Talkshop Mission Statement

The Talkshop project is charged with reducing the social exclusion that is affecting many Black men who are using mental health services. The aim is to have members come together regularly with the view of identifying shared challenges and exploring solutions together as Black men with a lived experience of mental health problems. Amongst other benefits this approach promotes group cohesion, personal development and social inclusion.

Talkshop is for men from the Black and minority ethnic communities, who have experienced mental distress.

Saturdays, 6.30-8.30pm
at Inspire, The Crypt, St Peters Church, Liverpool Grove, SE17 2HH

Positive Steps – Charity Walk in Lloyd Park – Saturday 25th May 2013

I am writing let you know that we are holding a 15km walk in May in Lloyd Park. This will raise much needed funds for Mind in Croydon in these difficult times, but don’t worry there is no requirement to get sponsorship (although it would be great if you do)!

Ronnie Corbett is coming to officially start the walk at 10am and we have lots of other fun activities throughout the day including a Crystal Palace Football Club coach teaching people ball skills (we are yet to confirm if there will be any players present).

Also, we are holding a ‘Living Library’ on a double-decker bus at the event and also on Croydon High Street on Tuesday 21st of May.  Our Living Library project challenges stereotypes by allowing the general public to speak to people with diagnosed mental health conditions.

Here’s a link to the information:

We would appreciate if you could forward this around to your friends, family and colleagues.  Please let me know if you would like a poster to display.

Any distance you can manage walking would be great as the route is three times around the park and you are not obliged to complete the entire 15km.

We are also in need of volunteers if you know anyone who would like to get involved in this capacity.

Register for the walk now using the link above or if you don’t want to walk please feel free come along and support us!

If you would like any further information please let me know.

Many thanks.

Annie Grimwade

Information and Design Coordinator

Mind in Croydon

26 Pampisford Road, Purley, Surrey CR8 2NE
General Office: 020 8668 2210
Fax Number: 020 8763 2084

Follow us on Twitter @MindinCroydon Find us on Facebook ‘Mind inCroydon’

Would you like to take part in a group discussion about genetic testing and clozapine?

My name is Ben Spencer and I am a psychiatry registrar at the Institute of Psychiatry working on a research project that is looking into people’s views of genetic testing in clozapine.

Schizophrenia is a common illness that can affect how people tolerate stress, and their experience of the world.  Some people who have schizophrenia do not get better on standard medication, and treatment with clozapine is offered.  Clozapine can affect the immune system and so people who take it have to have regular blood tests, and sometimes get side effects.

At the moment, researchers are looking into whether it might be possible to use a genetic test to predict if people with schizophrenia would benefit from clozapine, or would get side effects.  This research may mean that people would have to have blood tests less often when they are treated with clozapine.

No one has looked into people’s views on this, and I am keen to find out what people think.  To do this I have written a questionnaire about it to give to people.  I need to find out though if it’s asking the questions that service users think are important.

I am looking for people who have experience of mental health services, and who would like to look at a questionnaire we have written to find out about people’s views and attend a focus group discussion on it.  Ideally if you have knowledge or experience of clozapine or psychosis.

If you wanted to take part I would send you an information sheet about the study, and a copy of the questionnaire for you to complete in your own time.  I would also send you a feedback form so you can write about your experiences of it.

Then I would invite you to come along to a focus group to discuss with other similar people you thoughts on the questionnaire itself (is it too long, short, too simple).  Also at this group we would discuss the research itself and the issues or questions you think we should be asking.

You would be given your travel costs (up to a maximum of £10) to attend the focus group, and a £10 Marks and Spencer’s gift voucher for your involvement.

Please note the focus group session will take place on Wednesday  22/05/2013 in Brixton.

Please get in touch if you are interested in being involved in this project by emailing :  with your name, phone number, and address to post the study information to.

The deadline to respond by is Wednesday 15/05/2013.

Mental Health and the mortality gap: what is responsible and who is to act?

Date:               Thursday 16 May 2013

Time:              Lecture at 18.30, followed by a drinks reception

Venue:           Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill

Price:              Free

RSVP:            Book online, email or call 020 7848 3053

This unique event will bring together academics from the IoP and clinical professionals from South London and Maudsley (SLaM) to discuss the challenges and solutions surrounding the physical health of mental health patients.

