Healthwatch Southwark – event held on 17th December 2013

On the 17th December 2013 Healthwatch Southwark hosted their “Building our network public forum” event at the Southwark Resource Centre.  Matthew kindly covered this event.

Matthew’s video blog is at:

Matthew’s audio blog is at:

The transcript of Matthew’s video and audio blog can be downloaded from:

Matthew’s photos of the event are on our Facebook site at:

All well worth a look.

Thank you Matthew.

Happy Christmas and see you at The Dragon Cafe in 2014

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas.

See you in 2014!


Peace and Good Will_19.12.13

It’s been an amazing 2013 for The Dragon Cafe and Mental Fight Club, and we would like to thank you all for your support along the way and wish you Health and Happiness now and in 2014.

Don’t forget that our fantastic musical fundraising continues with Tingle Jingle Mingle and David Meade’s ‘Come Over to the Dragon Cafe’.

More details and a chance to donate at

See you in 2014!

Declan McGill

Communications Manager

Mental Fight Club
‘Our Business is to Create’

Tel: 07813 900062

Working Days are Monday and Wednesday.

Health, Adult Social Care, Communities and Citizenship Scrutiny Sub-Committee – Survey


The Health Scrutiny Committee within Southwark council is keen to find out people’s experience of using health and social care services in Southwark. They would be very grateful if you would complete the brief survey (link also included below), which will be used to inform their report to the hospitals, doctors and health and social care commissioners.

Kind regards,

Membership, Engagement and Communications

NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group

Postal Address: 1st Floor, Hub 5, PO Box 64529 London SE1P 5LX

Base: 160 Tooley St London SE1 2QH


latest Lambeth & Southwark wellbeing e-bulletin

Dear All,
This is our last Public Health Lambeth & Southwark wellbeing e-bulletin of the year.

We take this opportunity to wish you a very relaxing season holiday and trust that the new year brings  peace and harmony to you and colleagues!!!!

 We invite you to visit our blog and check out interesting items such as :
* City bridge Trust growing Localities Awards  (deadline 31 january, 2014)
* Results on public attitudes towards mental illness- positive move!
* One in 10 health and wellbeings boards ignoring mental health
* ‘Our children desereve better: prevention pays’ the Chief medical officer’s annual report-
* Storm training for workers in Southwark and Lambeth
* New app helps users find a happy place
much more…

do not forget to keep me informed of your good work that you need to share with others so I can publish it on the blog.

please, visit:

Best wishes,

Anamaria Florin, MRSH
Mental Wellbeing Officer
Lambeth and Southwark Public Health


Cambridge House is a multi-purpose voluntary organisation founded as a settlement in 1889 by Cambridge University. Our mission remains to address poverty, disadvantage and discrimination by enabling individuals to realise their potential. Under this umbrella, the Children’s and Adults’ service was set up over 120 years ago as a group for local people with learning disabilities who work on developing clients’ social and life skills through creative methods.

In partnership with Sports England, London PE and School Sports Network, Cambridge House provides weekly sports sessions (Swimming and Trampolining) for young people with learning and/or physical disabilities aged 14 – 25 years old and living in Southwark.

We are seeking motivated volunteers with experience in working with clients with learning disabilities that are enthusiastic about fitness.


  • To assist staff to deliver a high quality programme to clients.
  • To support the delivery of our services to ensure that clients’ needs are met.

Main tasks

  • To engage clients in the activities (swimming and trampolining) offered.
  • To support the group ensuring clients’ personal safety and well-being is upheld whilst giving due regard to the quality of the experience provided.

The skills required for this role:

  • Can do approach.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Good communication skills.
  • A responsible attitude.

In return, Cambridge House will reimburse expenses of up to £10 p/day. This role provides a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience and have a better understanding of working with clients with learning disabilities. Working hours are between 4pm and 6pm on Tuesdays and Fridays during term time and we expect volunteers to commit to at least one term. All appointments will be subject to an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check and a two week trial period.

Via via Matthew

Funds cut for mental health trusts in England

By Michael Buchanan BBC News

Paramedic Emma Bardney from Nottinghamshire was diagnosed with complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a childhood trauma
Mental health trusts In England have had their funding cut by more than 2% in real terms over the past two years, figures show.

