Leading By Example
Mental Health Today Conference November 2005
Dog's As therapy
Mind Conference , March 2006
VONNE, SURF ID 1072
Trash The Ash?? Report
‘Our Future – Doing it for Ourselves’
Service Users Interviewing Staff
Mental Health North East
Experiencing Mental Health Problems
Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy
Lanchester Road Hospital Briefing July 2006
One Person- Many Perspectives
Smoking Policy For Mental Health Trusts
Letter To All Service Users Who Use Chester-le-Street CMHT
Meeting of the Smokefree Trust Project Group
Contact Information for Service Users Reaching Forward
Links for Service Users Reaching Forward
Do you believe all mental health facilities should be non-smoking?
Lanchester Road Hospital Project
1. Due to changes in the way the Private Finance Unit deals with projects using the Private Finance Initiative approach the completion date for the project has been pushed back from October 2008 to March 2009.
2. Despite the delays the project is generally progressing well, the 3 bids submitted are now being examined in detail with SURF involved in the detailed design assessment work. A joint meeting with our colleagues from Derwentside and the Patient public Involvement Forum is planned allowing a larger number of people to go over the plans which have been presented.
3. There was some discussion about who will use the new facility; currently it is being planned for service users from Derwentside and Durham & Chester-le-Street plus some people from one council ward in the Easington area. Other areas of Easington use services in Hartlepool which is served by the Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS trust and Sunderland which is served by another Trust; this means that some service users use ‘out of area’ placements which costs money. The Primary care Trusts are asking that this be looked at and if the hospital has the capacity those service users currently being sent to Sunderland would instead come to the new Lanchester Road facility.
4. The construction of car parks and new access roads are planned to go ahead over the winter despite a disappointing response to the invitation to tender for the work and the bids coming in over the estimated figure. This work will prepare the ground for the main construction work on the new hospital due to start in October 2007.
5. The Trust will communicate to all stakeholders about the project via the bi monthly ‘Insight’ newsletter and is intending to put information on its internet site; I will let you know when this is up and running. SURF will in addition use its publications and website (www.communigate.co.uk/ne/surf) to help keep you informed of progress. Please don’t forget that this is meant to be a two way process if you have any comments about the project please write to us at SURF, 3 Waddington Street, Durham, DH1 4BG or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Members will remember that SURF joined Mental Health North East (MHNE) earlier this year. “MHNE is a registered company which supports the Mental Health Community and Voluntary Sector in the North East and gives it a voice at a regional level. Our membership is open to all mental health voluntary and community sector groups based in the region. “
One of the tasks MHNE is involved in is co-ordinating bids under the 'Wellbeing' banner of the Big Lottery Fund; http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk . This is what the Big Lottery Fund website says about the ‘Wellbeing’ program, “Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and access to preventative health services has become more important over the last few years, especially in the wake of growing obesity levels and the increase of mental health conditions such as stress, depression and anxiety. The Well-being programme aims to support the development of healthier lifestyles and to improve well-being.” In total MHNE is looking at bids from voluntary & community sector bidders for funds of approximately £10m.
It was decided, jointly by those putting in bids that their best chance for success was to work together to co-ordinator the bids. To make this easier the bids have been grouped into a number of categories. A independent chair & co-ordinator was appointed to look at bids in each category with the people putting in the bids. We were looking at synergies between the different applications for funding.
I was asked to co-ordinate the ‘Meaningful Activities’ group alongside Jo Curry from VONNE as chair. (“VONNE, Voluntary Organisations' Network North East, is the regional voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisation for North East England. It was set up to facilitate links between voluntary and community groups and other relevant bodies, and to promote the role and potential of the sector in regional matters.” This is another group of which SURF is a member; helping to keep us in touch with what is happening within the voluntary sector which influences many of the services used by members.)
We spent an interesting morning at Waddington Street looking at the details of some very inspired projects. In this category there was little overlap between projects but the meeting allowed everyone the opportunity to hear in detail what was being proposed and perhaps realise more clearly where there were opportunities to work together on certain elements.
Co-ordinating Big Lottery bids wasn't why SURF joined up as a group to MHNE but it was an informative experience and it is good to be able to contribute something in return for all the information we have had from Lyn Boyd at MHNE.
The majority of the projects involved ‘buddying’ schemes where individuals team up with a buddy who then helps them access services in the community such as gyms, swimming pools and guided walks and/or healthy eating projects. The only one being submitted in this group which focussed on the area covered by SURF came from the Durham 12 Villages’ project. This project involves the creation of guided walks around Durham City which will be accessible to people with a disability.
It will be some time before the outcome of these bids is known and we will strive to let you know about any which will improve the lives of service users and carers in this area.
Monitoring of Services Team (MOST)
As the majority of you will recall the Monitoring of Services Team (MOST) was established to monitor the impact of the Service User & Carer written Charter 'Better Times Ahead’ The Charter laid out what people could expect from mental health services in Country Durham & Darlington. Some readers may even recall that one of the mechanisms agreed for monitoring the Charter was to have service users & carers interview other service users & carers including those currently in hospital. For various reasons this has not yet happened, issues such as the need for liability insurance emerged at the last moment. As a result the group has been looking for ways to make progress on these issues to allow the monitoring to go ahead as planned. One route is for people to become volunteers with the Durham & Chester-le-Street Primary Care Trust. Becoming volunteers with the Primary Care Trust means we will be covered by their insurance.
The main obstacle was that the said Trust didn't have a volunteer policy. Michaela Iveson (manager of the Service User & Carer Involvement Team) has been working for some time to write a policy, which has now been passed by the Trust.
It will still be some months before all the systems are in place and members of MOST are signed up as volunteers. In the mean time the group needs to decide what it will monitor; suggestions currently include:
Access to psychological/talking therapies
Activities on the wards
If you have a concern that you think the team could look at please let me know at email@example.com or write to me Mark Henderson at 3 Waddington Street, Durham, DH1 4BG. MOST won’t be able to investigate everything at the same time given our limited resources but we will investigate other areas in the future.
In addition the team is having another look at the Charter with the aim of updating it before printing a new addition; if you have any comments you would like us to pass on to the team please contact me at the address given above.