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: http://www.mindincroydon.org.uk/positive-steps.asp#.UW0Vn1cgij1
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.
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’|
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, and address to post the study information to.
The deadline to respond by is Wednesday 15/05/2013.
Date: Thursday 16 May 2013
Time: Lecture at 18.30, followed by a drinks reception
Venue: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill
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.
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 email@example.com
#RT via SLaM e-News
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:http://freestevetopley.wordpress.com/
reposeted from Johnnyvoidwordpress – twitter @johnnyvoid
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?
Transformation Projects Lead, Mental Health
London Borough of Lambeth
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.
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 http://kittysjones.wordpress.com
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.
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
This is a search engine, the link is for a “mental health” search round the Boroughs of SLaM
#RT via Matthew
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,
Patient & Public Involvement Lead – Mood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 020 3228 0959
113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ
The subject will be: Inpatient Services
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
THEN THIS MEETING IS FOR YOU
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.
Flyer here: MAY OPEN MEETING
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
15a Purley Road
Tel: 020 8681 6888
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 Peter.email@example.com
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.
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.
4 in 10 Project Coordinator
(Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)
The Metro Centre Ltd
N106 Westminster Business Square
1-45 Durham Street
Tel : 020 8305 5000
Mob: 07711 376 258
Fax: 020 8305 5001