Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Links and information about the white paper are on the ROLE group‘s site.


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Another meeting cancelled at very short notice. Carers were very disappointed. We will write to the speaker with a list of questions which we hope he can address promptly.

We will mention the following lists of issues:


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We had received apologies from the planned speaker. We had a discussion about current issues for carers in St Helens:

  1. There still isn’t a single phone number for existing service users to contact services.
  2. We were told that families would receive a prompt phone call before 11am if an appointment had to be cancelled. This doesn’t happen.
  3. Carers described a lack of support once the person they care for is stable enough to be discharged back to primary care (the GP). The person may still feel quite unwell – for example they may be taking medication and feel unable to work. But all support ends when they are no longer in primary care – and it all goes at the same time.
  4. People can only access a community support worker for 2 years. Even though they know the deadline, there is no preparation to access alternative support.
  5. If there are less beds, there should be more community support.
  6. There is still a turnover of staff with little continuity of care.

We will bring these issues up with our speaker next month.

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Mike Smith is an award winning mental health professional with 26 years experience. He was a Director of Nursing in Birmingham before leaving in 2001 to become an independent trainer and consultant. He has been a champion of recovery for many years, and has gained international respect for his innovative work on recovery and thriving.

‘We define mental distress as a human condition and variation rather than a disorder, and believe that once we view people as distressed rather than ill, it opens up a wealth of opportunities to support the individual towards recovery and thriving.’

Mike originally trained at Winwick Hospital and had worked for many years within the NHS. Now he works for his own consultancy which has developed the THRIVE model.


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St Helens Carers Centre now has a Breaks Officer who can help you towards getting a carers break payment. The amount of funding is dependent on your caring role and not on your financial situation – it is NOT means tested.

The fund can be used for any break – as long as it gives you a break from your normal day to day caring role.

The fund comes from the PCT who were allocated the money. Gordon Brown has said about this fund:

‘We have set aside the money; I want to see it spent. It is a necessary means by which we can support the energy of carers, who need time off, and therefore need respite care to be available.’

We have asked the PCT to confirm the amount available for carers in St Helens – and for a breakdown of proportions spent on people supporting someone with mental health needs. We’d also like to know how carers were involved in the decisions on how to allocate the money.

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At the last meeting, a group of carers from St Helens asked why people are not being told they’ve been discharged from services. Hopefully tomorrow, he will be able to offer some feedback.

The meeting is tomorrow – 2nd October –  from 1-4pm at Hollins Park in the Education Centre. Lunch is served from 12.30 and the meeting is open to all.

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There are several consultations out at the moment – these are your chance to influence the future development of services. (more…)

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