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Help write my speech for the RCN conference with egs of frontline cuts to mental health services

Posted on 11 April 2011 | 2:04pm

Another fabulous day weather wise, spent so far sorting out a contract on an overseas speaking engagement; doing an interview with Andy Gray and Richard Keys on their new Talksport show; recording the voice over for a little film on Ian Botham’s charity exploits at Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research; going for a painfully slow run home; and now starting to pen a few thoughts for a speech I am doing on Wednesday to the Royal College of Nursing conference (pro bono before anyone asks).

They have asked me to talk about mental illness, and in particular the work I do with Time to Change to tackle stigma and discrimination (on which thanks to Messrs Keys and Gray for raising Time to Change in the varied hour I spent with them this morning, during which we also covered Burnley’s dip in form, friendship with Fergie, famous players  Richard and I have played with, golf, phone-hacking, Formula One, Wayne Rooney and whether footballers are role models – I said they shouldn’t have to be – and whether Masters champion Charl Schwarzer looks like Owen Coyle.)

The RCN has had a fair bit of play with their survey showing significant cuts will affect the frontline in NHS care which Messrs Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Lansley all promised to protect.

As I scribble away in the sunshine, I’d be grateful for any examples, particularly in mental health, showing that the frontline is already being affected, and examples of where the cuts are likely to affect it further. Feel free to feed in any other thoughts you have too. Thanks.

  • Concerned

    Surely as local government cuts bite then local services in the community get hit hard. For those living at home with (sometimes extreme) mental illness basic services such as travel, a degree of home care, community places to meet others and be “normal” will disappear. We will have isolated and vulnerable individuals suffering, relapsing and then becoming a “burden” on front line NHS no? Hardly joined up government.

  • I don’t have any examples of how frontline services are being affected but I’d be happy to do some research about it (or anything else) in exchange for 5 minutes of your time to help with my journalism/politics dissertation. I would be extremely grateful! (Sorry for the blog spam, but I can’t DM you on twitter because you’re not following me @sirenabergman *hint hint*) Many thanks.

  • Mind charity is under threat in Lincoln http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-12985043
    It is due to be cut and close in the Summer.This is awful for the people in Lincoln and Lincolnshire who will no longer have this support.This was the Big Society at work and yet Cameron’s Big Society has damaged this Charity.

  • Simon Landau

    Guardian today has the example of two nursing homes in Sheffield specialising in Alzheimers that may have to close if NHS ‘top-up’ of £2.8m is cut. Equally all care homes in Sheffield have had 2011 cut from local authority (from a fee-base that is already low compared to Leeds). This of course will lead to faster erosion of savings for self-funders, lower levels of important social activities and wage cuts in an already low-wage category.

    • Simon Landau

      P.S. One thing missing from the NHS cuts agenda currently is the impact on equality. All cuts must go through equality impact assessment but we are not getting any information in the public domain of what the assessments say. Sheffield has more baseline data on health inequalities than many if only because of the work done by Danny Dorling and colleagues for David Blunkett – see http://www.sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/research/sheffield/index.html

      • Try making a Freedom Of Information Act request re Equality Impact Assessments to the PCT via whatdotheyknow.com

  • Joanna Willcox

    In Cornwall, the NHS Supported Domestic Housing have lost their 24hour cover, plus the follow up support for people moving to independent living. Rumours that jobs have been lost, but cannot confirm numbers.

    Our resource centre for CMHT has been sold, possibly to Mind or Rethink. Our building has been sold with plans for us to work with laptops (in our cars) with a ‘hub’ base, or out of GP surgeries.

    We’ve been told that 50% Band 6 Staff will need to go over the next 4 years from CFT (we were told 60 Band 6’s, but get told different things all the time) plus I thought someone said it was £18, but someone else said £80 million pounds. The thing is that we are all getting told different things, so it is really difficult to assess.

    If I think of anything else, or get any more facts, I will post them.

    Thanks for supporting us.

  • Mind is being affected http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-12985043 in Lincoln and will close in the summer.This is a huge blow to the people of Lincoln and Lincolnshire who will no longer have the support they need.This was the Big Society at work and now Cameron’s idea of the Big Society has damaged this Charity.Charities like Mind need support of the Local Authorities.

  • Not directly about mental health services, but how the cuts definitely *will* affect the mental health of health service users, either through lack of therapies or the resulting consequences of being unable to participate in work or social activity.
    I have a fair bit at http://bit.ly/healthcuts
    Includes the two following stories:
    Public sector cuts: Brain injury unit to close
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/25/public-sector-cuts-biru-nhs
    NHS cuts deprive patients of vital physiotherapy services
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/apr/10/nhs-cuts-deprive-patients-physiotherapy

    These are two services that were essential in my recovery from brain injury and the consequent stroke type effect.

