Biomedical Research Centre

We are looking for representatives to inform the work of the Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health (BRC-MH). The BRC-MH is based across the Institute of Psychiatry and SLaM, and is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). More information about the roles can be found in the attached documents.

Role description_Cluster representatives_Carers

Role description_Cluster representatives_Service users

We are looking for people who can provide a service user or carer perspective to the BRC programme. We are looking for people with an interest in research, and who are committed to improving biomedical research in mental health.

Further information about the BRC can be found on our website:


**INVITATION FROM NHS ENGLAND** – NHS Citizen’s Assembly and AGM

We would like to draw your attention to the NHS Citizen’s Assembly and the NHS England AGM in London on the Thursday 18th September 2014, (below is the invitation).  The event will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Westminster, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3EE.

NHS England AGM NHS Citizen Invitation

NHS Citizen has been at the drawing board stage for over a year, and it is now time to get people together to see how an NHS Citizen Assembly Meeting will work in practice.

NHS Citizen allows members of the public to put forward their thoughts, concerns and vision for the future of the NHS. These ideas will then be discussed at the NHS Citizen Assembly Meeting, where Members of the Board of NHS England, NHS senior managers and members of the public will work together to shape the future of the NHS.

The day will contain lots of opportunities for patients, carers and members of the public to debate, deliberate and work together to explore solutions to issues important to health and well-being in England.

Since registration opened, we have had a huge interest, however we are keen to ensure that those that are the ‘hardest to hear’ are given the opportunity to attend and get involved.

The event will be driven by what is important to the patients and the public – you, a partner organisation, stakeholder or citizen could flag the issue by completing this google.doc form and submitting it to be published on the gather space. Throughout August we will be encouraging discussion on the flagged issues to highlight those with the greatest support, evidence and participation. Five issues will be selected in early September.

Further information on how to register for a place is here – Please note places are limited, to ensure we have voices from different age groups and areas of England we reserve the right to allocate places accordingly.  Should you require any help with registering please phone either 0113 8248486 or 0113 825 1338.

If you require support to attend the event please contact Mary Newsome: – 0113 825 1338 and we will discuss how we can help you.  Please note that NHS England will only pay travel, expenses and accommodation for patients, carers and volunteers to attend the NHS Citizen Assembly, the NHS England Assembly which follows on from this is a public event and will not be covered by our expenses policy.

We do hope that you are able to spread the word and also join us for what will be an exciting and innovative day.

Best wishes

The NHS Citizen Team


0113 824 1338

Nagina Javaid

Patient & Public Partnerships Account Manager

Directorate of Patient & Public Voice & Information

NHS England


CRN: Mental Health Service User and Carer Bulletin

Dear all,

I hope you have been enjoying the beautiful weather.

Please find attached the July edition of the CRN: Mental Health Service User and Carer Bulletin.

Bulletin July 2014 – Final

This is the first issue of the new combined bulletins for Service Users and Carers from the CRN: Mental Health Coordinating Centre.

As always, anyone can submit an item for inclusion in the bulletin and we are currently looking for new book reviews so please email if you would like to submit something.

I hope you enjoy it. Please do pass it on to anyone that might be interested.

Best wishes,


Carer and Public Engagement Coordinator

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Mental Health

Institute of Psychiatry, PO77

De Crespigny Park

London, SE5 8AF


Draft minutes from final TWIG Ops meeting

Dear all,

I received these today and am posting the draft minutes of the final TWIG Ops meeting FYI.

Trust_Wide_Involvement_Operational_October2013 DRAFT



Letter to TWIG Ops members received 16th May 2014

Dear All TWIG Op members, back in October 2013 I wrote to you inviting you to an event in November about the proposed changes to the Involvement Register and to the Trust wide Involvement group for Operations. As you will remember that TWIG Ops was dissolved following the last meeting in October 2013 and as you know we are about hoping to embark on new involvement and patient experience journey.  I hope that we can continue to work in partnership. I wish you all the best and hope to see you at some stage in the future.

