Tag Archives: south london and maudsley

Southwark MH Carers forum February 2020

Southwark MH Carer forum v2Welcome to a quick update from the Southwark Mental Health carers forum. I know I have not been blogging for around a month, but I have recently suffered a bereavement. It has taken a fair bit of energy to do much, but I am quite proud to be able to continue to run the forums even though I have to take time and look after myself.

Given the time I will eventually write more about the current situation, but for now I want to at least update carer members. On the February update of the MH carers forum for Southwark, we are able to get support and engaged with King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust and South London & Maudsley. For February King’s college hospital Mental Health Lead kindly attended the forum to speak to carers about Kings Mental Health strategy, which is still going through development.

Due to the nature of our forum carers focus on mental health services, although the core interest is how health and social care services engage and involve families and carers. We get a lot of support from the healthwatches and are constantly looking for support from the CCGs, but at the same time families and carers must get the chance to be updated by health providers.

The february Southwark MH carers forum has moved to the Maudsley site for now, although as of the blog, I am running the forum remotely.


Going back to King’s College NHS Trust, their MH strategy is a Five year strategy for mental health. I felt it so important acute trusts not only focus on physical health, but also include mental health, which will be even more important because once the covid-19 situation moves on, there will be an immense strain on mental health for staff, patients and their families.


Gavin Smith the MH lead of King’s NHS Trust explained that the strategy should take into account several things

  • Population need: High levels of mental health need, including mental health presentations at the Emergency Departments.
  • Outcomes and experience: People with a mental health condition have poorer health outcomes and experience.
  • Current range of service provision: Areas of excellence, but inconsistency of provision of mental health support across services and sites.
  • System working: Strong relationships with SLaM and Oxleas and KHP Mind & Body programme; opportunity for improved relationships with primary, community and voluntary sector.
  • Training and development: Distinct training programmes mean few staff have skills across mental and physical health; some bespoke training exists for staff and mental health training is available via KHP Mind & Body
  • Governance: Mental Health Board and Mental Health Lead post established but intermediate structures around mental health are inconsistent.

Out of these areas mentioned, the system working and governance stands out as important not only to the Southwark MH carer forum, but to all the other forums. It was expained to carer members that the accute trusts will co-produce many things with involved carer champions.

The forum was then presented with an update on how far Kings NHS Trust have been working with these outcomes.

Next we were presented with why mental health is important to the health sector

  • Mental health has an impact on people’s physical health, wellbeing and outcomes.
  • 30% of people with long-term physical health conditions also have a mental illness
  • Shockingly 15-20 years shorter life expectancy for someone with a severe mental illness or learning disability
  • It does not help that patients with mental health needs have a poorer experience of care due to stigma
  • There can be a lack of confidence and awareness of staff regarding mental health
  • It does not stop there as 8 Billion a year is spent by the NHS treating the effect of poor mental health on physical illnesses.

As you can see Kings NHS Trust has a clear interest into tackling mental health with what was raised to the forum. Of course more was mentioned in the presentation, but by focusing on meeting Kings NHS Trust patients’ mental and physical health needs, they will :-

  • Respond to the population needs and system priorities.
  • Improve access, outcomes, experience and safety.
  • improve the sustainability of their services

As presented at the Southwark MH carers forum, King’s operates within a complex landscape of mental health services in South London.

Members of the forum were taken through a whirlwind tour of King’s services and how they seek to improve mental health provision on those services including

  • KCH services regarding SLaM and Oxleas.
  • Local Emergency and s136 services
  • Key acute and hospital-based services
  • Other specialist teams including – Drugs and Alcohol, Adolescent At-risk and Forensic Service (AAFS) and Forensic Services provide by SLaM.
  • Community services
  • Primary care – Being General practice and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
  • Voluntary and social care
  • Self-help – being IMPARTS resources, COMPASS (in Southwark), Wellbeing Hub & online Mycommunity Directory

It is important King’s engage with their staff on producing these outcomes, as they must engage with Core delivery partners and external stakeholders. King’s have engaged with the following of their staff.

  • Acute and emergency care
  • Gerontology/frailty
  • Liver specialist
  • Maternity – Took up a good discussion at the forum
  • Neurosciences – will be interested on their response
  • Paediatrics
  • Rheumatology
  • Corporate Nursing
  • Divisional Management Teams
  • Patient Outcomes
  • Public and Patient Engagement – should include families and carers
  • Research and Innovation
  • Workforce
  • Princess Royal University Hospital Transformation team
  • Strategy
  • Online survey to all KCH staff

Member of the Southwark MH carers forum were then presented with how King’s have explored areas of good practice and areas for improvement. Then we were presented with the strategic aim being that to continue to build on good practice, they will focus on their priority areas, and ensure the will consistently meet their patients’ mental and physical health needs. However King’s are well aware that their priorities must align with system priorities.