    The first will be hitting some individuals who *cannot speak*, which you might say is exactly right for a Conservative Government.

    Talk to Dawn Willis on facebook, she’ll have some good stuff for you.

  • Hilary Parsons

    you probably know as a Camden resident that we are losing two of the four places where acute cases can be admitted for short term residential care … how is that not a cut to the frontline? They play with words in a shameful manner

  • Nurse

    I work as a nurse in a West Midlands hospital. The management have been very honest with us – and have been since the election – they are making cuts that will seriously damage frontline care. They talk of natural wastage, but a nurse not replaced is a nurse less than was there before. We are pretty stretched as it is.

  • Jayne3108

    I work for a charity in Knowsley
    I ve been lucky enough to be a direct payments advisor and have been for over nine years
    Mh survivors have been the last ‘user group’ to be considered for direct payments and now the eligibility criteria is becoming stricter
    Until a few months ago if some one has a social services care plan written that stated they needed some social stimuli some support to access the community they live in, they’d be supported with funding to do this
    We all know the importance of feeling less isolated and segregated from the society we live in , direct payments allows the flexibility to get that support as and when relevant or needed. Now those activities are not seen ‘critical ‘ they’re seen as social needs rather than essential health needs – the result ??? People becoming ill, segregated and then hospitalised- back in the system .

  • Pesnikinja

    In LPFT, there are no jobs … we have spent the last three years training to be mental health nurses only to find that recruitment is frozen. What to do? All that money to train us, now we are on the scrap heap…

  • Ed

    Hi Alistair. My name’s Ed. I’ve recently got over a period of Anxiety, but it struck me how difficult it is to access counselling without having to pay.

    If the point of the NHS is care free at the point of need, the fact that those requiring counselling are expected to pay gives the impression that somehow its not a real illness and that we can buy our way out the problems we face. Indeed, even the having to go to external organisations for counselling gives an impression that it somehow isn’t the state’s problem in the same way as it is to help treat those with physically illnesses.

    With one in four of the population suffering a mental health problem, I keep looking to political leaders to talk more openly about the subject, to tackle the stigmas which can so often act as a barrier to people finding help for fear of how society will judge them. But each time they don’t seem to.

    Whilst I understand that issues such as the number of doctors and nurses or the amount spent on new hospitals can make good headlines, good government should be about supporting the most vulnerable, and giving a very public lead to challenge the myths that surround mental health problems.

    Given this, the fact that mental health services are under threat is to me a travesty. It so cruelly cuts vital services to a group unlikely to be able to fight back, without a national body to speak for them, and who don’t get anywhere near the coverage they should do in the media when discussing health issues.

    Good luck with the speech. Is a copy likely to be available publicly as I’d be really interested to see what’s said?

  • Anon.

    Winterbourne TC in Reading has been cut from 5 days a week to 3 days a week. This is massive, considering the TC has been running for 30+ years (originally based at Fairmile Hospital.) I really feel for the patients still there trying to complete the 18month programme, its awful… so shocking.

  • Pesnikinja

    .. and here’s another unfair thing… student nurses only get 23p a mile petrol when they are working full time in a placement as part of their studies. On one single day during my last community placement, I did 176 miles working for the trust. By the end of it, I had laid out almost £1000 in petrol money. It takes over a month to get it back – and with the massive spiral in petrol money, it doesn’t even cover our costs. Permanent staff get twice this amount – why are we penalised so much?

  • Imuncertain

    Maybe this is slightly off the point, but here’s a question that might be worth addressing? Do the Coalitions spending plans, combined with the rhetoric on “Big Society” (all the responsibility but none of the power or £) promote health and wellbeing in communities, or make it worse? Answer: they make it worse, arguably especially so in the big metropolitan councils, with swathes of deprivation. Making it worse ups the load on metal health services, local cuts mean (in the future) an additional expenditure on expensive practitioners. The case: communities often do act for themselves, and we see a plethora of community/charity groups working in communities that either directly or directly impact positively on the mental health of the community members. Example: http://www.manchesteryounglives.org.uk/ Speak to the children and young people who use the service. They speak of MYL allowing them to act differently from their less risk adverse peers or family members. They develop stronger more stable relationships, are more capable decisions makers and avoid the risks arsing from substance misuse etc. The young people themselves know this and speak of it with great feeling. This is a service that narrowly missed being cut this April, but the axe may fall in September. There are countless projects like this across the country. Shouldn’t the coalition invest in prevention as well as intervention? Arguably that’s a local decision, but for a Met with a “challenging” demographic (Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham etc) means managing their priorities with the reduced settlement means some there is some very hard thinking to be done in very little time.….Its statutory vs. non statutory….non statutory will always loss and thus so does the wellbeing of communities in need of a preventative investment.

