Psychological medicine service user and carer advisory group – summary of discussions September meeting

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 advisory group produces a brief summary of their discussions.  The purpose  is to let interested people know what is being discussed.  Please circulate as appropriate.

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

The Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group (CAG) runs services across the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The services include emergency access services (such as home treatment services, A&E psychiatric liaison), complex care services (such as eating disorders, chronic fatigue, mother & baby services) and neurosciences services (such as brain injury). Advisory group members have experience of services either as service users or family members/carers.  We work with the senior managers to keep the views of service users & carers at the heart of all service developments and improvements.  To make sure that people know what we are discussing in our meetings, we have developed this short briefing sheet:

Five people with experience of using services or being a family member/carer were present at the September meeting.  Also present were the Patient & Public Involvement Lead, the Clinical Governance Project officer, the Southwark Home Treatment Manager and the Clinical Service Lead for Croydon Services.  Apologies were received from 2 service user consultants and one staff member.

We heard how staff at the brain injury unit were responding to feedback from patients by increasing activities on the ward and ensuring there is good internet access. They are exploring how to develop peer support in the unit, and will be evaluating the success of the carers support group.

Taking forward the work on policing and mental health, 2 members of the group have worked with the clinical governance officer to develop a set of questions which could be used to gauge people’s experience of the police when brought to hospital in a crisis.  Our next steps will be to prioritise the questions, and develop a firmer project proposal giving careful thought to how we will ask the questions, using focus groups and questionnaires.   We heard that the current training for police on mental health has little,if any, service user involvement and felt that this was an area for improvement.

Staff from the home treatment service gave examples of how teams are using the patient satisfaction questionnaires to improve services. Examples included developing clearer written plans for people using the service, improving information about the service and developing information to be given at discharge.

Members of the advisory group gave updates on the focussed work they have been doing on triage wards and the mother and baby unit.  Improvement action plans have been developed which are monitored through the management meetings. The advisory group was pleased to see the high level of completed actions from the mother and baby unit and disappointed that more progress had not been made by the triage wards.  The group is interested to hear what the barriers to progress are in this service area.

We heard about the SLaM’s equality priorities relating to patient experience. We heard that some groups of people are less likely to give positive feedback about their experience of services. We were invited to be part of a panel assessing good practice in addressing these areas.

One of our carers representatives fed back about the well attended ‘Empowering Family & Carers Event’. Carers will be raising concerns about staff guidance on confidentiality which does not adequately cover maintaining the confidentiality of the carer.

A group member highlighted the work on developing the single health & social care assessment and the forthcoming workshop to gain wider feedback

Members from the 3 adult mental health advisory groups will be coming together for a briefing on proposed changes to services and proposed changes to involvement structures within the trust.

Views and comments from SLaM service users and carers on any of the above issues, as well as feedback on how you would like the Psychological Medicine Service User & Carer Advisory Group to develop its strategic work with SLaM, are welcome.  Please contact Alice Glover, Patient & Public Involvement Lead on 0203 228 0959  or email

PDF version here: briefing – Sept 2013 – doc


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