Kings have developed three priorities being

  • KHP Mind & Body priorities
  • NHS Long Term Plan priorities
  • SEL STP priorities

There are challenges to these aims being

  • The highest proportion of patients with a mental health condition recorded as primary at King’s is in A&E (27%).
  • The Emergency Department (ED) is frequently the default, but often an adverse, environment for people in crisis. Patients frequently spend over 12 hours in ED waiting for a mental health inpatient bed – the majority of our 12 hour breaches are for patients with a mental health condition.
  • There is a lack of mental health inpatient beds across South London, particularly CAMHS beds.
  • Patient feedback highlights positive experiences, as well as challenges including instances of stigma and lack of awareness, lack of confidence in adequately signposting or supporting patients with mental health needs, and long waits in a busy environment.

Nevertheless the forum was presented with how King’s will meet those challenges.

I am thankful for King’s engagement with carer members of the forum all of the members are more than happy to see how the MH strategy works out. A further update of the Soutwark Mental Health carer forum is we were presented with South London & maudsley’s involvement register into improving services and a way for the forum to engage with SLaM staff on familiy and carer engagment at the trust.

The forum seeks to work with SLaM’s family and carer committee when issues arise, although due to covid-19 SLaM’s involvement is on hold, but engagement will still continue with use of technology. For the March Southwark MH carers forum Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust presented their mental Health strategy.

I am as of present continuing to run 3 carer forums remotely and run the Greenwich carer peer support group remotely. This concludes the update for the Southwark MH carers forum with thanks to Kings NHS trust and SLaM.

Lewisham Mental Health & Wellbeing Event 2017

smallerWelcome to another blog post from Matthew Mckenzie a mental health carer in South London.  Hope you are enjoying my site so far, so feel free to check out some of my other creations, that being my YouTube channel, twitter channel, mental health newspaper and audio.

On the 14th of February i attended the Lewisham Mental Health & Wellbeing day 2017 “What Keeps Me Well?”.  Which is a very important topic regarding mental health and wellbeing. The event lasted from 10:00 to 4:30 pm and was held over at Lewisham Town Hall.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing day was held in conjunction with
Lewisham CCG
Lewisham Council
South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
Various community groups and charities (sorry if I have missed any out anyone)

Continue reading

Review of the Lewisham Mental Health and Wellbeing Day

Matthew MckenzieHello again and welcome to another blog post on a carer’s perspective on mental health and wellbeing. Talking about those two last points, there was a mental health and wellbeing day on the 20th of November over at the Catford Civic Suite in Lewisham.




The Lewisham Mental Health and Wellbeing Day is presented by the NHS Lewisham CCG, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Lewisham Council.


I just had to attend the mental health and wellbeing event, this is because I am a carer of a close relative suffering mental ill health. Last year I was lucky enough to chair the 2013 event and perhaps I ll place the video of that event later on in this blog post, but what was in store for us this year?

Well this year the MH and Wellbeing stakehold event wanted to concentrate on the service user/survivor aspect. So we had Carmine De Rosa chair the event. Next was a Mental Health commissioning update for 2014 and this was presented by Pamela Martin, GP Mental Health Lead for Lewisham CCG.

After Pamela’s talk came the presentation from Sarah Yiannoullou who is the Managing Director from NSUN (National Service User Network). Her talk was on inclusion, involvement and influence of those using the services and the NSUN 4PI standards.


Then last to speak was John Ryan talking about an alternative view of the Mental Health system, John is a comedian and his talk certainly lightened up the mood since we all know Mental Health can be a difficult subject to discuss.

Still, the event was not just about talks, throughout the day from 10.00 am till 4:00 pm the event numerous workshops, stalls, wellbeing activities, refreshments and a chance to network and most importantly gain information to aid in recovery or getting support in caring. I also noticed some members of the public attended to try find out what mental health is all about.


Unfortunately I cannot go into so much detail about the event this time, but why is this? Well for one I was recovering from a horrible cold, so I could not gain access to the talks or workshops because I kept coughing and sneezing. Secondly I do not want to repeat what is found in booklets about the event, I perfer this blog post to be about how I experienced the event and what I got up to most of the day.