The BBC received data from 43 out of 51 mental health trusts following a Freedom of Information request.

The coalition has guaranteed the NHS budget will rise by 0.1% in real terms over the course of this parliament.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is warning that mental health services are near breaking point.

Separate data for the same period shows referrals to crisis and community mental health teams have risen by 16%.

Care & Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: “It is completely unacceptable for local commissioners to disadvantage mental health in the allocation of funds to local health services.

“This completely conflicts with the government’s clear position that there must be parity of esteem – equality – between mental and physical health. This must be a priority for NHS England to address.”

The revelations come just weeks after one of the country’s leading psychiatrists told BBC News that mental health services are unsafe and in crisis.

Comparing the total 2011/12 budgets with that for this year, 2013/14, there was a reduction of 2.36% in real terms. Of the 13 trusts that were able to provide indicative budgets for next year, 2014/15, 10 are expecting more cuts.

Prof Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Even small cuts at this time can have a disproportionately large effect on the welfare of our patients.

“The services are stretched to their limit and if they stretch any further, the elastic band is going to snap.”

Dr Martin McShane, from NHS England, said: “If you look at the figures, mental health trusts have taken more work on, they’re more productive, they’re delivering better value for the NHS.

“There are other parts of the system that are delivering services that might have been delivered by mental health trusts, such as psychological therapies.”

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind said the ultimate consequence of the cuts would be that people do not get the help they need in crisis.

That is certainly the experience of Emma Bardney, who has a complex post traumatic stress disorder, but says she’s been failed by her mental health trust.

“Its been really tough… fighting for the right to get better,” said the 42 year old paramedic.

“There’s been no community mental health support available to me. So my care plan has been sporadic out-patients with a consultant or crisis support and nothing in-between and the only way you can access support is when you are in crisis.

“So you have to get to a very low point before you get any type of support or help.”

The pressure on crisis and community health services is highlighted by information provided to the online journal Community Care.

Using data provided under a separate Freedom of Information request, they found that:

  • Budgets for ‘crisis resolution teams’ fell by 1.7% in real terms compared to 2011/12. Referrals rose 16%. These are the staff who provide intensive home treatment in an effort to prevent acutely unwell people being admitted to hospital.
  • Budgets for community mental health teams shrunk by 0.03% in real terms since 2011/12 but referrals have risen 13%. These teams give ongoing support to patients to prevent their health deteriorating to crisis point.

“Mind hears all the time from people who have lost the community health care that was helping them to cope and who now find themselves unable to get through to their local crisis team,” said Paul Farmer.

“They feel ‘fobbed off’ when they do, because there simply aren’t enough staff to cope with the numbers of people in desperate need of help.”

An analysis of the board papers of mental health trusts and reports from the Care Quality Commission shows the problems in the system:

  • Patients in Cornwall receiving dismissive advice, with one being told “I am the only one working, don’t kill yourself on my shift”.
  • Community health teams in Bradford complaining of “unmanageably high caseloads”.
  • Patients in need of an urgent assessment in Barnet, north London, not being seen for five weeks.
  • Crisis teams in Kent spending as little as 10 minutes with patients. Mental health services in England are facing budget cuts despite the government’s promise to protect health spending.

Via via Andrea

keeping people updated about the proposed changes to Lewisham Adult Mental Health Services

Hello everyone,

In November, we held the Mental Health and Wellbeing Stakeholders Day.  Around 200 people attended.   At the event this year, we held focussed discussions about some changes to community adult mental health services.  We also invited people to give their views during November & December – see attached information sheet.

Information about proposed changes to Lewisham adult mental health services

I would like to let you know about a meeting we are holding in January (see attached flyer) to keep people informed and involved in the process.   Please do circulate to those who you feel may be interested.

A4 flyer – stakeholder feedback Jan 2014

With best wishes


Alice Glover

Patient & Public Involvement Lead – Mood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG
email: tel: 020 3228 0959

113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ

Season’s Greetings from CoolTan Arts!

Festive Gift Ideas from CoolTan Arts

Still not decided what to buy your nearest and dearest this year? CoolTan Arts has a few ideas to inspire you!
Click here to visit our new online shop where you can purchase greeting cards, textiles, tote bags, books and more. Our products are made from original artworks, beautifully designed by participants and volunteers from CoolTan’s art workshops and produced to a very high quality. You will be pleased to know that when purchasing your gift 100% of the profits will go towards supporting people with mental distress.

