Camden Borough User Group welcomes new members. At the moment we are meeting on Zoom. Please get in touch with us by email if you would like to join us. We meet to discuss our experiences of services and mental wellbeing strategies, and we work in conjunction with local service providers. Drop us a line and say hello! CBUGcommittee@gmail.com
It’s OK to not feel OK – New help leaflet available for download
Dec 1st 2020
The C&I Charity is the charity of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) and is a charity registered with the Charity Commission (England and Wales) through the CNWL NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund.
The charitable objects of the C&I Charity are;
To assist and support the mental health, wellbeing and recovery of Trust service users within the wider local communities of Camden Islington and Kingston by providing additional support and resources not normally available through statutory authorities.
Grants will be awarded in lots of up to £2000 each.
The Trustees have an overall objective that the grants awarded should be used to help build resilient communities which enables the sustainability of clinical care provided by the NHS.
As funding is limited, the charity is not considering applications received in respect of:
- Clinical and non-clinical activities already commissioned or funded (except where they specify matched or shared funding as a condition of commissioning)
- Duplicating commissioned services, where they are not commissioned.
- Staff hardship
- Staff training or benefits, except when such benefits will have a direct and beneficial impact on service users
- Individual patient / service user hardship
Application Process If you would like an application pack or more guidance please contact the Chair of the Charity Working Group (CWG) firstname.lastname@example.org who will be pleased to discuss outline ideas, or service users can contact email@example.com if you prefer. Applications must be costed and have got sponsorship from a member of the Trust’s staff, but Roger can assist with this.
If you need help and support during this time there are some useful articles, events and links on the Mental Health Camden website https://mentalhealthcamden.co.uk/news/20/04/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing
There is a Wednesday online Wellbeing Group to just check in with each other and for social purposes. This is not a therapeutic group. It will be 3-4pm on Wednesdays for the foreseeable future. Please contact Katja for more details. Katja@advocacyproject.org.uk
Camden Borough User Group Meetings
CBUG continues to meet on a virtual platform during this period, and the Patient’s Council also! We have experimented with Zoom and with Jitsi Meet and find that some work better for some folk and not for others. We will try to support everyone to connect with us as best we can, and this is a developing topic. If you want to take part in the meetings (new members welcome), please email Katja@advocacyproject.org.uk. CBUG meetings are open to all Camden residents with mental health issues.
If you are a patient on one of the wards and there is anything that you want to raise with the Patient’s Council please email Katja (address as above). We want to know how things are for you at this time and if there is anything that we can do to help.
Our web address has changed to CamdenBUG.org . If you know anywhere that CBUG is listed please make sure they have the new url and our email address CBUGcommittee@gmail.com. (This email is not constantly monitored – bear with us!)
On 1st February 2019 VoiceAbility handed over the reins of the CBUG Mental Health Service User involvement contract to The Advocacy Project. To find out more about them go to The Advocacy Project website,
To contact CBUG directly email CBUGcommittee@gmail.com
The peer mentoring in Camden service is unaffected – Voiceability continues to provide peer mentoring in Camden. www.voiceability.org/services/london-borough-of-camden
Written by Martin Delgado, Peer Debrief Volunteer:
“C&I has taken a bold and innovative approach to improving standards of care for service users by recruiting volunteers to interview patients who have been physically restrained.
The Trust is one of the first in the country to launch the Peer Debrief initiative after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new guidelines recommending that individuals who are external from the Trust be brought in to talk to patients after restraint incidents on a ward. Some volunteers and Trust staff involved in the initiative are pictured above.
The scheme, which is being rolled out across wards at St Pancras and Highgate Mental Health Centre, has so far proved successful and was singled out for praise in the latest Care Quality Commission report, published in March 2018. There has been significant interest in the model from other mental health trusts, who have asked C&I about setting up their own Peer Debrief schemes.
Several of the C&I volunteers are former patients with ‘lived experience’ of mental health issues, though there are plans to expand the team by recruiting more widely among carers and in the voluntary sector.
Kevin Cann, C&I’s Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression Lead, said: “The Trust’s strategy to reduce restrictive practice is not just about reducing the number of prone restraints. It’s about improving the standard of all restrictive practices so they become safer and less disturbing for service users.”
