Mood, Anxiety & Personality Services – SLaM mental health service user and carer advisory group – summary of discussions – September 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 Mood, Anxiety & Personality (MAP) 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 Service User and Carer Advisory Group is part of the Mood, Anxiety & Personality (MAP) Clinical Academic Group – an organisational structure which manages services for mood, anxiety & personality disorder across the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). Most advisory Group members have experience of using mental health services or of being a family member/carer of someone who does. Other members include senior managers.  We meet every month and our aim is to keep the views of service users 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:

1)    Ten service user/carer consultants were present at the September meeting, plus the Clinical Governance Project Officer, the Manager for Lewisham Services, the Manager for Southwark Services, and the Patient & Public Involvement Lead. Apologies were received from 5 service user/carer consultants and 3 staff members.

2)    Group members have been checking what it is like in reception areas of community teams.   We discussed their findings and agreed that it is important to make sure that real improvements arise from this work.  A smaller group will meet with the head of nursing to agree some overall objectives.  There will then be a workshop with service managers, advisory group members and receptionists to come up with local action plans to improve reception areas. We agreed that where training is recommended, it is important that service users and carers are involved in developing and delivering it.

3)    We heard about the initial findings of an audit of how people were discharged from Southwark Community Teams to primary care.  A group member has been involved in developing this work, in conjunction with the Southwark MIND User Council.  We noted the poor communication about discharge processes.  The next step will be to get some qualitative data by running some focus groups.

4)    We held a broader discussion about how services are set up, noting: ‘when you are getting better, you are at your most vulnerable as you are likely to have services reduced or removed. This promotes a culture where ill health is ‘rewarded’ with support’   We discussed a more flexible model where ‘the focus was on producing health rather than responding to illness and people using services were seen as assets with expertise as well as needs.’

5)    2 members fed back about the work they are doing around the personality disorder pathway. Key recommendations include:

  1. a.    people should be able to access what they need, at the point of need rather than signing up for a prescribed programme only
  2. b.    The emphasis should be on supporting wellbeing rather than crisis management
  3. c.    Services need to be realistic, financially viable and practical – perhaps a central hub – people may need to travel

There will be an outline paper for discussion and we have developed a plan to harness the views of a wider range of stakeholders to feed into the developments.

PDF version here: Briefing Sheet Sept 2013


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