents to the group

Clare Parry is a family therapist. She took up the post in June 2021. This being the role of lead family therapist in Soutwark. This includes being a trusted advisor around family therapy and family work across the NHS trust. So part of her role is looking at where services may have family therapy and family work and where they don’t. Her focus is on more of the psychotherapy side rather than kind of carers assessment side. A lot is done to make family members and carers comfortable with the service they provide.

Part of her role over the last year, was working really hard in the psychotherapy services and reduce waiting times. There has been an acknowledgement that waiting times for therapies are far too long. So they have been piloting a project, which means that they are offering other interventions, while individuals, couples or families are on the waiting list for therapy

Clare is very interested in the stories that many carers have to tell, So she wants more carer engagement to events. Claire hopes that psychotherapy can make a different to others who don’t get to talk when someone’s unwell. Clare talked about how some major carer systems have been influcing the NHS trust services, those being the Tree of Life and the Triangle of Care. She also talked about Open Dialogue.

Rebecca and David presents on community transformation project

A lot had been covered by Clare on community transformation, but it was also included at this part of the forum. Rebecca mentioned that a new team, that being a low intensity team has just started. It has just been open for a couple of weeks and the rest of the services will be moving over. There was also more talk about the new mental health hospital build from Lambeth to Southwark.

Rebecca also mentioned that there will be a north and south primary care mental health teams, and the four CMHT’s which will work with most of the service users across them across the borough of Southwark. Rebecca moved on to talk about complex care services, which will include assertive outreach, rehab teams, low intensity team and early intervention team. Plus community mental health teams are going to be merging a lot of the other services.

David who is the maudsley inpatient carer lead for Southwark talked more about Triangle of Care. He admitted things had been slow due to the previous covid-19 epidemic, but with South London & Maudsley working towards their first star in the triangle of care membership, things are picking up. David mentioned how each ward has a carers champion and how they are engaging with families and carers on the wards. David had a strict regime of carers being included in patient notes especially in surguries. Support for patients had to be increased and families & carers are an important factor. David also talked in-depth of the self assessment dashboard which helps to work towards the triangle of care standard.

Next we had a carer who is championed in Southwark for helping to run groups for carers. Her name is Annette and she also run’s her ethnic carers peer group. To be honest, I am a member of her ethnic carers group and is was great to here how she empowers and links other mental health carers. Most if not all carer groups are online due to covid and travel restrictions, but I am sure when things settle down, there might be a room which can host the groups.

Annette also spoke how she was South London and Maudsley’s co-chair for their Patient Carer Race Equality Framework, something I myself have a very close eye on, but not really involved in. To be honest, I usually provide updates regarding race and mental health off my online news site

Lewisham Mental Health Carers forum March 2022

Welcome to another quick update from my carer forums that I host. The forums are aimed at friends, families and unpaid carers who care for someone suffering mental illness. Here is the update from my Lewisham mental health carer forum for March 2022.

Speakers

Annie Dransfield – Carer Author of the book Releasing the Compassion.

  • Annie Dransfield presents.

Before I update on Annie’s presentation. I am developing a carer author circle, I only started the group this week for carer’s week and it is a little quiet, but the group has started. There are at least 5 to 6 of us and evetually we will try our best to support each other and promote the cause of caring.

Annie mentioned that her son was born with a lack of oxygen, which resulted in him having cerebral palsy down his left side and having special needs. She didn’t realise that she was a carer at that time, because it never crosses your mind, she just knew that she has a baby, and he needs looking after. Everyone knew he needed a lot of care and attention, and needed to find out how they were going to deal with the cerebral palsy.

In fact it wasn’t that severe that he needed to be in a wheelchair, but as he got older, due to the complications at birth, he was also diagnosed with schizophrenia. So, all through these years that she has been caring, she has come up against a lot of injustices. These injustices drove her to write the book.