  • Susan Haworth

    Bolton Council Leader Cliff Morris has to implement £60m of cuts – this will affect Council funded mental health/adult social care. Between 1,200 to 1,500 jobs are at risk. Council Leader says they are forced to make cuts after Bolton budget reduced by Central Govt by 25%.

    Cliff Morris says he will do everything he can to protect the vulnerable and describes how staff are stressed.

    Bolton Unison are very angry. Unison branch secretary Bernadette Gallagher has said “We are clear that Bolton Council has limited options.”

    source: Manchester Ev News Jan 25 2010.

    Bolton Third Sector groups helping vulnerable people with mental distress are facing closure due to Council cuts. Karen Minnitt CEO of Bolton Council for Voluntary Services has said many of these front line organisations have to be cut back and some are ar risk of closure.

    Bolton Sahara Project which helps Asian women with mental health issues is at risk as is Bolton Solidarity Community Association that helps Refugees & Asylum seekers – due to their experiences some have mental ill health.

    Julie Hilling MP for Bolton West has said “These groups do such great work but I am scared at what is going to happen in the future without many of them to help the most vulnerable people in society”.

    source: This is Lancashire 5 August 10.

  • I am a Mental Health Service user in North Yorkshire. NYYCMHS & NYYPCT have made radical changes to the delivery and provision of MH services recently, redeploying some very much needed consultant psychiatrists. I have been left with any MH care after my same sex consultant psychiatrist was redeployed and even though I have utilised the complaints procedure to remain under the care of that consultant this has been denied to me. Therefore I am left without clinical care even though I have an independent psychiatric report from a specialist clinician stating my needs for further treatment. This is just negligent.

    I met with the MHS Directors and all I heard from them was ‘Reducing In-Patient admissions, saving money, meeting targets for Same Sex Accommodation, New Ways of Working’ etc etc. Not once did I hear anything about ensuring that discrimination policies would continue to be given priority to ensure service users would be able to access services to meet their needs for care and support. The IAPT here is not even fully concordant with the NICE Guidelines, and I too have had to pay a private organisation for my own psychotherapy for the past 3 years. Sadly I cannot afford to pay for a place on the Therapeutic Community Treatment Programme I need to address my mh issues, and the PCT Commissioners have refused my specialist funding application. I am now left without the recommended specialist treatment, no clinical care from a Consultant Psychiatrist, no support or care from the local CMHT and my MH is deteriorating!!! My only avenue of recourse of action to resolve this clinical dispute is to file an application to the courts fro a Judicial Review.

  • Keane Sinead

    As someone who has suffered from mental illness since my early teen’s I don’t think you help you exploit for you’re on end’s you’re money prevents you from see the coldface like all us ordinary patients have to go through also I find it disgusting that a so called patron of those who suffer every minute of everyday with feelings that at times seem to be never ending goes on a show with two sexist pigs not very liberal and openminded of you

  • Scooke7

    Herr Goebbels,
    I hope we’ll have huge party when NHS expenditure hits the £150 billion/year milestone. And a bigger party when it hits £200 billion/year. It is truly wonderful to have an NHS which operates with a bottomless pit.

  • ambrosian

    Equally important as cuts to services is the ‘crackdown’ on Incapacity Benefit claimants. Everyone seems to know someone in their street who is allegedly claiming benefit although as fit as a flea. In many of these cases, the alleged ‘benefit cheat’ will be suffering from an invisible mental illness of which casual acquaintances will be wholly unaware. They won’t wish to shout it from the rooftops for all the usual reasons of incomprehension and stigma.
    Thousands of people with mental health problems were being unjustly refused benefit under the last Government (I was one of them) but it seems this Government’s new, part-computerised assessment has made matters much worse. When it comes to mental health, the test is simply not fit for purpose. Clearly, the stress of being re-assessed and the financial disaster of having benefits stopped or reduced is much greater for those with a mental health condition. Indeed it is likely to make the condition worse and even in extreme cases lead to self-harm or suicide.

    Back in 2002, Liam Fox, a former GP, was campaigning for the Labour Government to spend more money on mental health and asserting that the way a society treats those with mental health problems is a measure of how civilised it is. The topic also featured prominently in his Tory leadership speech. He’s strangely silent on the subject now. But I suppose he has his hands full wringing money out of the Treasury for weaponry and prosecuting the expensive military intervention in Libya.
    Maybe back then he was simply competing with Cameron in the ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ stakes and the ‘detoxification of the brand’ project. “It may come as a surprise to some that the Conservative Party should have chosen to put mental health at the top of its health agenda”, he said in 2002.
    Not just surprising but totally unbelievable as events have now proved.