Research shows that people with mental health disorders are more likely to have an increased risk of physical health problems and to lose significantly greater years of life (“mortality gap”) as compared to the average population. Despite this, according to a recent publication by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) there is a ‘long-standing and continuing lack of parity between mental and physical health’. With NHS and local authorities currently operating in a climate of significant structural change, it’s time to bridge the gap.

Join us during Mental Health Awareness Week 2013 for a dynamic discussion in which a panel of experts will discuss how to improve the morbidity and mortality rate of mental health sufferers.

This discussion will be chaired by Professor Shitij Kapur, Deputy Vice Principal (Health Schools) & Dean of Institute of Psychiatry who will be joined by a panel of experts including Dr Fiona Gaughran, Lead Consultant in the Psychosis Service at SLaM and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the IoP and Dr Rob Stewart, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Clinical Informatics.

Following the lecture there will be a drinks reception in the newly-opened Education Hub where you will have the opportunity to network.

One CPD point is available for this event subject to peer approval.  Certificates of attendance will be made available on request.


Bromley Mind launches new community mental health service in Lewisham

Mental health charity, Bromley Mind, is pleased to announce the launch of a new service, Mind Peer Support in Lewisham.  This service will provide activities, connections, opportunities and skills for anyone with a mental health problem living in Lewisham and develop community led groups to meet local needs.

Mind Peer Support in Lewisham is supported by the London Borough of Lewisham’s Communities that Care fund and the service currently provides a weekly reading and creative writing group every Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm at Lee Green Community Centre.   Mind Peer Support in Lewisham is seeking more volunteers to help launch more groups.

Ben Taylor, Chief Executive of Bromley Mind said “It is amazing to see what can be done when people come together to find the local solutions to local needs. We are continuously inspired by the dedication of our Peer Support Volunteers.  We welcome more people to join us so that together we can provide more opportunities for individuals to access mental health support in Lewisham”.

In the current difficult economic climate, local mental health services are consistently under threat or change.  Mind Peer Support in Lewisham will provide a community led alternative for people seeking support and activities to lead fulfilling lives. This service sees anyone with a mental health problem develop skills as capable community leaders using their experience of mental health problems to support others.

Jim, one of the Peer Support Volunteers said, “Through becoming involved in Mind’s Peer Support in Lewisham and setting up the WordCraft Group, I have been supported to access skills that I never realised I had and regain the confidence my mental health problem took away from me.”

Mind Peer Support in Lewisham provides full training and support to individuals to set up a mental health activity group of their choice in Lewisham. Training sessions will commence on the, 29th April, and in early June.

For more information please contact Megan Jamison on 07850 639811 or

#RT via SLaM e-News

Man Jailed After Comments Made In Atos Assessment

A Nottingham man has now been held in custody for two weeks after he was accused of “threatening behaviour” due to comments he allegedly made during his Atos benefits assessment.

Steve Topley is a 49 year old father with multiple serious health problems who was required to attend a Work Capability Assessment with the notorious IT firm Atos – the company responsible for stripping benefits from hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people.  During the process Mr Topley made some comments about someone not present at the assessment.  His family say these comments were misunderstood and were in response to questions from the assessor about his personal life.

These comments led to Atos staff calling the police and Mr Topley was asked to attend Queens Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham.  When he refused to do so he was arrested.  At QMC he was de-arrested and received a mental health assessment but no reason was found to detain him under the mental health act.  He was then re-arrested and taken in handcuffs to Nottingham police station where he was later charged.

He has now been refused bail twice in closed courts which his family were not permitted to attend.  His sister Gina Topley, who says the family are being kept in the dark about the legal process, has said:

“My brother has not been given any opportunity to speak and give his side of the story to a judge and he was not offered an appropriate adult to accompany him when he was arrested.”

His family have not been allowed to visit him in prison and have raised concerns that his medication may not be being administered properly.  Mr Topley will face another appearance in a closed court tomorrow (Friday 26th April) and there are major fears that he will be remanded once again pending psychiatric reports.

His family and supporters have called a demonstration outside the court tomorrow calling for his immediate release.

Meet outside Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 26th April from 9.30-11.00am – please help spread the word.  For more details and the  latest news visit:

reposeted from Johnnyvoidwordpress –  twitter @johnnyvoid

Why I’m stepping down as a GP over NHS ‘reforms’

The framework for wholesale privatisation of the organisation, supply, finance and distribution of our healthcare is now in place.

