Don’t tell me the mental health system isn’t in crisis – I’ve been in it

Vulnerable people like me are being put at risk by cuts to essential services, and I’ve already given up trying to get support

The mental health system is in crisis. It’s a car crash waiting to happen.

That’s according to Prof Sue Bailey, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in an interview earlier this week. Her comments came a day before the British Medical Association’s annual meeting, where delegates were told that cuts to mental health services are resulting in avoidable deaths and suicides. Sadly, neither of these stories told me anything I didn’t already know. I’ve seen at first-hand how the mental health system is failing vulnerable people. For many of us dealing with mental illness, the car crash has already happened.

In fact, my experiences of mental health care were so bad that a few years ago I completely gave up on trying to get support. I’d been going through a period of severe anxiety and had waited for months to see a therapist. But after a few sessions, she told me she was being transferred. I’d have to go back on the waiting list and start all over again.

The whole experience made my anxiety worse, so I decided I’d be better off looking after myself. That can be a real challenge because I have a long-term and serious mental illness, schizoaffective disorder. Sometimes I struggle and need support, but like many people with mental health issues, I find it difficult to ask for help. That’s partly because of the stigma around mental illness, but it’s also because I’m afraid of going back into the mental health system.

It’s been the same story since I first tried to get help when I was 17. I was feeling suicidal, but the waiting lists were so long that I didn’t get the therapy I needed. If I’d had a serious physical illness, I’d have been treated within 18 weeks, but there are no maximum waiting times for mental illness, so people can wait for years to get support. Many people miss out altogether.

My mental health gradually got worse, until eventually I reached crisis point and had a breakdown. I was taken to A&E after being found walking down the middle of a busy dual carriageway. There were no beds available, so they just sent me away with a handful of Valium.

After that I gave up hope, and decided to end my own life. Luckily for me, a stranger stopped me and talked me out of it. He gave me a simple message of hope – that I could get better. I’d never been told that before, and it changed everything for me.

From that day, things started to improve, and earlier this year I launched a campaign to find the good Samaritan who’d helped me. My search was made into a documentary, Finding Mike. Since then I’ve been inundated with messages from people who’ve been through the same kind of thing. It really brought home to me how much we’re all affected by mental health issues. All of us know someone who’s faced mental illness. But too often people tell me they’ve been let down by the system.

The fact is that not enough money is spent on care. Mental health accounts for around 23% of the disease burden in the UK, but gets just 13% of the NHS budget. Worse still, spending on mental health has been slashed even further over the past few years.

It is not just people with mental illness that have been let down. I know many doctors and nurses who feel incredibly frustrated that they can’t provide the care they want to because of the cuts.

We can improve the system, but the government needs to listen to the patients, carers and organisations who know the system best.

Research by the charity Rethink Mental Illness shows that early intervention services – which help people from the moment they become ill – make a huge difference in helping patients recover, and also save the NHS money. With the right treatment, people can get better. But instead of getting much-needed investment, these services are facing major cuts. It means that millions of people are suffering because they can’t get support, and each day 16 people in the UK take their own lives.

That’s why we must keep putting pressure on the government until it takes real action to give people with mental illness the care that we deserve. At the moment I’m going through another period of anxiety, and I should feel that I can get the support I need. It’s not right that people like me so often go through this alone.

Via Bridget via

Free training sessions for Southwark Patients and residents


We now have new dates for our patient training sessions that will be taking place in July. Copies of the flyers are attached to this email for your information.

Patient Leadership training – 16 July 2014 – Poster

Patient Leader Skills training – 23 July 2014 – Poster

These sessions are being run again following the high demand and interest in them when they ran earlier in the year. You can see details about the events on our public website too.

As part of National Patient Participation group week this week we also held an event on Tuesday to share skills and knowledge between practices. Thank you to all of the patients and practice staff who came along and helped to make it a really engaging session. You can find the presentations and resources from the event on our website under ‘Developing the patient voice’.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Daniel Blagdon

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


Telephone: 020 7525 7888

Media: 020 3049 3333

Out of Hours Media07876 448 602

Looking for stories

doorways flyer

IDS loses legal appeal to keep universal credit problems secret

By  Thursday, 26 June 2014 10:32 AM  16

Iain Duncan Smith’s latest effort to prevent the publication of documents warning of the dangers of universal credit has been dismissed by a judge.

You can see the desperation quite clearly now. IDS’ team are throwing any old legal argument at the wall to see if it will stick. The judge’s casual dismissal of the arguments seems to show a flicker of resentment at having to hear them at all.