Please note: no orders can be sent out between December 19th and January 6th.

Shop Online and Support CoolTan Arts!

If you shop online, you can now raise money for CoolTan Arts at no extra cost to you!
We have registered with who have partnered with over 1,200 shops that will pay us a donation every time a purchase is made. It will not cost you a penny more and it is free to sign up. In fact you could even save money as there are thousands of discount codes too!

You still buy directly from your favourite shops, including Amazon,, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Vodafone and many more – you just visit them through the website to create a donation for us! All you need to do is go to and sign up. Once you have signed up, click on ‘Find a Charity or Community’ from your Quick links box, and choose CoolTan Arts.

Thank you for your continued support!

Join us for CoolTan’s Christmas Party

It’s nearly the holiday season, come and celebrate with us at CoolTan’s Christmas Party!

Friday 13th December, 5-9pm at CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.

We’d be delighted if you could join us and celebrate the last year. It will be a fun, friendly evening with refreshments, presents and karaoke! If possible please bring some food and drink to share together, veggie, vegan, wheat and nut free options all very welcome. We will also be swapping gifts in a Secret Santa at the party, to take part please bring a gift costing £1 or less to put under the tree.

Please RSVP to or phone 020 7701 2696 to let us know you are coming along.

All welcome!

Please consider a Christmas gift for CoolTan Arts

We’ve had a fantastic year and run some really exciting projects, in spite of severe funding cuts. Please help us continue to do what we do by making a donation to CoolTan Arts this Christmas. You can …

  • donate securely using JustGiving
  • download a form for one-off or monthly donations
  • donate by text: Simply send COOL96 £3 to 70070 to make a £3 donation, or any other £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. It’s quick and simple!

A Huge Thank You to All Our Supporters!

This festive season, we send a big thank you to all our donors, funders, supporters, and to all the people who give their time and energy to CoolTan Arts and make what we do possible. We couldn’t do it without you!

CoolTan Arts believes mental wellbeing is enhanced by the power of creativity.

Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Rd London  SE17 1JE
T: 0207 701 2696
M: 0798 565 8443
Twitter: @cooltan4

Registered charity number 1064231
Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales reg. 3244552

Demeaning work test for disabled people should be scrapped

12 December 2013

The demeaning ‘fitness for work’ work test for disabled people should be scrapped, PCS says following publication of an independent review.

The work capability assessment is not designed to support people into employment, but to cut their benefit entitlement, the union says.

Last week the appeal court upheld a ruling that the tests discriminate against claimants with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism.

The government has failed to implement all the recommendations in the first three independent reviews into the WCA.

The fact that this fourth review, published today (12), contains 37 recommendations – including some basic things such as allowing claimants to see what is being written about them – shows how flawed the test is.

The union’s view – shared by the TUC, the British Medical Association, a range of disabled people’s organisations and more than 120 MPs – is that the assessments are not fit for purpose and should be scrapped.

There is mounting anecdotal evidence showing people are being found “fit for work” so denied employment and support allowance and put onto jobseeker’s allowance. They are then denied that because they are not able to start work or meet the conditionality requirements of JSA.

Sanctions for disabled people claiming ESA have increased by 156% in the last year.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “No one joined the employment service to administer a system designed to harass people and take benefits away.

“Our members want to support people into work and claim the benefits to which they are entitled. But, consistent with the government’s approach to social security, these tests are not designed to help people and they should be scrapped.”


Musical Inspirations and calls for Donations to The Dragon This Christmas


Want to take part or support with a donation?

The tingling triumph of the triangle trio in November and Sarah’s talk about needing funding and awareness for The Dragon Café somehow gave birth to a fun (ambitious?) little project.

During the advent period (starting 1st December 2013), Phillipa and Louise have launched Tingle Jingle Mingle as videos of people playing the triangle each day – one person on 1st, two on the 2nd, twenty five on the 25th.

Want to join in and bring your friends?

Contact Phillipa and Louise at: for more information and daily updates. for videos.

If this has given you some festive cheer than maybe you would like to spread the joy by making a donation to help us to continue inspiring at The Dragon Cafe into 2014 and beyond.