By Paul Hobday

It’s been an amazing privilege working as a family doctor. I am trusted with the long-term care and health of sometimes four generations, and I have tried to help with their most intimate and complex problems, sometimes shared only with me. It’s the best job in medicine, and the NHS was the best place to practice.

So why am I retiring early? Because for several years I’ve fought the dismantling of the founding principles of Bevan’s NHS and on 1 April I lost. That was the day the main provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 came into effect. On Wednesday night, a last-gasp attempt in the House of Lords to annul the part pushing competitive tendering sadly failed.

The democratic and legal basis of the English NHS and the secretary of state’s duty to provide comprehensive health services have now gone, and the framework that allows for wholesale privatisation of the planning, organisation, supply, finance and distribution of our health care is now in place. Since 1948, we GPs have been our patient’s advocate, championing the care we judge is needed clinically.

Everyone necessary for that care co-operated for the good of the patient – they didn’t compete for the benefit of shareholders. Sadly, patients are now right to be suspicious of motives concerning decisions made about them, which until recently, almost uniquely in the world, have been purely in their best clinical interest. Most politicians understand little about general practice, have no idea about the importance of continuity of care and blame GPs for a rise in hospital work, even though this is a direct result of their policies.

I believe patient choice is an illusion as I am restricted in terms of where I can refer and what treatments I can use. GPs are now expected tocollude with rationing, are sent incomprehensible financial spreadsheets telling us our “activity levels” are too high and in some areas areprevented from speaking out about this, despite the government’s weasel words about duty of candour after Mid Staffs. Practices are already being solicited by private companies touting for business, often connected to members of my own profession. But the lie that GPs are now in control of the money will soon be exposed. Most services are to go out to tender, which will paralyse decision-making.

Now your doctor, the hospital, your specialist or the employing company has a financial incentive built into the clinical decision-making – even whether or not you are seen at all. Your referral may be to a related company, with both profiting from your care – so was that operation, procedure or investigation really in your best clinical interest? Or you may be told a service is now no longer available. The jargon used is that “we are not commissioned for that”. But you can pay. The elephant in the consulting room is the ethical implication of private medicine. In my 30 years as an NHS GP, some of the most disastrously treated patients are those who elected for private care. Decisions were made about them for the wrong reasons, namely profit. Patients are rarely aware of this.

The politicians who drive this unnecessary revolution claim the NHS is not being privatised because it is still free at the point of use. This is duplicitous as the two are not connected. They are ignorant or dismissive of the founding principles of the NHS which include it being universal and comprehensive – both of which have gone. The NHS logo appears on all sorts of private company buildings and notepaper which is one reason patients haven’t noticed the change yet. Just leaving “free at the point of use” under an NHS kitemark doesn’t constitute a national health service. It’s now one small step to insurance companies picking up the bill (but obviously profiting from it) rather than the state. An Americanised system run by many US companies. The end of a “60-year-old mistake”, asJeremy Hunt once co-authored.

I am proud to have been an NHS GP. I believe the way a society delivers its healthcare defines the values and nature of that society. In the US, healthcare is not primarily about looking after the nation’s health but a huge multi-company, money-making machine which makes some people extremely rich but neglects millions of its citizens. We are being dragged into that machine and I want no part in it.

The politicians responsible for this must live with their consciences, as it is the greatest failure of democracy in my lifetime.

#RT via

Masters degree, Design for Development


Hoping you might be able to help me with a personal/work project that I’m just starting?

I’m just finishing up my masters degree, Design for Development, and with 5 months to go I’ve got a pretty sizeable final project to get stuck into.

I’ll be focusing on informal peer support for my final project, looking to link people through their stories across the Internet – I’m starting with MH but reckon there’s an opportunity across most support sectors. I’ve written a blog entry here to help bring people up to speed.

To make sure the project and final product is something meaningful and potentially usable, I want to co-design it with people with lived experience and/or carers.

I’d really appreciate it if you could help me to get as many people to complete the survey linked from the blog article above and was hoping that I could tap into your network to help get the feedback. I’m on a bit of a tight timetable and really need to get as many people feeding back on the survey in throughout May.

Hoping you can help?