Quick recap: The information commissioner ruled the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) should release documents about the progress of universal credit, an assessment of independent reviews and a record of problems with it. He ruled against the release of a risk register – a department document listing possible problems with the scheme – but a tribunal overruled him and said it too should be published.

Basically, this is IDS’ worst nightmare: documentary evidence of the problems his department imagined universal credit could have, the scale of the problems which eventually transpired, and proof of whether they deliberately misled the public about the progress of the programme.

The DWP insisted publication would have a “chilling effect” on the working of the department – a standard defence against disclosure last used by Andrew Lansley to prevent publication of the risk register into his disastrous NHS reforms. The information tribunal ruled there was no evidence of that but that there was “strong public interest” in publication.

IDS appealed, as the government always does in these things.  The DWP’s first argument was that the tribunal misunderstood the nature of the chilling effect and the evidence needed to support that argument.

Judge Wikeley gave it short shrift.

“[The chilling effect] is a well known concept, and I can see no support for the argument that the tribunal misunderstood its meaning. The opening sentence of paragraph 62 might perhaps have been better phrased, but it seems to me still some way from suggesting an arguable error of law. The tribunal was surely saying that whilst it heard Ms Cox’s [Sarah Cox, director of Universal Credit programme coordination, witness for the DWP] claim that disclosure would have a chilling effect, neither she nor the department provided any persuasive evidence to that effect.”

“In my view the tribunal here has done exactly what it is meant to do when weighing up the competing considerations in the application of the public interest test. It is plain from its comprehensive and cogent reasons that it has considered the evidence… applied its expertise and reached a decision that the chilling effect argument was unpersuasive.”

The DWP’s second argument – and this is where they get really desperate – is for ‘perversity. This states that the tribunal reached a decision which no reasonable tribunal, on a proper appreciation of the evidence and the law, would have reached. It’s obviously a very high threshold which they did little to reach.

Judge Wikeley found:

“This challenge, in my assessment, does not get near clearing this high hurdle. The tribunal identified the relevant issues, analysed the material evidence, made its findings and in that context reached its conclusions, explaining why it had done so. It seems to me its approach was entirely sustainable. The perversity ground is not arguable.”

Finally they tried to argue, weirdly, that the tribunal had not given due weight to the expertise of the DWP’s witness, Ms Cox. This was irrelevant, Judge Wikeley found. He said:

“An appeal to the upper tribunal is confined to a point of law. Upper tribunal judges cannot substitute their own view of the facts for that taken by the tribunal – not least as the tribunal is an expert tribunal in this specialist field. In my view this proposed ground of appeal, as with the second, adds nothing to the first ground of appeal on the chilling effect. I conclude it is not arguable.”

So there you have it. God knows how much taxpayer money dedicated to making these frivolous legal appeals – all in a bid to save the work and pension’s secretary’s blushes.

When we ask the Home Office, they refuse to answer. I’ll fire off a Freedom of Information request to the DWP on their legal costs later today, but I doubt the answer will be any different. The government is very good at not recording data it wishes to remain secret.

When there are disability benefits which need cutting, every pound counts. When it’s the secretary of state who needs saving, the government’s wallet bursts at the seams.


Healthwatch Lewisham June Newsletter

In this month’s edition: Our first annual report, Enter and View updates, Healthwatch inquiry into discharge processes, updates, Chair recruitment opportunities and much more!
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Upbeat 13, June 2014


Healthwatch Lewisham aims to discover and champion the local community’s honest views about their health and social care services.

We present those views and feedback to service providers, commissioners and local decision makers in order to help improve services.

We are also a signposting service – helping you to find out what health and social care services are available locally.

Team Updates

Healthwatch Lewisham is looking for a Chair, it could be YOU!

Healthwatch Lewisham is appointing a Chair. We are looking for someone with an understanding of the importance of user involvement, some governance experience and most importantly a passion for promoting better health and social care for local people.  Local knowledge would be helpful but not essential. For full details and to download the recruitment pack go to our website.

Enter and View

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, local Healthwatch have the power to carry out announced and unannounced visits to publically funded health and social care providers.

To read Healthwatch Lewisham’s recent Enter and View reports on the Lady Well Unit and Lewisham Hospital’s A&E, along with the provider’s response, please visit our website where all recent reports are published.

This month Healthwatch Lewisham will be carrying out Enter and View visits across outpatient clinics in Lewisham Hospital to monitor the quality of the discharge process.