Ann just felt it was a constant battle when you are caring and that you’re dealing with every single aspect of a person’s life. So you’re dealing with so many organisations like benefits, like Social Security, like housing, all these things, every single aspect of a person’s life. One of the bigger challenges was her son getting into debt quite often and having to deal with the banks. The banks seemed to not be too carer friendly and this made life very difficult for Ann and her son.

Ann was very involved with Leeds partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She was a governor for the mental health trust, but this all started when her son became more unwell. As Annie has been caring, she got involved with care support groups. She then got onto different boards, anything to do with caring, carer involvement, parent participation, participation groups, then she became a governor for the leads and York partnership NHS Foundation trust. Annie then became a trustee for carers UK, which she has just since retired.

Annie feels that she has got more of an understanding of the complexities due to expericing all the injustices that she has had to deal with for 43 years. In the end it prompted her to write the book. It’s been bubbling up inside of her for three years. She felt that she had to get this message out, even if it’s just to give hope to new carers that can pick up some hints and tips from the book.

The book “Releasing the Compassion: An expose of the threat that is binding the hands of our community’s most needed carers” is intended as a learning resource as well for NHS students in mental health. It’s intended as a learning resource for professionals like corporate independent businesses e.g. the banks.

You can buy Annie Dransfield’s book on the link below

https://www.waterstones.com/book/releasing-the-compassion/annie-dransfield//9781919606309

  • Questions and comments from carer members

How can we protect our loved ones from financial problems and abuse?

What is that lasting power of attorney or warranty?

I think if with COVID, there was ripe opportunity for some fraudulent behaviour to go on, because people couldn’t leave their house. They did put measures in place and other post office did saying you could nominate someone to go and collect your money

I cannot wait to order your book. I can also say I have experience in trying to deal with banks and the problems of them struggling to secure the debts of someone suffering mental ill health.

Bromley, Greenwich, Bexley & Lewisham Ethnic Carer Forum March 2022

Welcome to the March 2022 update of my Ethnic mental health carers forum. The forum is aimed at those from a diverse ethnic background who care for someone suffering serious mental illness. The forum also covers areas under South London & Maudsley NHS trust and also Oxleas NHS foundation trust, but forum does allow ethnic carers to attend from other service areas. Just to note, I am also the chair of Carers UK Ethnic or BAME advisory group.

Speakers for my March 2022 forum where

  • Abigail Babatunde – Research Associate on the Advance Statements Project (AdStAC)
  • Karen Edmunds – Head of Equality and Human Rights presenting on Oxleas Equalities projects

Karen Edmund presents on Equalities updates at Oxleas NHS services

Karen felt that after the introductions of members of the BAME group, that Oxleas are in the same place as some other NHS trusts are in terms of carer involvement, but she admitted there is more work to do. Karen talked about how they are developing what’s called an “Involvement hub”, which is been led by Jacqueline, who’s Oxleas NHS assistant director of involvement with her team.

Karen feels there has been reasonable amount of service user involvement, where people work with experienced practitioners, but when it comes to carers and community organisations, there is a lot of work to do and they haven’t been quite maybe quite as good as some other NHS Trusts out there.

Karen spoke on the following topics on what Oxleas is working on regarding equalities.

Workforce Equality:

  • Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) -reporting and annual action plan
  • Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) – reporting and annual action plan
  • Supporting our five staff networks (BAMEx, Disability, LGBTQ+, Mental Health, Women)
  • Building a Fairer Oxleas (BAFO)
  • Policy development
  • Enquiries related to workforce equality

Service User/Patient and Carer Equality

  • Accessible Information Standard (AIS)
  • Policy development
  • Patient complaints related to equality issues
  • Manage the Interpreting contract
  • Manage our multifaith chaplain + Chaplaincy contract with Lewisham and Greenwich Trust
  • Service User Inequalities Group (new)
  • Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (new)

Staff and patients / service users / carers

  • Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) annual report
  • Public Sector Equality Duty
  • Equality and Human Rights Policy, Equality and Diversity training
  • Freedom of Information requests related to equality

Lastly to enable Oxleas to become an early adopter of the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (SLaM have been involved in the pilot phase)