David Singer

Transformation Projects Lead, Mental Health
London Borough of Lambeth

Employment Support Allowance claim update: Exceptional Circumstances – Regulation 25E

Regulation 25 has replaced Regulations 29 and 35 as of 28.01.2013. 

This is the Employment Support Allowance Regulation 25 in full:

25.— (1) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2)  applies to the claimant.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), this paragraph applies if—

(a) the claimant is suffering from a life-threatening disease in relation to which –

(i) there is medical evidence that the disease is uncontrollable, or uncontrolled, by a recognised therapeutic procedure; and
(ii) in the case of a disease that is uncontrolled, there is a reasonable cause for it not to be controlled by a recognised therapeutic procedure; or
(b) the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reason of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work.
(3) Paragraph (2)(b) does not apply where the risk could be reduced by a significant amount by—

(a) reasonable adjustments being made in the claimant’s workplace; or
(b) the claimant taking medication to manage the claimant’s condition where such medication has been prescribed for the claimant by a registered medical practitioner treating the claimant.
(4) In this regulation “medical evidence” means—

(a) evidence from a health care professional approved by the Secretary of State; and
(b) evidence (if any) from any health care professional or a hospital or similar institution,
or such part of such evidence as constitutes the most reliable evidence available in the circumstances.

Implications of the changes.

Two broad concerns that arise in light of the Regulation changes are that there is significant scope for the assessor to speculate and make assumptions about those being assessed, and there is a limitation regarding what symptoms can be considered in which parts of the assessment (as is evident in the new descriptors – Regulation 19(5) and Regulation 34(3A.)) Such consideration has been narrowed in focus and subdued by the amendments, which clearly and strictly polarise illnesses into physical or mental categories. Both of these problems may lead to an over-estimation of a person’s capability for work.

The exceptional circumstances provision originally in Regulation 29 has been changed. Trying to demonstrate that a person would be at “substantial risk” in a workplace will now also involve considering whether any “reasonable adjustments” in the workplace or prescribed medication would significantly reduce such a risk. The amendments would allow any potential risk resulting from a person being found fit for work to be ignored if a reasonable adjustment, or taking prescribed medication would hypothetically offer significant reduction of that risk.

The Atos assessor has previously been able to assume that a person could use some aids that they do not actually use, and theoretically determine what the person’s capability would be using those aids. Many people have experienced the difficulties presented by the “imaginary wheelchair test” – the assessor decides they would be mobile with a manual wheelchair, often contrary to the appropriateness or availability of a wheelchair for that person. The amendments to the Regulations have extended this to include imaginary prostheses and guide dogs under the “could reasonably be used” criteria to most parts of the assessment.

Any “reasonable adjustments” to “the workplace” are very hypothetical and can never be guaranteed. Nor may they necessarily be effective in the event that they are actually carried out. The assessor does not know the person claiming ESA or their long term medical circumstances, or whether the use of such aids would be consistent with their current management programme, or whether any theoretical aids would be suitable in reality.

There is no guarantee that in the event of a person obtaining these aids that they would actually be capable of work. This imaginary exercise will not be discussed with the person making the claim; they are simply going to be refused benefit on the basis of hypothetical aids and appliances.

“Reasonable adjustment” may include cases where the risk is still considerable, if it is significantly reduced by hypothetical adjustments, it can be ignored. There is no explicit requirement to take into account side-effects of medication. This is worrying for more than one reason. There seems to be an implicit suggestion that medication ought to be enforced. For obvious reasons that is very troubling. It has serious implications for issues of medical consent, and patient rights.

The amendments made to the Work Capability Assessment descriptors  mean that claimants can only score on either the physical descriptor for a physical illness or the mental descriptor for a mental illness. Part One of the Work Capability Assessment activities will only accommodate the effects of “a specific bodily disease or disablement,” while Part Two of the WCA  will only allow consideration of the effects of “a specific mental illness or disablement.” Similarly, only side-effects of treatment for physical conditions will be considered in Part One, and side-effects of treatment for mental illnesses only in Part Two. The Government has produced a document explaining these amendments to the regulations.