Book now – Enter and View Training 

Enter and View visits are conducted by Healthwatch to health and social care services to observe and assess the service being provided.

We are looking to train a pool of volunteers to collect the views of service users (patients and residents), carers and staff at the point of service delivery and to observe the nature and quality of services. This is a full day training which will be held in central Lewisham on 10th July 2014.

If you are interested and would like to apply, please contact Jade on
020 3417 4727 or email


Winning the Best Community Healthcare for Lewisham

A recent report published this month says “The NHS has been declared the world’s best healthcare systems by an international panel of experts…. The NHS also outperforms the other countries – which include France, Germany and Canada – in managing the care of people who are chronically ill”

Over the past three months Healthwatch Lewisham, the Save Lewisham Campaign and others have collected over 100 stories of the brilliant community health care which takes place in Lewisham every day.  We are determined to maintain excellent existing care and develop even better care in the future.  The stories are part of an inquiry which ends on 28th June. The next Healthwatch Lewisham Reference Group to be held on Tuesday the 29th of June, 10.30-2pm at the Council Chambers in the Civic Suite, Catford. It will focus on the plan of action which emerges from the inquiry. Commissioners will be attending.

We hope as many people as possible will come on the 29th and contribute to the inquiry and help win the best community health care in Lewisham. If you would like more information please contact:

Healthwatch Lewisham conduct review of District Nursing Service User Feedback

Healthwatch Lewisham conducted a review of service user feedback about the district nursing service user feedback to inform and influence the Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Community Based Nursing Strategy. The report is now available to read on our website. If you have an experience you would like to share about the district nursing system please get in touch with our team.

Access to Primary Care

Healthwatch Lewisham has continued to carry out community engagement across the borough to find out about their views on accessing primary care.

Over the next two months Healthwatch Lewisham will be carrying out engagement directly in GP surgeries, and producing a report of all our findings on Access to Primary Care. Watch this space!

Working to improve Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Healthwatch partners with the Lewisham  Big Lottery Fulfilling Lives: HeadStart Programme

Healthwatch has become a partner in Lewisham’s bid for the ‘Fulfilling Lives: HeadStart Programme’.   Lewisham is one of twelve areas in the country to consider how best to improve resilience in young people aged 10 – 14 years. This is an opportunity to create a step change in young people’s wellbeing in this area over the next five years and could potentially provide funding of up to £10.5m over five years to build resilience and improve the mental health of young people.

Lewisham will find out at the end of June whether the second stage application has been successful. In the meantime you can read the programme’s overview here. We are also inviting parents in Lewisham to tell us about how they can spot emotional problems affecting their young people and where they currently go to access support. The survey takes around 5-10 minutes to complete and can be downloaded here. We would be happy to provide paper copies.

Healthwatch Lewisham News

Healthwatch Lewisham’s first annual report is now available

Healthwatch Lewisham’s first annual report is now available on our website. The annual report gives an overview of all the work carried out between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014. We would welcome your feedback on the report and suggestions of how to build on the great work that has been done so far. The Healthwatch Chair and team we will be presenting the report at the next Health and Wellbeing meeting held on the 3rd of July.

Then What? Healthwatch Lewisham launches their local inquiry into discharge processes

At Healthwatch Lewisham we are currently focusing on people’s experiences of leaving hospital or a community care service; we call this the discharge process. We are trying to gather feedback from as many people as possible to understand what works and what doesn’t in the discharge process.

If you have an experience that you could tell us about or know someone who does, we have created an online survey. It is anonymous and we will not publish any information to identify you. The combined findings will be shared with managers and commissioners of health and care services in Lewisham. Our findings will contribute towards a national inquiry being run by Healthwatch England.

If you would prefer to write to us, request a paper copy or speak to somebody directly about your experience please email

In addition to the above survey Healthwatch Lewisham will be undertaking an Enter and View Visit, and interviews. We also plan to hold a focus group on the topic. If you would like to get involved or can support us in this inquiry please get in touch.

The Deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday the 9th of July. 

Click here to see the survey.

Healthwatch Lewisham Reference Group 3rd of June

Notes from Healthwatch Lewisham’s last Reference Group meeting are now available on our website. Topics included with NHS England’s Robin Burgess, Mental Health and the Health and Wellbeing Board. Find the discussion notes here.

The next Reference Group Meeting will be held on Tuesday the 29th of July 10.30-2pm at the Council Chambers in the Civic Suite, Catford.