Go to our homepage

and click on the DONATE button.

Many Thanks!

Come Over to the DC_Mailchimp Tingle Jingle Mingle_Dec.13_Image

Southwark Consultation on the future of Day Opportunities

Dear all,

Please find below a link to the report from the consultation, i.e. from the focus groups, the information meetings and the written responses.

Statement from Southwark Council:

“Southwark Council and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) welcome the findings from the consultation on the future of mental health day opportunities in Southwark.

“This comprehensive and wide ranging programme of engagement led by Experts by
Experience has provided a rich and detailed response to the proposals set out in the original report. The analysis and accompanying report will shape and inform the development of the final model. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who commented on the consultation and to E by E for the effort and expertise they have brought to bear on this project and the helpful conclusions and insights that have emerged.”

Report via:

Summary of discussions – SLaM service user and carer advisory group for mood, anxiety & personality disorder services

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 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)    Six service user/carer consultants were present at the November meeting, plus two Clinical Governance Project Officers, and the Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) Lead . Apologies were received from 7 service user/carer consultants and 4 staff members.

2)    Following our interest in the process of discharge, we have arranged to continue our discussions with the Lambeth head of pathway in December.  In January, we will also meet to discuss progress on the Southwark Discharge audit and recommendations to improve the implementation of the process.

3)    We heard that the workshop with staff and advisory group members to improve reception areas was productive.  Reception staff from all boroughs except Lewisham attended and action plans were developed.   We will be monitoring progress in this area, and identifying any actions that can be developed across the clinical academic group.  Group members found it interesting to hear the perspective of receptionists.

4)    We agreed that group members would visit teams to talk to them about the importance of getting and using feedback from service users.  Members that are interested in this work will first need to understand more about the current feedback system Patient Experience Data Intelligence Centre (PEDIC).  We highlighted the fact that questionnaires are just one way of getting feedback and more qualitative information can be gained through focus groups or user forums.

5)    4 members of our group and other service user consultants will join staff to visit services to check on quality.  3 members of the group have contributed to the development of the checklist which will be used.  The reviews will be reported back both to the advisory group and to management.

6)    We heard how the work to develop the personality disorder pathway has been on hold while the appointment of the new clinical director has been finalised.  The advisory group has asked to meet the new clinical director – Dr. Hugh Jones as soon as possible.

7)    A group member has been involved in the engagement work to understand more about people’s experience of services if they have a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder or recurrent depression. A series of focus groups are being held, but it has been agreed that the engagement will be ongoing as the work is developed.

8)    Advisory group members have been asked to try out the self assessment section of the new integrated health & social care assessment.

PDF here: Briefing Sheet November 2013

Mind in Croydon on BBC1

Hi Twig Ops,

Last Wednesday the Active Minds football group had a few select guests over for our training session.

Karthi Gnanasegaram came down with a Match of the Day  film crew and was joined by Joel Ward of Crystal Palace FC to record a piece about the benefits of the football group Mind in Croydon run in partnership with the Crystal Palace Foundation.

They spoke to Michael Harrington of the Crystal Palace Foundation, Mind in Croydon Chief Executive Richard Pacitti and team captain Paul Richards all to a backdrop of our players displaying their ‘silky’ skills before Joel Ward joined us for a kickabout.

This went out on match of the Day last Sunday but for anyone who missed it there’s a link below

many thanks

Peter Rogers

Active Minds – Mind in Croydon

Orchard House, 15a Purley Road

South Croydon, CR2 6EZ

t: 020 8253 8206

m: 07754 828053



At Last, A Report That Skewers Iain Duncan Smith’s Welfare Policies

This article titled “At last, a report that skewers Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare policies” was written by Alex Andreou, for on Monday 9th December 2013 18.02 UTC

Today Iain Duncan Smith is being questioned by the Commons work and pensions committee on universal credit, after finally admitting last week that the scheme’s targets had been “reset”. Last week, the petition calling for a cumulative impact assessment of the way welfare reform affects sick and disabled people, known as the WOW petition, passed 100,000 signatures, triggering its consideration for debate by the backbench business committee. To add to Duncan Smith’s woes, the well-respected Centre for Welfare Reform has released details of its report, How Norms Become Targets, which exposes the myth that Atos, the private company responsible for assessing the needs of people unable to work, does not do so on the basis of targets.