Well on that sunny morning as I entered the Civic Suite, I was greeted by friendly staff who signed me in and handed out the agenda and activity information for the day. I then explored around the building and watched the impressive presentation slide of the wellbeing event.

Unfortunately my cold was getting the better of me so I had to sit down and gobble up some oranges kindly left for visitors to take. I was then greeted by Gráinne from Lewisham CCG and a few others who were glad I attended the event.

Eventually the public were called into the main chamber to hear the talks and I also went in for around about…..5 minutes before I started coughing and wheezing again. I just managed to get some of the talk where they presented on improving recovery and challenging mental health labels in order to reduce stigma.


Soon I had to head back out to the waiting area and check to see if I could go back in the conference chamber, but it was no good so instead I took a trip to Civic Suite’s Lower floor. There were a vast array of stalls and I could not visit them all, but I ll explain what stalls took most of my attention.

The first stall that took my attention was SLaM Stall or the South London and Maudsley Stall. I could see many booklets and information about the mental health trust and also more information on how to become a member of the trust. I also picked up a flicked through SLaM’s latest newsletter about the Happy Heads event, which is an event aimed at teenagers to promote mental health and wellbeing. I think I did a blog post about that event.

After a while I tried again to enter the conference chamber and just caught a bit of the talk by NSUN on the 4PI standards, but what is NSUN all about? NSUN stands for National Survivor User Network and is a network for mental health in England. NSUN gives and promotes a powerful voice for those using the services and their carers, but they also do a lot more.

The talk was about how their work has led to the development of the 4PI framework for involvement: a simple, yet robust framework around which to base standards for good practice, and to measure, monitor and evaluate involvement.

– Principles
– Purpose
– Presence
– Process
– Impact


Involvement of those using the mental health services is critical not only in aiding in recovery, but reducing the isolation felt by those using the services. At the core of mental health services should be the service user perspective. Such implementations are of course not an easy thing to archieve, but must always be one of the aims of any mental health service provider.

Again my cold played up on me and I found myself beating a hasty retreat back to the lower floor again to view some more stalls. The next stall was impressive and this was the lewisham healthwatch stall. Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion that gathers and represents the public’s views on health and social care services locally or nationally. The most interesting document I picked up from this stall is their report on one of SLaM’s units, which I flicked through. What came to mind when I went through the report was transparency and cooperation with other independent organisations.

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The next stall I visited was the Samaritans stall, I have spoken to the Samaritans several times on many events. Basically the Samaritan’s are a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress. I spent quite a long time on this stall swapping ideas and networks, because one of their staff is a member of the Lewisham mental health connection, which I am also a member.


The next stall was on IAPTs (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
), which offers a range of psychological therapies to adults 18 years and over. I glanced over a few of their leaflets to take home and read, plus I have been on many IAPTs courses in the past.


Eventually I wandered over to chat to a the SLaM’s carers support officer who I have known for many years, she was busy minding the SLaM’s Family & Carers information stall and I could see the purple family and carer booklet which I was lucky enough to contribute to. The Mental Health Trust aims to support carers as much as they can and this stall shows they are working hard to help carers of those using the services.


After visiting the SLaM Family & Carers support stall, I moved on to the Carer’s Lewisham Stall and spoke to Jey and her new volunteer who specilises in dementia support. I picked up one of their leaflets, which was very colourful and flicked through it. As a carer, I have been using Lewisham Carers a long time.

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Then next stall was on “Community Connections”. Community Connections is a development and access-facilitation project with a preventative health and wellbeing focus. I picked up one of their leaflets which was on a wellbeing story, just on the focus for the day. Soon I moved on to another impressive stall which is the SmokeFree campiagn for lewisham.


I eventually I ended up at the MyHealthLocker stall. This stall is about self empowerment using technology to monitor your own health and allow doctors and even carers to aid in your care. myhealthlocker allows you to have control over your health information. Service users can access their care plan from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, keep track of how they are feeling, access resources and tips on staying well and manage their health and wellbeing. I was given a free T-shirt for attending the stall.

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The next stall I spent talking to the staff for a while in order to catch up with them. This stall is about the Lewisham Mental Health Connection are group of people working in the voluntary sector who are committed to improving mental health in Lewisham.


After a few more visits to some stalls, I ended up back in the upper floor to have some nice carribean lunch and continued to network with many others.


Unfortunately I missed out on the workshops and more talks, but I guess its impossible to be everywhere and considering I had a cold, I really enjoyed the day. I can’t wait for next years event.