  • Anna

    Keane Sinead:

    I’m sorry you are suffering from mental illness, but I have to say a word in defence of Alastair here as your comments are horribly unfair. He takes every opportunity to highlight the difficulties and suffering of those with mental health problems. This might mean talking to people you disapprove of, but the net result is that he reaches a wider audience to bring home to people how difficult life is for those dealing with mental health issues. How can you say that he does not help? He may be cushioned from the full effects of his depression by material comfort but at least he’s out there fighting for those less fortunate. He’s doing the speech to the RCN for free. Would you rather he just sat at home and did nothing on behalf of you and other sufferers? As I said, your comments are ill-judged and I think you owe Alastair an apology.

    • Keane Sinead

      P.S I help out with youth mental health in my area to share with what I have been through and that there is a way out I don’t ask for applause just because he is in the public eye we should applaud when he was at the mirrior he did’nt talk of his experiences( I forgot he was a labour mouth piece then )

    • Gillian C.

      Well said Anna.

  • My son had a career change from the commercial world to psychiatric care, in which he hopes to train shortly; this was motivated by his own experience of depression and the absolutely excellent, dare I say life-saving and family-saving care he got from the Community Psychiatric team here in Sheffield.

    He has been working for the past two years at Kirkhill Resource Centre (Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust) for elderly people suffering mainly from depression. This is due to close imminently as part of the cuts. As I understand it from my son, it is planned for as many as possible of the existing service users to be re-integrated back into the community, where, it is felt by their current carers, that they will not cope; they will very likely instead be at considerably increased risk of acute hospital admission, consequent bed-blocking and probably also increased risk of mortality.

    Thanks for all your work for mental health, Alastair.

  • Karen Chown

    Dear Alastair,

    The NHS “reforms” go against everything I believe in.

    Changes resulting from the introduction of the internal market have reduced
    standards of cleanliness and meant that nurses spend too much time on
    paperwork and less time caring for patients (I am a nurse and work 12 hours
    a day to give what I consider a good standard of care). However, the NHS is
    not failing by objective standards. We have a lower neonatal death rate than
    the USA and our life expectancy is longer. It is also – contrary to
    misinformation by the Tories – one of the most cost-effective health care
    models in the world. Whatever we do, we should not throw the baby out with
    the bathwater.

    The proposed “reforms” are nothing but the privatisation/destruction of the
    NHS. Selective evidence is being used to bolster the case for them. Doctors,
    nurses, economists and most people oppose them.

    Good luck with your talk.

    Best wishes,
    Karen Chown

    PS
    Thought “All in the Mind” was brilliant.

  • xpluginbaby

    Having been recently transferred from the children’s mental health services to the adult mental health services, I’ve been left with essentially nothing- I went from having an hour of therapy every week, to nothing. I’ve been given more medication, but it’s addictive (valium), and it’s really just because they can’t give me anything else, service-wise. I’m on a waiting list for psychotherapy, but my psychiatrist told me that I have to be on the brink of suicide before I can get any extra support, other than medication.

    It’s sad, and it bloody hurt. Intervening before a crisis is the important thing to do, and in the long term, would save money, but there simply aren’t the resources. I’m sick of constantly defending the NHS every time someone tells me how bad it is. I’m sick of having to be on death’s door before anything happens- if I had cancer, they wouldn’t wait until I was about to die before they intervened, would they? The attitude that remains is horrific, mental health always seems to be the bottom of the priority list- there still seems that odd notion that just because it is in your head, you can fix it yourself.

    I wouldn’t wish depression, anxiety, OCD- essentially, any mental illness- on anyone, but I find it hard to believe that the people in charge of these services can sleep fine every night, knowing that an eighteen-year-old girl has considered fake ‘attempts’ in order to get some help.

  • Keane Sinead

    No I do not owe him an apology I am allowed an opinion, my problems began when I was 13 and could not get out of bed and had not got a clue what was going I am in University now a fact which I and my family are proud of she nobody really thought that I would be still when I look at my arms I see them covered with scars when I used to take knife to them my point is he went on a show with two men who said awful things do you not think the woman whom they abused with there words this could be a trigger for them to feel the way I have felt I have fought through my demons to have something of an ordinary life the he goes on is that mental illness should define you it should not he uses it at to sell books he is expanding on a myth that it is not just an illness like if someone has a heart problem or a stroke which it should I approach things the way my grandad did he became blind it did not define in Ireland he became chair of the National League of Blind he fought for his members rights on the basis that there were just like everyone else

    • Gillian C.