Using prescribed medication as a purely theoretical “reasonable adjustment” provides scope for a lot of speculation presented as “evidence” regarding the efficacy of medications. For many of us, medication is “experimental” and often trialled initially, and effectiveness and side-effects vary hugely from person to person. Medications for mental health problems produce physical side-effects, and vice-versa. A person who suffers severe chronic pain from physical illness or injury may take strong pain medications that severely compromise their cognitive ability, but it would seem the amended regulations would require that this effect is disregarded.

Many illnesses that are not yet well-understood have a full spectrum of physical, mental and cognitive symptoms. Examples include autoimmune illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, MS, ME and Fibromyalgia. There is often a fundamental interconnectedness of physical and mental health, yet the amendments demand a clean separation of physical, mental and cognitive effects of illness.

As stated, medications for these illnesses are invariably “experimental”, and the efficacy of treatments is widely unpredictable, as are the potentially severe and often “black box” side-effects. For example, a common treatment for autoimmune illness such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chemotherapy called methotrexate, usually given in a weekly dose, by injection or taken orally.

Side-effects commonly include nausea and vomiting, ulcerative stomatitis, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, hair loss, blurred vision or sudden loss of vision, seizures, confusion, weakness or difficulty moving one or both sides of the body, loss of consciousness, vulnerability to overwhelming infections such as pneumonia.

Less common side effects of methotrexate include sudden death, liver failure, kidney damage and lung fibrosis. There is no way of predicting most of these side-effects. Of course this treatment is not handed out like sweets by doctors, and there is very careful consideration given to the risks carried with the drug, which are carefully weighed against the substantial risks presented by the serious illness to be treated. Many autoimmune illnesses may also cause death, lung fibrosis, kidney and liver damage and blindness. How can it be that a person so ill, and taking such a risky medication could be deemed even remotely capable of work, and that such a treatment could be seen as a “reasonable adjustment” to allow that judgement?

A grave concern is that this will mean additional challenges for many sick and disabled people at a time when the Tribunal Service is hugely overworked and struggling to accommodate the sheer volume of appeals regarding wrongful decisions, and the waiting times for Hearings are stretching out, leaving very vulnerable people without the essential support they need to live. Now there is the additional requirement for providing evidence regarding the “reasonable adjustments” amendment, and I doubt that hypothetical evidence will suffice.

It seems that the Government have simply extended legislative opportunities to reduce eligibility for ESA. I don’t believe these changes and omissions are casual: they are about limiting successful claims and appeal outcomes.

It’s therefore important that we explore the implications of legislative changes like this, because the additional information helps us to pre-empt potential new difficulties we are likely to encounter with our claims, plan in advance how to find effective ways around them and so improve the outcomes.

Advice regarding EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES – Regulation 25. 

Because of the tick-box nature of the ESA50 form, it is possible that people will fall below the number of points required to be declared incapable of work – it doesn’t take into account variable illnesses, mental illness, or the cumulative effects of having more than one illness.

However, the Exceptional Circumstances Regulation should accommodate this – it states that the claimant should be found incapable of work if they have an uncontrolled or uncontrollable illness, or “the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reason of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work.”

Therefore it would be appropriate, if you feel it applies to you, to add something like the following to the form, where it asks for “other information”:

“If the scoring from my answers above is insufficient, then I believe invoking the Exceptional Circumstances Regulation would be appropriate due to the severity and interaction of my conditions, and my inability to reliably, repeatedly and safely perform work-related tasks, or encounter work-related situations.

I am taking all available and appropriate medication as prescribed by my doctor(s), and there are no reasonable adjustments to a workplace which would mitigate my medical conditions.

Therefore there would be substantial risk to my mental and/or physical health if I were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity and/or placed into a workplace environment”

Change the wording to fit your situation, delete mental or physical if appropriate, leave both in if necessary.

Further information:

Exceptional circumstances: Employment and Support Allowance Regulation 25
Employment and Support Allowance: 2013 Regulations in full
Limited Capability for Work-related Activity: Determination
The Amendment Regulations: Laid before Parliament  
Rapid response EDM: Commons’ motion to annul the Employment and Support Allowance regulations

#RT via

Labour rules out ‘massive’ NHS spending increases

Ed Miliband has said “massive increases” in spending on the NHS “won’t be available” if his party wins the next general election.

He told the BBC that healthcare would always be a priority but refused to say whether he would pledge to spend more overall than the coalition government.

Labour is to set up an independent commission to investigate how best to integrate health and social care.