Our Sub Committee Meetings are now open to the public. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday the 23rd of July 5.30-7pm at the Civic Suite, Catford.

Volunteer Awards

Healthwatch nominated volunteer and new committee member, Denver Garrison for Lewisham Volunteer Awards. The Volunteer Centre Lewisham held a Volunteer Awards Ceremony during Volunteers’ Week, 1st – 7th June 2014. Healthwatch wrote that she is an outstanding volunteer, always going that extra mile. Well done Denver!

Local Health & Social Care News

Join the Lewisham Health Improvement Team for a FREE 8-week  Shape Up Weight Management Programmes

Shape Up is a lifestyle programme that helps participants and their family improve their health, manage their weight issues and improve their quality of life. Click here to find out more information.

Family Action begins new Peer Support Project for Young Carers in Lewisham

New support will be offered in Lewisham to Young Carers between the ages of 12 to 21 years of age to develop important life skills and discover a life outside their caring role.

Volunteers Needed!

The programme is looking for male mentors/buddies who can support young people (aged 10-24) who are juggling school or work with looking after sick and disabled siblings and or parents.

Further info about the Family Action Peer Support Project can be found by calling 020 8690 3636  or Informational leaflets can be found on our website.

Talking Quality in Health and Social Care in Lewisham

Almost 100 local residents participated in Lewisham’s first people’s summit on quality in health and social care. They joined local councillors and healthcare representatives at the Civic Suite in Catford on Saturday 29 March 2014.

Residents took part in lively and creative discussions about what quality in health and social care means to them and gave their ideas of what it could look like in the future. Their input from the day was recorded using visual minutes as well as a film and written notes.

Julie Bailey, a national champion of active patient involvement, who was awarded the CBE the day before, spoke at the event.  She urged residents to take the opportunity to be involved and have their voices heard in health and social care.

Ms Bailey said:

“This is the very first Patient Quality Summit I have attended.  I attend many summits with professionals and it is a fantastic opportunity to have a summit for patients and carers.”

John Muldoon, Lewisham Borough Councillor and Chair of the Healthier Communities Select Committee, said:

“I am delighted to see this level of engagement has been so successful, yet another example of this innovative approach Lewisham CCG is developing to include service users in its planning process.”

The event was organised by Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group, London Borough of Lewisham, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Healthwatch Lewisham.  It was designed to listen to the views that patients, carers and members of the public have about providing health and social care in Lewisham.

A full report from the event will be published soon and will be featured in future Healthwatch Lewisham news.

South East London Doctors’ Cooperative (ELDOC) are developing a new website.

SELDOC has recently commissioned a website design company to update the SELDOC branding, along with redeveloping the SELDOC internet website. They would like input from members of Healthwatch in completing a brief so the company can better understand requirements. There is a small Survey Monkey questionnaire for  a number of the key questions which can be found by clicking this link.  (please can Healthwatch members note their organisation in the ‘Additional Comments’ section).

Volunteers providing information at the Adult Health and Social Care Forum.Shaping Health Services in South East London

The NHS has six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in south east London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark).  They are working together with commissioning leads from NHS England – London, and in close partnership with local authorities, hospitals, community health services, mental health services, patients, carers and local people on a five year strategy to improve health services across south east London. We are inviting people who live or work in south east London to apply to join our patient and public voices, and be at the centre of shaping and informing this clinically-driven strategy for local health services with us.

There are opportunities to join one of the groups working on planned health care, maternity services, children and young people, long term conditions – physical and mental health, primary and community care, cancer, and urgent and emergency care. Or to work with one of the strategic (planning) groups who provide overall governance and direction for local health strategy: Partnership Group; Clinical Executive Group; or Clinical Commissioning Board. All these groups meet regularly at central London venues and usually during daytime working hours.

We are particularly keen to hear from people who can bring the perspective from south east London’s communities whose voices are seldom heard in healthcare planning, and people who can contribute our strong commitment to equalities and diversity.

If you are interested in knowing more about any of these roles, please contact Laura Luckhurst on 0203 049 9916 or e-mail

The deadline for completed applications is 5 pm on Friday 27th June 2014.

Do you know a Child that has been affected by Domestic Abuse?

The Community Groups Programme Lewisham is offering a 12 week integrated community group programme for children and their mothers who have been affected by domestic abuse. For more information please contactFor more information please contact:

“Me and My Community” Train the Trainer Course: A Better Start for Lewisham

Would you like to deliver a fun and friendly course that enables local parents to become involved in supporting others in their community?