“Due to the Peer Debrief staff being external to the Trust, patients are more open with them about why the incident happened and how it can be prevented in the future. This is information we would otherwise not have been able to obtain.”
The interview questions aim to aid consistency; are intended to establish what may have led a patient to behave violently or aggressively; whether the subsequent restraint was carried out in a way which minimised physical and psychological harm to the service user; and how restraint can be prevented in the future.
Interviewees are also offered advice on how to access advocacy if they feel they were subdued in a manner which failed to meet the high standards expected of C&I staff.
Senior managers, however, emphasise that there is no intention to ‘blame’ staff involved in restraint incidents. Individuals are never named in the reports filed by volunteers. The aim is to encourage reporting of restraints and, over time, to reduce their number, leading, it is hoped, to less aggression on wards and beneficial results for all clinical staff and patients across the entire C&I estate.
The data is showing a clear emphasis on the importance of communicating effectively with patients to prevent frustration and anger building up. Recurring themes are beginning to form, with a clear emphasis on improved communication between staff and patients on what is happening and why.
Kevin Cann commented: “The key to reducing violence is early intervention and planning. The nursing teams are always pushed for time but taking preventative measures such as behavioural support planning with the patient to avoid restraint saves a lot of time further down the line.
“After each interview, the volunteers give one copy of their report to the patient and another to the ward manager. Findings are also inputted into a database so that issues which occur repeatedly in debriefs can be spotted and action taken to address concerns.
“Patients have often commented that when staff debrief them after a restraint, there can sometimes be a feeling of ‘punishment’ that shuts down dialogue. That’s why Peer Debrief is so important. It gets across the message that we are curious about how and why it happened and we want to stop it happening again.”
Here you can see the last 9 editions of the Mental Health newsletter supported by VoiceAbility and one from when it was supported by Camden Council
VoiceAbility supported CBUG volunteers Romano, Davide and Mark and Peer Mentors Maria and Jahanara to run two stalls at the St. Mungo’s Mental Health festival on Thursday 5th July.
Above: Mark (CBUG), Ani (VoiceAbility Peer Mentor Coordinator) and Jahanara (VoiceAbility admin volunteer).
The festival was great fun for everyone involved with activities like spray painting & graffiti workshop, drum playing, dancing and hand henna design. There was also a delicious grill, salads and drinks. Our volunteers made the most of this opportunity to promote the Peer Mentoring Project and CBUG with flyers, banners and forms.
All in all it was a great sunny day! 4 people showed an interest in becoming peer mentors, 5 people enquired about CBUG and a couple of people were also interested in Camden Frontline and the Sunday Project (substance misuse groups).
Above: drumming at the festival.
We had interesting conversations with many attendees who showed interest in VoiceAbility projects. We also did some networking with the stalls of other organisations who promote mental health awareness.
There was Yoga, music performance by the charity Key Changes, stand-up comedy, massage and flower arranging!
Good news: Thousands of people who are in mental health crisis and struggling with serious debt will be given breathing space from further interest, charges and enforcement action following a campaign victory by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.
The Recovery Space Campaign team delivering the petition
Read the full article on the Money Saving Expert website here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/protect/2018/04/people-in-mental-health-crisis-to-be-given-breathing-space-from-serious-debt-problems-
Disabled campaigners held a national day of action yesterday (Wednesday 17th April) calling on the government to halt the roll-out of its Universal Credit.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Single Mothers’ Self-Defence and WinVisible activists demonstrated in Westminster against the national introduction of the new benefit system.
To find out more about DPAC please visit their website: https://dpac.uk.net/2018/03/national-day-of-action-to-stopandscrap-universal-credit/
You can see the protest reported here:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman released the following clip:
The changes to sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act introduced by the Police and Crime Act 2017 came into force on 11 December 2017.