Karen then spoke about building a Fairer Oxleas Delivered actions Year 1

Improving cultural competency:

  • Cultural intelligence and inclusive leadership training for the Executive team and 50 senior managers
  • Inclusive leadership workshops open to all managers
  • Comfortable talking about race workshops open to all managers
  • Living our values training for managers to deliver a values session with their team
  • ‘In Each Other’s Shoes’ film about microaggressions, plus a guide on microaggressions
  • Team talks to show ‘In Each Other’s Shoes’ and discuss it
  • Building a Fairer Oxleas section on the Ox (our intranet)
  • Race Resource pack with articles, short films, and useful links to external resources

The outcome will look to improve all experiences of their Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff, which will help improve the experience of Black, Asian and minority ethnic service users and carers

Karen explained The NHS Race and Health Observatory review February 2022 found that:

Ethnic minority groups experienced clear inequalities in access to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies IAPTs; overall, ethnic minority groups were less likely to refer themselves to IAPT and less likely to be referred by their GPs, compared with White British people.

Evidence was identified for inequalities in the receipt of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with ethnic minority people with psychosis less likely to be referred for CBT, and less likely to attend as many sessions as their White counterparts

The review provided strong evidence of clear, very large and persisting ethnic inequalities in compulsory admission to psychiatric wards, particularly affecting Black groups, but also Mixed Black & White groups and South Asian groups.

There was also evidence of harsher treatment for Black groups in inpatients wards, e.g., more likely to be restrained in the prone position or put into seclusion.

More bad news was on how black children were treated in the NHS

Parents reported their children facing the same barriers to accessing services as reported for adult mental health services. Two studies of young Black men showed that they were deterred from seeking help by their knowledge of injustices in mental health services relating to Black Caribbean and Black African populations. Two large national studies found that ethnic minority children were more likely to be referred to CAMHS via social services, education or criminal justice pathways. This was particularly stark for Black children who were 10 times more likely to be referred to CAMHS via social services (rather than through the GP) relative to White British children.

Karen then talked about Oxleas new Service User Inequalities Group

She then moved to its aims which was to explain that it will help deliver Oxleas’s strategy on service user access and inequalities

This will be done by looking at their data on the ethnicity, disability, gender identity, religion, and sexual orientation of patients compared to the local population which will lead to clear actions to tackle inequity of access, experience and outcomes.

Karen the talked about how Supporting Oxleas staff to deliver inclusive care on Proposed actions to tackle inequalities

This is on how all services have a generic email for patient contact to provide an alternative to phone contact Clear information in a range of formats in plain language on what each service provides, referral criteria, and how to get access Disability access guides to key sites available on public website.

Oxleas NHS will be an early adopter of the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework Engagement with local communities and use this feedback to target service development where it’s needed most Scope care pathways where we can pilot inclusive assessments, factoring culture, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity Patient experience data by protected characteristics will be routinely produced, analysed and reviewed by services to identify differences of experience and then plan actions to address these.

Questions from Carer members

  • You shown what Oxleas are doing for CAMHS and Adult service, but what about older Adults?
  • Its an interesting and important presentation, but I am wondering why a white woman is presenting on equalities regarding disadvantages of black people, does Oxleas employ representing the communities it serves?
  • With the impact of COVID on ethnic communities, what does Oxleas have in place to reduce the impact?
  • I am interested in how Oxleas are going to work with the Patient Carer Race Equalities Framework, arent Oxleas service area’s mainly white?
  • Lastly a question from myself is I do not see hardly any ethnic patient/carer grassroot groups that Oxleas is able to engage with. How will ethnic patient and carer groups be empowered so they SEEK engagement and hold Oxleas accountable on services to ethnic communities?

Abigail presents on the Advance Statements Project (AdStAC)

Abigail spoke on how South London & Maudsley are working to promote advance statements for Black and African, Caribbean people. This is because of the high detention rates and especially with black people being more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act.

It is important to promote why having to work with staff service users, and carers and supporters to understand how to get advanced choice documents or advanced statements can work for black people.