•    Build their confidence
•    Develop their assertiveness skills
•    Help them discover new talents and potential
•    Develop their active listening skills
•    Develop community awareness
•    Nurture motivation to contribute to their community
•    Offer them a pathway into a variety of local volunteering opportunities

More information can be found on our website.

Free Dyslexia Awareness Training Available in Lewisham

As a parent or carer, would you recognise a child who is dyslexic? Would you know how to support them at home and discuss their needs with the school?

If you would like to know more, sign up for a free half day training course. More information available on our website.

National Health and Social Care News

Have you used the ambulance service in the last three months?

A project is being launched by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) to investigate changes in the use of ambulance services in England. The use of ambulance services has been increasing over the past decade and by conducting this project, AACE hope to get a better understanding of how the ambulance service is being used.

AACE would like to conduct interviews with people who have recently used the ambulance service (i.e. within the last three months) to explore why patients choose to call 999. If you agree to take part, you will be asked a number of questions about the occasion on which you called for an ambulance and about any other services you may have contacted for help prior to calling 999.

If you would like to take part in an interview, please contact Melanie Edwards on 020 7783 2588 or at .  You will be contacted to arrange a suitable time for the interview, which will be conducted by telephone and will last between 30-60 minutes.

All information is treated as confidential and the information you provide will only be seen by the project team.

A better life for older people with high support needs: the role of social care

A good quality of life is something that everyone wants for older people. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has identified seven key challenges that need to be met for older people with high support needs, so that they can achieve a better quality of life.
Read the summaries of the seven key challenges published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence here.

YoungMinds and CAMHS seek participation of Parents and Carers to improve mental health services for children and young people.

YoungMinds is working with NHS England to support the participation of parents and carers in improving mental health services for children and young people.

If you are a parent or carer interested in helping shape how parents can participate to improve the delivery of care in CAMHS please email

For more information visit our website

YoungMinds Parent Helpline.

The YoungMinds Parents’ Helpline offers free confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25.

You can call Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm on 0808 802 5544. Free to mobiles and landlines. For more information click on this link.

HeadMeds is a new website, developed by YoungMinds, to provide young people with accessible, useful information about mental health medication.

Public Involvement Update from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 

New NICE guidance has recently been published: Managing overweight and obesity in adults – lifestyle weight management services. Helping to put the guidance into practice for the CVS sector. Read the fact sheet here.

Developing NICE guidelines – the manual: public feedback needed

The first edition of a manual for developing all NICE guidelines is now available in draft form. Registered NICE stakeholders, members of NICE guideline development committees, and members of the public are invited to comment on the provisional manual. The first draft of the manual can be found here. Consultation ends 30 June 2014

Did you participate in the NHS Change Day?

July 4th (the day before the NHS’ birthday) the NHS community is joining together for a Celebration Day that will provide an opportunity to share with others and the world, the difference made for both patient and staff experience in health and social care. Read here for more details.

UK Disabled People’s Manifesto: Reclaiming Our Futures

The aim of this manifesto – developed by disabled people and their organisations across the UK – is to map the key principles, demands and commitments that disabled people and our allies can use in campaigning and lobbying. It calls on the Westminster and devolved Governments to recognise and act on their responsibilities in fully implementing the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) effectively across the UK.

The full report can be found here.

Care Act – have your say on draft regulations and guidance

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill, the Care Bill received Royal Assent on 14 May. In brief, the new Act reforms the law relating to care and support for adults and the law relating to support for carers, and makes provision about safeguarding adults from abuse or neglect and about care standards.

Of particular importance to people working in the housing sector is Chapter 15. This chapter focusses on integration, co-operation and partnerships and makes specific references to housing. The deadline for responses is 15 August. For more details click here.

Community Notice Board

Please check our ‘events’ section on our website to find out about all upcoming health and social care events.

Join Wheels for Wellbeing to try, 2,3,4 wheeled cycles and hand cycles at the Ladywell Day Centre Sports Hall on Tuesdays 12 to 1 for adults & kids. Ladywell Day Centre Sports Hall, 148 Dressington Avenue, SE4 1JF. 020 7346 8482 or You’ll need to fill out a registration form at your first session or you can download one here and bring it with you or email it in advance. Pre- booking required. Cost £3 (carer FREE). Parking There’s free parking on site but you’ll need to pick up a parking permit from Ladywell Day Centre reception.