Today also sees the publication of the stunning People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment (pdf). It has been compiled by the anonymous organisation, We Are Spartacus, whose activism in this area has been hugely empowering. The report is a collection of statistics surrounding welfare reform and reactions of MPs, charities and professional groups to the way in which it has been administered. An almanac of condemnation, if you will. Most importantly, the report compiles statements from sick and disabled people actually going through the system.

These are most encouraging developments and point to a sea-change in the way our democracy works in this internet age. There is no doubt that without extensive use of the internet and social media, the compilation of such a detailed report would have been impossible and its publication unnoticed. For too long, this group of most vulnerable people, many of them with serious health and mobility problems, have been too easy a target for cost-cutting governments of all hues to demonise, recalibrate and victimise. This is no longer the case. Vulnerable people have grabbed the issue by the scruff of the neck and are taking the fight to the government. It is inspirational and points the way to a level of democratisation hitherto unseen.

I encourage you to read the report. It is packed with striking statistics and heartrending stories, in the words of people being put through this inhuman and degrading assessment. It contains the stories of those who can no longer speak, having taken their own lives or succumbed to their illness, while being hounded by the very department which is meant to protect them, people like Peter whose leg fused as a result of injury and, having suffered a stroke which meant he couldn’t grip with one hand, received a text telling him to attend the Jobcentre. He sent his partner a text which read “I give up”. He was found hanging at his home.

It contains incredibly powerful quotes which show that dissatisfaction with Atos is spread across MPs of all parties. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP, said of the assessment procedure: “Not surprisingly, it adds to their [claimants] sense of worthlessness – already stoked by a longstanding political narrative from both sides of the political divide that they are ‘shirkers, not workers’ or a drain on Britain’s ‘hardworking people’. They are neither.”

It contains tragic and often simultaneously humorous stories of ridiculous assessment reports, like the one on a 59-year-old woman who had had a hysterectomy following cervical cancer, which observed: “There is no evidence that the client is currently pregnant.” Or the one which concluded that someone who took an overdose of medication the previous night had “no current thoughts of self harm”.

This programme of welfare reform was always doomed to fail for a very simple reason. The purpose of welfare is to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable; its reform must have their interests at heart, rather than cost-cutting targets. Proper reform costs money. Duncan Smith himself recognised this simple fact before he came into power. In 2009, explaining his proposed reforms, he recognised that they would lead to a rise in the welfare bill in the short-term.

Iain Duncan Smith’s fall from grace, because of a botched IT system which has already caused £140m to be written off, is properly a cause of both frustration and comedy – like Al Capone being arrested for tax evasion. But I must ask, we all must ask: how many of the vulnerable people mentioned in the Spartacus report would still be alive today if that money has been properly spent?


Christmas Appeal for Vulnerable Southwark Children

Our parental mental health team is appealing for donations of Christmas presents for vulnerable children.

The team works with some of the most vulnerable families in Southwark and want to make sure that all the children in the families they see receive at least one Christmas present this year. They are appealing for new toys suitable for children aged up to five years old.

Lucy Brazener, Team Manager, said: “Christmas is a time for celebration and we want to make sure that all the children we see have at least one present so they can enjoy it just as much as everyone else. Some of our families really don’t have very much and may be struggling.

“Toys are not only a way for a child to have fun; they stimulate them and help with their development and Christmas is a brilliant time to make sure that they have the toys and the fun they need.”

The parental mental health team is a nurse-led service, jointly run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and Southwark Council, which works to provide help and support for parents who have children under five and are experiencing mental distress.

The team recognises the needs of parents as individuals with mental health problems and the needs of their children. They aim to promote positive parenting and minimise the impact their mental health difficulties may have on their children through supporting the parent.

The team will see parents with a range of mental health problems and they often work jointly with other community teams and children’s services. This service is available for any Southwark parent and service users are referred from a variety of different health services.

Any donations should be sent by Friday 20 December to:

Parental Mental Health Team Christmas Appeal

General Office

Maudsley Hospital

Denmark Hill



For more information about the appeal or about referrals to the team please contact Lucy Brazener on