      Keane, you have done very well to not only overcome your MH problems but also to get to university is a huge achievement. But, I would imagine the pressure of being at university is almost unbearable.
      Do you realise that the whole of your posted comment contains only one comma and no other punctuation at all? Therefore, the entire comment reads as one long rant.
      Personally, I am concerned for you Keane. I expect others on this site feel similar concern.
      Please seek medical help asap. Do what is best and the right thing for yourself. If you feel that university is too much for you, then just walk away from it. You wouldn’t be letting yourself or anyone else down. But you might just be saving your sanity and your life. At least talk it over with medical experts and your family. Maybe some time out would help.

  • v.concerned cpn

    Our foundation trust has a four year plan to deal with funding cuts.the plan involves closing the mh. Day centres closing the supported houses and closing community nurse basesr and REDUCING THE CPN’S BY 50% so Mr Cameron and mr clegg Oh Yes It Will affect patients.

  • Laura111

    The community charity I volunteer for has had to cut the hours of its mental health social work team. In effect 3 people are are now sharing 1 job, which means they cannot spend as much time with service users, nor run social groups for them. How they are going to avoid being an emergency response team is beyond me.

    This same charity has had to cut staff hours across the board, including their housing support workers, including those who work with mentally ill service users. This has already had an effect on these service users some of whom are very vulnerable.

  • Paul Darlison

    My father (85) has demitia and severe arthurtis is cared for by my mother (87) who is not in good health. she can get repite whan he goes to a local care home in Bedworth, Coventry.she has also been told that prices are to double…all in it together! http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/01/20/all-warwickshire-council-run-care-homes-for-elderly-facing-closure-92746-28021865/

  • Dear Alastair,

    Despite the promises that IAPT would make access to talking therapies that much easier for people with depression and anxiety disorders, we believe it is actually having a negative impact on patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) who are now hitting two waiting queues for treatment, first IAPT, only to be told by them that they can not treat OCD and refer them on to the community mental health team (CMHT) where they are again placed on a waiting lists.

    One Trust (Surrey and Borders) had a specialist psychology service (based in Guildford) for just this reason, to treat OCD and re-occurring depression, a small but fantastic service that I have seen really make a positive difference for many patients with OCD. Surrey and Borders, as of this week I believe, closed this service, from what I can tell to merge with the local CMHT. The problem with this is, it dilutes that specialist service, and from what I understand both IAPT and the CMHT were referring patients to this specialist service anyway. To my knowledge, and from my brief communication with the Trust, I don’t believe that any replacement specialist service has been provided within the Trust, although I hope I can be corrected on that.

    My concern is that this funding restructuring exercise will negatively impact on the quality of care and treatment that patients with OCD will now receive within the Trust.

    Whilst stigma around mental health is slowly changing, thankfully for the positive, OCD remains one mental illness which is still very much misunderstood and often trivialised, it is an extremely debilitating, disabling and horrific illness that severally impacts on all aspects of a person’s life, occasionally with sad and tragic consequences.

    We need specialist services like this not only to be saved, but similar models implemented across every Trust within the country to ensure that patients with OCD do continue to be disadvantaged within the NHS.

    OCD matters!

    Ashley Fulwood
    Chief executive of OCD-UK

    A service user led charity for children and adults affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

  • Elephant

    Our local health Trust, RDASH have halved the number of beds available. They argue that the number of admissions is down over the year. However, the crisis team who ‘gatekeep’ beds have kept people out of hospital even when very unwell. The PCT has withdrawn funding for a helpline and gave less than a months notice of it’s withdrawal. Our options team (mental health Occupational Therapists) cannot get any more funding for a drumming group which showed proven results in helping improve the mental health of a eide range of service users.

  • Erica

    Dear Alistair
    Thank you for your work with Time to Change and the opportunity for comment.

    Speaking on behalf of my friends and myself at The London Mental Health Support Group, it is very hard to access services at the moment and this seems to have been the case for some time.

    Just today a close friend diagnosed with BPD confided that he felt he had to “act more mental” to get the attention of staff at his local hospital. He felt it necessary to “smash things up” in order to get attention. Had his request and needs been met sooner this wouldn’t have happened.

    I would comment that stigma at present is so bad, medical professionals seem reluctant to give certain diagnosis such as psychosis and schizophrenia. That then makes it harder to access benefits and also information which might be useful in educating oneself and independently developing coping methods.

    It’s very difficult. It seems also a common complaint that outpatients never get to develop proper working relationships with psychiatrists – we seem to be passed around a lot seeing a different psychiatrist each time.

    It might be easier (and cheaper) if literature becomes available to educate ourselves on our diagnosis, what is wrong with us, and how we might cope. It helps even less that there is so much literature out there on “anti-psychiatry” too – which just seems to add to the pot of confusion and also the stigma that “there’s nothing wrong with us”.