CYP Forum
The next Children and Young People’s Voluntary Sector Forum, which will be meeting on Tuesday 15th July 10am-1pm. It will be held at the Riverside Youth Centre, Grove Street, Deptford, SE8 3QQ. The Forum event is entitled ‘Building Safer Communities for Children and Young People in Lewisham’. To register please follow this link.

Lewisham’s Young People’s Substance Misuse Service
Lewisham’s Young People’s Substance Misuse Service offers free, confidential advice and information about drugs and alcohol for young people aged 10-21 years old. Lewisham YPSMS provides specialist treatment for young people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing problematic drug or alcohol use. They also offer support services to the parents, carers and significant others of the young person.
Phone: 020 8297 7941. Email: For more information visit our website.

Women’s Mental Health

‘I am more than one thing’ is a new report from Women’s Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC) that explores issues around women’s mental health. The report builds on existing evidence to highlight women’s experiences of poor mental health and wellbeing and their interactions with the mental health system. It also aims to identify support needs or barriers that women encounter in the process of seeking support across the voluntary and statutory sector.

Let’s B Well is a community resources website aimed at providing information to people with mental illness, their carers and other healthcare professionals in the South East London area. Our information is updated regularly. We are funded by charitable organisations, primarily NHS’s Maudsley Charity.

Women’s voices on health: Addressing barriers to accessing primary care
Maternity Action and the Women’s Health and Equality Consortium recently undertook a piece of research examining the barriers that women in various groups face when accessing primary care, and the findings have now been released publicly in a report entitled Women’s Voices on Health – addressing barriers to accessing primary care.

Useful Phone Numbers

Adult Social Care: 020814 7777
Children’s Social Care: 020814 6000 (in an emergency call 999)
NHS 111 (health advice and reassurance) 111
Age UK Information and Advice: 0208690 9050

Useful Websites

Care Quality Commission:
Community Care:
Department of Health:
Lewisham Council:
My Health London:
National Voices:
NHS Choices:
South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Trust:

Stay Connected

You can stay connected with Healthwatch Lewisham on Twitter or Facebook, by visiting our website, or by emailing us directly at If you would like to speak to someone in person please call our office on 020 7998 7796.

Mon 30 June @ The Dragon Café

Enjoy our Oasis of Calm

On the final Monday in June we invite you to try one (or more) of our creative groups or simply relax into the atmosphere, and enjoy the fantastic food. You can try Chanting-Works at 1.30 pm, Yoga-Works at 2.30 pm, Meditation-Works at 3.30 pm and Massage is available between 12 – 6 pm.  As we say fond farewells to the Anxiety 2014 Festival we are also looking forward with a visit from the Bethlem Museum at 2 pm, exploring ideas of sanctuary and asylum, and helping us plan activities for September. Tea & cake provided!

DC Programme- Monday 30 June 2014

Borough Market traders donate unsold produce to Dragon Cafe

A new food waste initiative at Borough Market will benefit the Dragon Cafe, the weekly creative space for those going through mental illness and recovery.

Unsold bread, fruit and vegetables from Borough Market are collected by FoodSave, with the help of Plan Zheroes, at the end of Saturday trading and donated to the Dragon Cafe.

Borough Market was linked up with Dragon Cafe by the FoodSave project which offers free support to small and medium sized food businesses in London to help them reduce food waste.

The development of the scheme has been supported by Plan Zheroes, which finds, supports and inspires food businesses that are willing to donate their surplus food to local charities.

A weekly open creative space for all – with an emphasis on those going through mental illness and recovery – the Dragon Cafe relaunched its weekly sessions in February this year with the backing of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Open every Monday from 12 noon to 8.30pm, the Dragon Cafe provides a safe, stimulating and creative space for more than 200 people each week in the crypt of St George the MartyrChurch in Borough High Street.

Borough Market is committed to inspiring people about food, creativity and sustainability – whether it’s our 100 per cent landfill free policy or collecting coffee grounds from our restaurants to use in our Market Hall garden,” said Keith Davis, the market’s managing director.

“Working with FoodSave, we are proud to be doing our bit to reduce as much food waste as possible, before using surplus food to feed people in need.”

The Borough Market traders involved to date are the Bread Ahead Bakery, Karaway Bakery, Olivier’s Bakery, Ted’s Veg and Paul Wheeler (Fresh Supplies) Ltd.

Charlotte Jarman, FoodSave project officer at Sustain, said: “We are very excited to be working with such an iconic London food destination as Borough Market to divert surplus food to good causes such as the Dragon Cafe.

“Let’s hope that this move inspires other markets around the capital to set up similar schemes.”