Hill Dickinson is a company providing legal advice and support to the NHS and independent healthcare organisations. They have written the following explanation of the changes:
“The key changes are designed to ensure that police officers are able to act more quickly and flexibly, whilst ensuring that people receive the assessment and treatment they need as soon as it is required. The changes relate to:
- places of safety
- time limits
- protective searches
- the duty to consult
- decreased detention times
Definition of ‘public place’
The current wording of section 136 in relation to where police can exercise their powers is open to interpretation and often causes difficulties. Case law over the years has assisted to better define what is ‘a place to which the public have access’, however this remains a tricky area. The changes when they come into force will define this more clearly, by specifically identifying the following places where police cannot exercise their powers under section 136:
‘a) any house, flat or room where that person, or any other person, is living, or;
b) any yard, garden, garage or outhouse that is used in connection with the house, flat or room, other than one that is also used in connection with one or more other houses, flats or rooms.’
Save for in these excluded areas, the police will be able to exercise their powers under section 136 anywhere. This should allow officers to act quickly to protect people found in places such as railway lines, offices and rooftops which have previously not necessarily been considered as ‘places to which the public have access’.
Where practical to do so, the police have an added duty to consult: a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse or an approved mental health professional, before deciding to remove a person to or to keep them at a place of safety.
Places of safety
The amendments make clear that it will be possible to use a suitable private property as a place of safety, with the consent of the occupier. Therefore, a person’s own home could potentially be a place of safety, as could places such as community centres or other multiple use buildings.
A new provision (section 136A) will prevent the use of police stations as a place of safety for under 18s and also increase the safeguards in place where a police station is used as a place of safety for an adult. Section 136A permits the secretary of state to make regulations regarding the use of police stations as places of safety. It is expected that such regulations will include provision for regular review and ensuring that appropriate medical treatment is available.
The maximum period for detention under section 135 and section 136 to allow for a mental health assessment to be completed, is currently 72 hours. This will be reduced to an initial maximum period of 24 hours. The period will still commence from the time when the person arrives at the place of safety or the time a police officer enters the property if he/she subsequently decides to keep the person at that place.
It will be possible, at the end of the 24 hour period, for an extension of up to 12 hours to be granted, but only where it would not have been practicable to assess the person in the first 24 hours i.e. only where the condition of the person makes it necessary to do so. That extension can be granted by the registered medical practitioner responsible for the examination of the patient.
Section 136C will introduce the power for protective searches to be undertaken where a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person may be a danger to themselves, or others, or is concealing an item on his or her person that could be used to cause physical injury to themselves or to others.
The government has produced guidance to support the implementation of the changes which can be accessed here.
The changes to the legislation have the clear aim of protecting patients’ rights, which is welcome. The reduction in time limits is likely to increase pressure on services, particularly in light of the current bed situation. Effective implementation, particularly in relation to the duty to consult and reduced detention times, will involve local authorities, healthcare providers and the police working very closely together. Policies and procedures will need to be updated and training may be required.”
Further sources of information
You can find the full article by Hill Dickinson here: https://www.hilldickinson.com/insights/articles/mental-health-act-1983-important-changes-coming-force-11-december-2017
The government has issued “Guidance for the implementation of changes to police powers and places of safety provisions in the mental health act 1983” which you can read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656025/Guidance_on_Police_Powers.PDF
The mental health charity Mind have also written about these changes. You can see their article here: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/legal-news/legal-newsletter-march-2017/policing-and-crime-act-2017/
An international team led by the University of Oxford in the UK has carried out a huge meta-analysis of almost 120,000 people and their experiences using 21 of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. The results of this study have been published in The Lancet here.
Feel free to leave comments below.
A journalist called Jaime Lowe shares and investigates her experience with mental illness and the drugs used to combat it, in a new book called “Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind.” You can watch an interview with her below:
You can read the transcript of this interview on the Democracy Now website here: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/28/lithium_love_and_losing_my_mind
CBUG member Pat Kenny has been interviewed on BBC radio 5 Live’s Breakfast and Afternoon shows! Pat spoke about his experience of being tasered by the police while unwell.
If you would like to listen to the Breakfast show where Pat speaks. Please visit the following website (Pat’s section begins about 1h26 minutes in):
If you would like to listen to the Afternoon show where Pat speaks. Please visit the following website (Pat’s section begins about 9 minutes in):
Please note that you will have to sign in to BBC IPlayer to listen to the audios.
Check out this extended conversation with Johann Hari, author of a controversial new book, “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions.”