    Very best

  • Johanino

    Jo Hancock It’s simple. Mental Health Matters…why? Cos it affects 1:4 of the population and has a high mortality rate (mainly by suicide but also think eating disorders)….Why? Cos the cuts mean more reliance on hospital beds and asylums are so 19th century. If leprosy hadn’t been cured ages ago we’d still all be in leper colonies. As it is we still all bear the stigma of mental health. No jobs with the stigma. Who’d want to employ a psychotic person out of work due to their illness for the last 15 years? Yeah man, next time do a dream school for mental health and see what WE can do..(I left school with 2 GCSE’s too and have only gained one higher since)……WE will make you SO proud Mr C. 🙂
    about a minute ago · Like
    Jo Hancock Now where do I send the invoice for the above Mr C?
    a few seconds ago · Like
    Jo Hancock I’m cheap cos I’m only allowed to earn £20…Make that a £20 starbucks card please…will have most therapeutic benefit 🙂 (gotta keep up the good old drug addiction to caffeine and nicotine LOL)
    2 seconds ago · Like

  • Johanino

    PS. Mr C if you wonder why I want a £20 starbucks card off you for my wee 30 second speech it’s simple. There are no MH drop ins in Aberdeen anymore. Starbucks IS my drop in these days (and I can get it for 75p a cup with that card so you see one cup a day cos I get a free refil…It’s almost a month’s worth of day care man :))

  • Kascon3

    In Hounslow, Middx. We are loosing a number of centers lifelines for people in our area, What happens to everyone then, who cares. It seems the goverment dont. I fear for my future and those who are in a similar situation, We are spending a fortune for the olympics etc. What about our friends and family who need care. What is going to happen, what are we going to do. I cannot see a way out. What does the future hold ? NO HOPE. People cant see Mental health issues, we cant scream and shout because of the stigma. How many people are going to be allowed to suffer alone because of all these cuts. What about our future, our children. Where can they go….. PLEASE SOMEONE LISTEN AND HELP

  • Considering you’re supposed to be @ University Keane your grammar is SHOCKING!!!. What a poor reflection on your recovery it is (speaking as a sufferer myself, also with scars and a lot of them). How can you defend Mental Health Rights if you can barely articulate them? I pray your public speaking skills are vastly different…. No offence meant hun. Just an observation…

    Jo

  • Please forgive my typo in the last line, should have read… ‘patients with OCD do not continue to be disadvantaged within the NHS’.

    Oops.

  • Keane Sinead

    just an observation at least I have been thought manners you have not and do not call me hun

  • Keane Sinead

    There is no need to be so utterly patronising , I DO REALISE THAT THERE WAS NO PUNCTUATION AND I ALSO KNOW THAT THE CAPS ARE ON BY THE BY I have a very good doctor, democracy must not have reached you’re parts

  • Keane Sinead

    by the way you do know at is not spelled @ ?

  • Keane Sinead

    Just before I you do not used capitals in the middle of sentences my school must of been better than yours?

  • Skristmanns

    does the loss of a “Health and Homelessness” worker fit the bill ? (although living in Scotland, may not be the best example to offer ?)

  • Shirl

    Hi Alastair,

    Details of cuts can be found on “cuts watch” section of carers UK forum http://forum.carersuk.org/viewforum.php?f=41
    good luck with your speech

    Kind regards

  • Vicky

    Community nurses have a hard time, dont get the back up or support I feel they need, When I worked for the NHS Mental health trust I saw the community nurses sometimes panic as the sources they needed were not being offered, made available to them or the help they are supposed to get was negative. Parents need more backing, more support in the sense of communication, honesty, not empty false promises, equiptment they need should be made available to enable them to let a family member not normally able to stay in the home, I said before the big election, that what people families with disabled family members or friends would appreciate more so than the offer of the carer holiday is equiptment, items to enable the life of the disabled or mentally disabled persons life a lot easier and yes that of the carer, speaking from experience, carer to mum with my dad, and carer to my partner.

    Why make the life of a disabled person any harder than it has to be, or the carer, give us a break, and no I dont mean a holiday, if we need any equiptment or upgrades then allow it! it would make such a big difference to the person being cared for they wouldnt feel in any way a burden, and dont say they dont because they do feel this way if they see you the carer struggling, then you feel bad for them noticing you struggle or being down, and then it spirals on and on.

    EXAMPLE: My parents live in a council property, they need a room down stairs converting into a bedroom for my mum, it would help my dad the carer, and make my mums life easier and better, more comfortable – you would think they were asking for a million in gold blocks, but that would probably be easier to get lol. The occupational therapist didnt want to know, the Council are just being themselves, ignorant and helpless, selfish, lol shall I go on?