Then What? Healthwatch Lewisham launches local inquiry into discharge processes

At Healthwatch Lewisham we ask people to share their experiences about health and social care services. Currently we are focusing on people’s experiences of leaving hospital or a community care service; we call this the discharge process. We would like to gather feedback from as many people as possible to understand what works and what doesn’t in the discharge process.

If you have an experience that you could tell us about or know or work with someone who does please take a few minutes to complete this important online survey. We can provide paper copies wherever needed.

The survey is anonymous and we will not publish any information to identify you. The combined findings will be shared with managers and commissioners of health and care services in order to improve services in Lewisham. Our findings will contribute towards anational inquiry being run by Healthwatch England who are carrying out a national inquiry into unsafe discharge processes.

If you would prefer to write to us, would like to request a paper copy or prefer to tell your experience over the phone or face-to-face please email or call our office on 0207 998 7796.

In addition to the above survey, Healthwatch Lewisham will be undertaking Enter and View Visits and interviews. We also plan to hold a focus group on the topic. Please contact us if you would like to get involved or can support us in this inquiry. Please share this email and information widely with your contacts.

The Deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday the 9th of July.

Click here to see the survey.

Please share this inquiry on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you,

Healthwatch Lewisham

Lambeth & Southwark wellbeing e-bulletin – June 2014

Dear All,

Hope everyone is well!  As usual our monthly communication -The Lambeth & Southwark wellbeing e-bulletin can be viewed at

This month has a range a goodies ! lots of free training like mental health first aid , wellbeing awards and specific info around issues of mental health.

Hope it is helpful!

Highlights of the e-bulletin see below:


Events & Training

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (MHFA):17 & 19 June  The Garden Room   Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2PJ

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (MHFA): :15 & 16 July  The Garden Room  Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2PJ

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (YMHFA):17 June & 18 June:Blackfriar’s Settlement Rushworth Street SE1 0RB
YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (YMHFA) 8 & 10 July The Garden Room Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2PJ

Please, for bookings email to Swan, Carolyn []

        STORM -Suicide prevention Training:
1. Mon 21st & Tues 22nd July 2014 –
2.  Mon 11th & Tues 12th Aug 2014
3. Tues 6th & Weds 7th Jan 2015
4. Mon 16th & Tues 17th Feb 2015
All course will be delivered at 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2Q

Last but not least

  •   First Aid – opportunity to train to be an instructor!!!!!

Lambeth and Southwark Public Health directorate wish to increase capacity to deliver MHFA courses to the voluntary sector and direct to residents. We will pay for two instructors to be trained from the VCS in Lambeth and/or Southwark. You’ll learn how to teach people to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help and guide a person to professional help. See

To register your interest please email or ring 020 7525 7530 to find out more.

Funding/ Awards:

Our the 2014 Award scheme,The Lambeth and Southwark -Wellbeing Network -Wellbeing Award Scheme has been extended till 31th July 2014.Please, complete and return the attached form on or before 31th July, 2014.Anamaria Florin, Telephone: 0207525-0272 –

The London Community Foundation Grants Update
Applications for grants Small (up to £500) and Large (up to £2,000) for activities in Black History Month October 2014


We would like to encourage you that within your wellbeing work/ activities to measure wellbeing by using the short Warwick Edinburgh scale. Please, visit for details :

By the way, it may be helpful to have handy the working definiton of wellbeing is  (locally agreed): ‘to feel positive about the present, feeling hopeful about the future; feeling confident about being able to handle life’s stresses and problems; and feeling that mostly life is fulfilled and rewarding’

Best wishes,


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


Self Advocacy Training at CoolTan Arts in July


Arts and Soft Crafts at Blackfriars

Hello everyone

Please find attached leaflets for our Artsand Soft Crafts groups at Blackfriars.  We thought that it was about time that we put the spotlight on these long-established groups and the benefits to be gained by becoming an arty or soft crafty member of Blackfriars Settlement…

Arts groups 14

Soft Craft sessions at Blackfriars mental Health and Wellbeing Service2

Bill Stewart

Service Coordinator Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Blackfriars Settlement – “Creating Opportunities”

Find out more about our graphic design studio

1 Rushworth Street, London SE1 0RB

Telephone: 020 7928 9521  Fax: 020 7960 4628

Find out more about what we can do for you:

Follow us on Twitter: @BlackfriarsSett

Like us on Facebook:

Mental health services ‘a car crash’

Mental health services in England are “a car crash” and the health secretary is not taking the problems seriously, according to the outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Prof Sue Bailey told BBC News mental health services were “in crisis”.