Many thanks

Ray Johannsen-Chapman

Strategic Lead for Patient and Public Involvement

Posted here at Ray’s request

Chris Jones runs a long way for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research

I have been a carer consultant on the Involvement Register since May 2011. I have thoroughly enjoyed this – I’ve been involved in the Food Project, on the Psychological Medicine Service User Advisory Group, visited the Mother and Baby Unit, given presentations for SUITE (Service User Involvement in Training and Education) and also have had a lot of responsibility for SLaM TWIG Ops Facebook page and our twitter feed @slamtwigops helped and supported by Matthew Mckenzie – particularly when I have been unwell.

An Involvement Register colleague, D Rosier, saw a post that I had done on my personal Facebook page and kindly suggested that I do a blog post in order to raise awareness.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 44 in 2005 and underwent a lumpectomy and radiotherapy. My oncologist told me that I was very unlucky to get it at a relatively young age. My prognosis then was that it was less than 5% likely to reoccur. Last October though the beastie raised its ugly head again and I had a recurrence. Now buying lottery tickets as I keep falling in the unlikely stats so surely I must be due for the unlikely event of winning the lottery!  🙂

This time I have been throwing a lot more at it – bilateral mastectomy, chemo, Herceptin, Letrozole…   I have no intention of doing it for a third time.

My lovely son, Chris, has been supportive all through this. Spending time visiting me in hospital, bringing very posh champagne for New Year (bizarrely when you are going through chemo champagne tastes particularly good!), coming to keep me company whilst being filled with toxic drugs (chemo) at an unearthly hour just after Christmas, numerous treats of lunch out – to name but a few things. Typical of my son not only does he want to be supportive but also wants to do something practical to help – and if that involves some crazy sports challenge so much the better!

Chris is doing an ultra marathon at the end of June for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research . This is a 100km run (62 miles – more than 2 marathons) which is phenomenal distance to run in one day. It’s along the Grand Union Canal starting at Maida Vale, Nr Paddington and ending in Bletchley, Bucks. You can’t simply just get out of bed on the day and hope to run this far – it involves a huge amount of training. Chris often runs 20 miles after a full (and long)day’s work purely to train for this and aims to run 60+ miles per week to keep superfit. He has trained whilst in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip in extremely hot weather. On 7th April he ran the Brighton Marathon in three hours seven minutes purely as a “training run”. I am so proud of him.

Research is vital. Breast cancer is really sneaky – it has a habit of reappearing several years later when all appears to be well – which is exactly what happened to me. Research is coming along and purely because of good research I will benefit this time from a new “wonder drug” Herceptin. This was a very new drug when I was first diagnosed in 2005 and not widely used. Recent research has shown that even though my cancer was contained I will still benefit immensely from it. If it wasn’t for research this drug would not be available and I wouldn’t have the excellent prognosis I have now.

Chris’s JustGiving page is Please take a look just to raise awareness and if you feel like donating too then even better! No donation is too small. All the bits add up!

Thank you.

Bridget Jones

Recovery college update


Following two successful pilot schemes in 2013, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is launching the first term of the SLaM Recovery College on 28th April 2014.  The SLaM Recovery College offers mental health recovery education which is co-produced (developed and delivered) by a service user or carer and a health professional.

All of the courses and workshops are free to attend for people with a connection to SLaM as a carer/supporter, service user or staff member .  People enroling in the college attend as a student,  sharing their knowledge and experiences, while learning with people from across the trust in a supportive environment.  The SLaM Recovery College staff team consists of people who have used or currently use mental health services, and health professionals, some of which also have lived experience of mental health difficulties.

The team will be distributing course prospectuses shortly.  If you would like copies of the prospectus, please call 020 3228 2175 or email  with a short message, your organisation name and address and we will arrange for copies to be delivered.

The SLaM Recovery College also has a website where all information about the courses, timetable  and how to enrol is online:

Please do distribute this information to people you work with who may be interested in this exciting education opportunity.  We are available from 09:00am to 5:00pm on 020 3228 2175 to take any enquiries about the college and the courses.

Garry Ellison

Peer Recovery Trainer

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

1st Floor Admin | Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ

Telephone:020 3228 2175