    But yes if a carer asks for help – equiptment give it, life could and would be so much easier for everyone.

  • Northernsoulista

    I would love to see some kind of mental health provision in my area (Rochdale, Lancashire). Currently I am in treatment for a personality disorder, but due to bureacracy, my community mental health team will not deal with me as I do not have a consultant, as I am in treatment. This is completely unfair, unjust and an extra burden on social services, who are also losing staff. I have to rely on my family to bring in carers, and to provide services where the NHS should have provided them. I have been failed completely by the NHS, as I was diagnosed in 2004, but was not informed until February 2010. I asked my PCT why this was, and they just apologised without reason. Please, please stop the madness, and help those who really need it.

  • Ellie_lenor

    The crisis service in our area are so outstretched at the moment that two weeks ago and one day after a suicide attempt that landed me in hospital there was no one available to take my call when I was in desperate need of support, counsel and intervention. I waited six days for them to see me. They never did. Thankfully I have supportive friends and family who fought my corner while I was too weak to do so myself but in other cases their lack of action due to cuts and under funding could have proved fatal. Elinor O’Neill, ellie_lenor@hotmail.com.@lostinnotation ps good luck with your speech

  • Karren

    well go see some of the nurses who are seriously close to leaving the profession due to the dangerous levels of staff that they are expected to work with. Chat to the relatives who have lost loved ones as they havent had support.
    chat to the parents who have had no support and have had no sleep for years..
    then write your speech

  • Anna

    The NHS in Leeds cut funding to Leeds Mind where I had weekly therapy at a service called CHOICE. It was disasterous for someone like me who has BPD. I had a really great therapuutic relationship with my therapist and although the NHS might provide therapy for me it would cost far more than what it cost per session at CHOICE. Makes no sense to me at all but I guess people like me who rely on such services are just numbers and statistic on a spreadsheet to those making all the financial decisions. I don’t think they’ve really thought about it in the long term. It’s now costing the NHS a lot more because I was referred to ACS and have been going there for the past three weeks.

  • Clare

    I am 52, I live in Oxford and have been ill with depression for 15 years, the last 5 of which I have been unable to work and on Incapacity Benefit. I use exercise, mainly running, and CBT to manage my depression and have made good progress but still have relapses. I am trying hard to stay consistently well enough to return to work but find that my self esteem and confidence has been badly affected by the years away from work. I have had to be very proactive to seek support with this but last year was accepted into a government funded Pathways to Work programme and I have been having support from the Shaw Trust and their workers who are trained to support people like me and help them overcome their barriers to employment. I am on a Permitted Work for the self employed scheme which means that for a year I can earn some money without my benefit being reduced and have regular support and advice from a business advisor whilst I do. The help I have received has been a real boost for me and I am making progress. It has been such a help to be supported by workers who are sensitive to my condition and how it impacts on my life and my ability to work, be reliable, meet challenges, seek and make earning opportunities and believe I can deliver on them. Out of the blue I have this week received a letter to tell me that from April 27th the programe is being scrapped due to the cuts. I have contacted my worker at the Shaw Trust but she does not know if she will be able to go on advising me. No-one seems to know what is going on and I have no idea now what help I am going to have. I had to be so persistent to even get this help and it has been a real support for me and I now feel very uncertain as to where this leaves me either in terms of the advice and help I still need or in relation to my benefit status.
    It is the second instance I have experienced in a few months of services being withdrawn due to cuts. I was referred by my psychiatrist at the Warneford Hospital for help from the Advocacy and Information service at Oxfordshire Mental Health Matters as I was so low that I was struggling to write letters and represent myself in a tricky housing issue. The service helps people with mental health issues to represent themselves. However when I contacted them they were very sorry but could not support me as their funding has been cut and they are now only able to give help to mental health sufferers if they are in patients. I was very unwell at that time and it left me vulnerable and frightened as I tried to deal with an intimidating situation over Christmas.
    I feel very demoralised that I am experiencing these doors shutting when I am trying so hard to manage my condition, return to employment and get myself off benefit. I am fearful that without support from people trained to deal with those suffering from illness like mine that I will be exposed to the intimidating and scrutinous examinations that will try to force me off the benefit I still need as I get well by determining that because I can use a kettle and type an email that I must be a malingerer and so should lose this badly needed support before I am well enough to be independent. The pressure of that could impact severely on my mental health and possibly push me further into illness and write off forever the chance of me getting well enough to work. Clare

  • The truth of matter is that organisations and groups were never funded adequate in the first place, This is not a new problem but a forgotten one that was never addressed or challenged since Beven started the NHS in 1948. The front-line MH has always been rationed and sadly always will be whoever becomes in power. It has always come second inside those minds of power who are lucky enough to be “well”.
    The first-line MH units are overworked and underfunded because more service users need “a safe place to be ill in” followed by adequate support to have any chance of being able to maintain a recovery within a complex society that politically churns out relentless burdens of stress for people to bare and struggle with, many to breaking point.
    With future cuts expected to self help groups and day centres, linking to an alarming increase in child mental health problems then the future is certainly not bright nor is it orange!
    After thought – If service users march on London against cuts to the mental health system, I wonder what the headlines would be!!!!