She said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had a basic understanding of mental health, but had not made it a priority.

Mr Hunt rejected this, saying he had made it a priority and that he visited the front line of the NHS most weeks.

Mental health services are struggling to cope with rising demand at a time of shrinking resources.

Clinicians say the health effects of the recession and major welfare reforms are leading to more people accessing services.

However, patients are having to cope with a reduction in beds, forcing them to travel huge distances to access care.

Investigations by BBC News and online journal Community Care have also highlighted funding cuts to mental health trusts and children’s mental health services.

“It’s a car crash,” said Prof Bailey. “The system is in crisis and we need people to listen. “The sums of money that could make a difference are not huge but they could make a large difference.”

Prof Bailey, who steps down as president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists later this week following three years in the role, strongly attacked the health secretary for failing to engage.

Asked whether Mr Hunt takes mental health seriously, she replied, “He has a basic understanding of it but whether he takes it seriously, the proof of which would be making it a priority, then sadly not.”

Mr Hunt, who became health secretary in September 2012, has regularly visited acute hospitals since being appointed.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he agreed with Prof Bailey that there were “some real pressures” in mental health delivery.

A spokesman for Jeremy Hunt said he had helped bring “parity of esteem” for mental health. But he said: “We are the government that has put in law that we have to treat mental health and physical health on the same basis.”

Mr Hunt added that he was “proud” to be the “first health secretary who goes out into the front line of the NHS most weeks, who doesn’t just visit trusts but actually takes part”.

But in the 21 months he has been in charge, he has visited mental health trusts on a handful of occasions, according to figures obtained by BBC News following a Freedom of Information Act request.

His predecessor, Andrew Lansley, also visited mental health trusts a handful of times during his two years in the role.

Prof Bailey said: “When he [Mr Hunt] came to dinner with us, he was given a great number of offers to go and see mental health services, child services, services for the elderly, innovative projects and it would be good, especially as we go up to April 2015, to see each and every politician from the parties go out and visit mental health services.”

Fixed fees

Prof Bailey, a consultant child and adolescent forensic psychiatrist in Manchester, will be replaced by Sir Simon Wessely as president of the Royal College.

She says the government’s reforms of the NHS have worked against mental health services given the way that psychiatric services are funded.

Mental health services mainly have block contracts and are paid a fixed fee for a service rather than payment by results. So as demand increases, they do not get more money as patient numbers rise.

Prof Bailey has welcomed the legal commitment the government introduced to have parity of esteem between physical and mental health – ie the legal requirement that mental and physical health are treated equally – but asked: “Have we got parity in practice? I suspect not.”

She will now move on to new roles, chairing various children’s charities and working with Health Education England.

She said she would continue to promote mental health services, but in a broader context.

“One way to make societies healthier, including mentally healthier, is to invest in the health and education of women because women play this vital role in the rearing of the next generation,” she said.

What are your experiences with mental health services? Do you work in mental health services? You can email your experiencesto, using the subject line ‘Mental health services’.

Chinese Information and Advice Centre’s Woman Volunteer of the Year Award

Get Nominating!!!

The Chinese Information and Advice Centre’s Woman Volunteer of the Year Award is now open for nominations.

The award is intended to reward an outstanding woman who has unconditionally dedicated their own time to help – and has positively contributed towards – the Chinese community.

This is your chance to nominate someone you know, whether it’s your mum, friend or colleague, to share their remarkable story and to thank them for their contribution.

The winner will receive public recognition at CIAC’s upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, a trophy and other sponsored prizes.

The deadline for applications is Friday 1 August at 5pm.

To request an application form, contact:


Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care

Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care are holding a Citizens’ Forum for people who are interested in helping to improve care for older people or for adults with long-term conditions on Thursday 3 July from 6 – 9pm. It will be at 336 Brixton Road, London SW9 7AA.

Come along to get involved in the development of health and social care in Southwark and Lambeth. The event will include workshops and discussion groups, with lots of opportunities to get involved at the forum itself and in future developments.

There is no need to book – you can just turn up on the evening.

For more information call: 020 7188 7188 Ext. 55185 or email:

information – update about SLaM work on personality disorder services

Hello everyone,

On May 16th we held a briefing event to introduce the work we are doing on our personality disorder services.  To keep you updated, I have attached a short summary of the themes from the event and our next steps.

personality disorder info sheet 2 june 2014

Please circulate as appropriate.

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