You can find the full transcript of this conversation here: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/2/2/part_2_johann_hari_on_uncovering
According to this article on the msn website, the answer is yes. What do you think?
From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.
Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.
Read the rest of the article here: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/mindandbody/people-with-depression-are-more-likely-to-say-certain-words/
…and feel free to leave a comment below.
Avatar therapy ‘reduces power of schizophrenia voices’,” BBC news reports. The headline is prompted by a study where people with schizophrenia received a new type of treatment to help them reduce the effect of auditory hallucinations. Continue reading in the link
After 9 years The Advocacy Project and SURGE will be ending their work in Camden at the end of November, as the new provider – The Centre for Independent living\Camden Disability Action (CDA) – takes over the contract supporting experts by experience to engage with the learning disability community in Camden.
SURGE has achieved an enormous amount in the past 9 years – including setting up the original planning together to be an inclusive forum for people with a learning disability to affect change in the borough; increasing the understanding of learning disability through training many health and social care staff; more recently appearing before the Council as part of our #UnlockingRestrictions campaign.
Please do take the time to look at what we’ve achieved:
- SURGE ‘storify‘ – history and key achievements in pictures, videos and words
- ‘9 years of SURGE’ impact summary (also attached above): designed by the members, giving details of just some of the amazing work and impact we have achieved together
- ‘facts and figures‘ summary – showing the great number of people we’e worked with over the 9 years
Service users and Carers have said it might be a lovely idea to have people getting up to tell us about their experiences in an open mic session.
With this in mind, a few of us came up with this idea for the day:
10 minute – Mental Health stories
You have 10 minutes on the microphone (or speak loudly – you do not have to have a microphone) to talk about anything you like around the theme of World Mental Health Day which is Mental Health and the workplace.
It can be about when you were not as well or a less positive time in your life, try though, if you can, to end on a positive note. This is not to ‘sugar coat’ people’s experiences, rather to be part of the ‘celebration’ of world mental health day. Tell us about your volunteering roles, work roles or your studying or something you like doing that has helped you in your life.
You can read a poem and or just generally tell us a story in 10 minutes, it can be as it is, or made into a story if you like, (with the names changed for example).
Why ten minutes?
It is so all those people who want to, can have a go – so people do not have all the time and leave no space for others.
Finally, this is not a therapeutic space, so be mindful of what you choose to tell the audience and your own mental wellness.
Thank you for taking part
We appreciate it and we know others will too.
If you would like to take part, please contact Kate On
Please note I am hard of hearing so best to text or email me
Mobile 07950 856 851
According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request obtained by the news agency “Pulse Today“, the new ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ have spent around £21m from March 2016 to May 2017 on management consultants.
As you can see from the chart below, the North Central London partnership (of which Camden is a part) is second from the top of the list…
Find out more on The Pulse website here: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/commissioning/how-the-nhs-is-spending-millions-on-consultancy-firms/20035171.article
Please see the following link to a blog written by a service user about the Royal College of Occupational Therapists sponsorship deal with Capita
The Guardian have published an opinion piece by someone who does not have lived experience of mental health problems, but who attended a mindfulness class. You can read the article here.
What do you think?
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is running the second ever National Co-production Week in July!
The National Co-production Week 2017 will take place between 3-7 July. It will celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers to developing better public services.
You can watch it on Iplayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08pltgy/horizon-2017-why-did-i-go-mad
Consented is publishing a quarterly print magazine and the first issue focuses on mental health and the ways in which our mental well-being is affected by our day to day interactions with the world around us, looking at addiction, race, gender, the body and more through personal narratives, essays, comics, poetry and art. See the website here: http://www.consented.co.uk/write-for-us/
The CQC has released their report “Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2015/16” our on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA), which looks at how providers are caring for patients, and whether patient’s rights are being protected.
A chief constable has vowed to stop “unlawfully” holding people with a mental illness in police cells because the NHS has no beds for them.
Shaun Sawyer, chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, wrote to Devon Partnership NHS Trust to say it would be held to account in future.
The letter, leaked to the Express and Echo, says legal action may be taken if the situation is not resolved.
The trust said it was disappointed, but accepted more needed to be done.
Mr Sawyer said while it was “unedifying” to sue a public body, he would do so if necessary.