  • Echo, echo echo, v.concerned cpn. Are we about to see a conservative government reverting to type; to a world that existed fifty to a hundred years ago; a world in which mental health problems were swept under the carpet, out of the sight of the establishment; a two tier, divided world?

  • Johanino

    Och and I used capitals for emphasis…Nit picking there do you not think Keane?

    • Keane Sinead

      You would know far more about nitpicking when you were more interesting in grammar rather than the words in what I said

  • Johanino

    I was being patronising Keane…I take it you’re a young person. Maybe they have ‘taught’ you manners (not thought…there you go off on one again. Are you getting enough sleep?) they obviously haven’t taught you spelling and grammar. It sounds benign and you probably don’t know what all the fuss is about but it really affects how you come across online. Just think what you’re saying and how you’re coming across next time Keane and read what you write, before pressing the ‘post’ or ‘reply’ button…

    Can I let you into a secret – I didn’t learn manners till I was 22 so you have a heads up on me 😉

  • Keane Sinead

    It really shows,DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND A POINT OF VIEW THAT DIFFERS FROM YOU’RE OWN OR ARE YOU TO OLD

  • Keane Sinead

    You’re the one who should think but you’re must not working that well.The way I come any slight on my character by a person with you’re abundance of intelligence I take as a complement.O by the way I am 25 born on the 15 Of June 1985.

  • Keane Sinead

    By the way you should use , instead of –

  • Susan Haworth

    The Guardian are running the story today Tuesday 12 April 13.10 BST Mark Gould “3 patients die on psychiatric ward”. A very important story of the moment on In patient mental health care. 3 patients have died on the same psychiatric ward in a year. This is despite concerns about reducing nursing staffing levels that management imposed to save money – Unions warned managers about the risks.

    One patients was murdered, one killed themselves via suffocation, An Inquest awaits on the third patient that died. The concern is a lack of supervision of the patients who died becuase of inadequate resources. The Unit is the Tower Hamlets Centre for Mental Health run by the East London NHS Foundation Trust. As a poor area of England, it undoubtably hospitalises some of the most vulnerable mentally ill people in our country.

    The CQC (Care Quality Commission) has visited twice now (licences NHS health care providers to operate). The East London NHS Foundation Trust has said to the Guardian – “We can confirm that we have enough staff on our wards to make our patients safe”

    Trades Unions like UNISON are on the record disputing what the Trust says. Can’t find a local RCN statement on record on this presently.

  • Keane Sinead

    You must have trouble with you’re eyes as I was not replying to you it was
    Gilliebac.You really should stop jumping to conclusions

  • Cov2811

    Invisible disabilities they can not be seen so they do not matter that is how many people feel these days. Just because you can not see my disabilities does not mean they do not effect my on a daily basis just as much as some one with a visible disability. No point in asking me, I really do not understand how the cuts effect me, ask my mother or an body’s full time carer how cuts effect me and them. My mum has been waiting for a support worker for me for nearly 2 years, she got told not to hold her breath for any support for this summer holiday either. By the time they get it sorted it will be too late and I will be moved over to Adult services then, which I know will be even harder then. Every child matters yeah ok but not if you have mental health or invisible disabilities. As for adults make it harder for them to claim DLA and ESA, then befor you know it this country will have gone so far backwards that yo may as well lock us up and throw away the key !!!! because who cares Cameron and Clegg dont !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Keane Sinead

    This will no doubt be above you but here is a little lesson in ‘context’.Taught it to teach i.e to teach manner’s,thought is something which you think off so you will find I am right.Read what I said and think’context’ ,no doubt you do not understand so her is my advice, there is an ickle thing called a D-I-C-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y.I would point you to a academic but it would be lost on you.

  • John

    As some one with Mental Health problems I would be more sympathetic if you were not in the Parnell deforms aided and abetted by Paul richard head from Bristol Unie -introducing ‘conditionality’ Parnell was and is a disgusting opportunistic, spiv of a chancer – just about sums up NuLabour.

  • How can government cuts affect a charity? Surely charities are funded by supporters not the government?