It says that without this there will be a £29bn gap in funding by 2020.

Mr Miliband’s comments follow former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s warning to avoid promising ever more public spending.

This month, Mr Blair urged against “tacking left on tax and spending” amid a debate on Labour plans before the next election.

The independent commission will be led by former Department of Health specialist Sir John Oldham.

‘Rising need for care’

Launching it in Chorley, Lancashire, Mr Miliband said the NHS faced “the biggest challenge in its history”. He cited figures from the Nuffield Trust that suggest growing care needs will leave a shortfall of up to £29bn a year unless services can be delivered more efficiently.

“The toughest financial pressures for 50 years are colliding with our rising need for care as society gets older and we see more people with chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and dementia,” Mr Miliband said.

“The NHS will always be a priority for expenditure under a Labour government, but we must make every pound we spend go further at a time when our NHS faces the risk of being overwhelmed by a crisis in funding because of care needs by the end of this decade.”

Labour has said it will seek to “protect” NHS funding if re-elected while acknowledging that increasing budgets is unlikely in the current economic climate.

The coalition government has ring-fenced the NHS from spending cuts elsewhere and criticised Labour for not being prepared to match its commitment to a real-terms increase in funding every year.

However, the NHS is also having to find £20bn in efficiency savings between 2011 and 2015.

Mr Miliband said services should be organised “around the needs of patients, rather than patients around the needs of services. That means teams of doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists all working together.”

Care should be arranged by one person, which would end “the frustration of families being passed around between different organisations and having to repeat the same information over and over again”, he said.

He added: “It means a greater focus on preventing people getting ill and more care being provided directly in people’s homes so they avoid unnecessary hospital visits.”

Mr Miliband attacked coalition health reforms, saying that “attempts to integrate care are being harmed by David Cameron’s push to turn the NHS into a full-blown market”.

‘No policy to privatise’

The government’s NHS shake-up in England came into force on 1 April with GP-led groups put in charge of a large chunk of the care budget.

Health Minister Dan Poulter said: “The government is putting doctors and nurses at the forefront of delivering more integrated and community-based care, and thousands of patients across the country, particularly the frail elderly, are already benefiting from these changes, and will continue to do so.

“There is absolutely no government policy to privatise NHS services. Our NHS will stay free for everyone, and it’s right that patients should get the best care available, regardless of who provides it, giving patients more choice of where and how they are treated.”

The government has also called for closer working between the NHS and the social care sector as part of its health service reforms and changes to care for the elderly, which will bring a £75,000 cap on lifetime care costs being introduced after 2017.

At present, up to 40,000 people every year are forced into selling their homes because they face unlimited care bills.

#RT via Bridget

Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has outlined its priorities for the next 3 years, which include strengthening its focus on mental health and mental capacity

Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has outlined its priorities for the next 3 years, which include strengthening its focus on mental health and mental capacity.

In its plan, Raising standards, putting people first – Our Strategy for 2013 to 2016, the CQC commits to strengthening its focus around the Mental Health Act (MHA), Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to protect people’s human rights, particularly those who have had their freedom restricted by being detained and treated against their will.

In regard to monitoring patients under the MHA in the community as well as in hospital the CQC will build on the individual-centred approach and expertise it uses in its monitoring work under the MHA because issues such as blanket restrictions can affect voluntary patients as well as those formally detained.

The CQC also said it will increase the level of training and guidance on mental capacity that it gives to frontline staff to strengthen the links between its assessment of providers’ practice under the MCA and their performance against the Health and Social Care Act regulations.

In addition, the CQC will develop its ability to monitor local social services in their role as ‘supervisory organisations’ in the DoLS system.

The CQC also plans to involve more people with direct experience of care – experts by experience – in its inspection and MHA visits. The regulator also plans to involve more service users and people currently or previously detained under the MHA in its work.

To increase its understanding of people’s and their families’ experience of DoLS the CQC plans to listen more to community and advocacy organisations.

David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: “People have a right to expect safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care. CQC plays a vital role in making sure that care services meet those expectations.

“We recognise that quality care cannot be achieved by inspection and regulation alone – that lies with care professionals, clinical staff, providers and those who arrange and fund local services – but we will set a bar below which no provider must fall and a rating which will encourage and drive improvement.

“In developing our plans for the next three years we have looked closely at what we do and listened to what others have told us, to make sure we focus on what matters to them.”

Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, welcomed the CQC’s plan: “We want to congratulate the CQC for producing a bold, even-handed and very clear statement on their direction of travel. We particularly welcome the involvement of service users as ‘experts by experience’ and senior clinical personnel and other leaders from provider organisations in the regulatory process.

“Whilst recognising the need for CQC to remain independent, the era of stand-off that had developed between NHS providers and CQC in some places needs to be put behind us and the shared ambition of striving for best quality and promoting best practice can be a shared ambition to deliver a better NHS.”

#RT via Bridget via Mental Health Today

Meetups are neighbours getting together to learn something, do something, share something…

This is a search engine, the link is for a “mental health” search round the Boroughs of SLaM

#RT via Matthew

SLaM mental health service user and carer advisory groups – summary of discussions – April 2013

Hello all,

The departments that manage the services at South London & Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust have ‘advisory groups’ where service users and carers come together to advise on and discuss developments.   The Psychological Medicine Department and the Mood Anxiety and Personality Disorder departments advisory groups produce a brief summary of their discussions.  The purpose  is to let interested people know what is being discussed.  Please circulate as appropriate.

Psych Med briefing here: briefing – April 2013 – doc

MAP briefing here: Briefing Sheet Apr 2013

With best wishes,


Alice Glover

Patient & Public Involvement LeadMood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG
email: tel: 020 3228 0959
113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ

Hear Us is holding our MAY Open Meeting – INPATIENT SERVICES – START OF A NEW ERA?

The subject will be: Inpatient Services

Guest Speakers:

Dr Tony Davies (Triage Consultant)
Halima Hachimou (Ward Manager of Triage)
John Clarke (Gresham 2 Ward Round)

  • If you:  have been an inpatient on a Croydon Ward


  • Care for someone who been an inpatient
  • Are an organisation that supports/cares for people with mental health problems


DATE:  Tuesday May 7th 2013

TIME:   1pm (starting with LUNCH) (please note that Hear Us had decided to reduce the length of our meetings and we will be finishing by around 3.30pm)

VENUE:   Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) 82, London Road, West Croydon, CR0 2TB (opposite Lidl)

DIRECTIONS   from West Croydon Train/bus station – turn right out of the station and the CVA is just 5 minutes’ walk away.


Hear Us welcomes carers, voluntary sector organisations, statutory bodies and most importantly people with personal experience of Mental Health problems to our meetings – so come along and have your voices heard.

All the Best 

Jane White


Hear Us

Orchard House

15a Purley Road

South Croydon


Tel: 020 8681 6888

Four in Ten – SLaM’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) service user group

Four in Ten – The Movie 2: Film workshop icon

Flyer here: 4 in 10 Film Making Flyer

Are you lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and use mental health services? Want to get involved in the next Four in Ten film? Come to our next workshop on Tuesday 30 April, 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Call Peter on  07711 376 258 or email

Four in Ten April and May Programme: April May Programme 2013

Check out Four in Ten’s latest programme. SLaM’s LGBT serice user group meets weekly at Maudsley Hospital on Tuesday evening between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. The group also plan regular trips and events. If you are LGBT and want to get involved, why not pop down and see us.

4 in 10 poster

Four in Ten LGBT service user group is open to all LGBT people who experaince mental health problems or use mental health serivces. Four in Ten is a service user-led LGBT group that offers LGBT people with mental health problems a safe space to socialise, get and give peer support, plan trips and events, and gain new skills.

Four in Ten works closely with SLaM and The Metro, an LGBT Community Centre in South London on a unique project to improve the experaince of LGBT people of SLaM’s services. This project is developing a range of initiaties such as setting up a project Steering Group made up of Metro and SLaM staff and service users, a development tool to measure changes in behaviour, skills and knowledge of staff (the results of which will inform staff LGBT training programme), and setting up mechanisms which generalise LGBT servcie user experiance and use this to feed in to Trust-wide serice improvement and LGBT policy.

If you are LGBT and use mental health services, why not get in touch.

Peter Vittles

4 in 10 Project Coordinator

(Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)

The Metro Centre Ltd

N106 Westminster Business Square

1-45 Durham Street


SE11 5JH

Tel : 020 8305 5000

Mob: 07711 376 258

Fax: 020 8305 5001