Friday, October 06, 2006

"Stakeholder Involvement ? Or Fakeholder Involvement ?

Userwatch has received an email dated 6th October 2006 , to Catherine Underwood :

Head of Commissioning and Contracting Adults of Working Age
Adults and Communities Directorate
Birmingham City Council
Louisa Ryland House
44 Newhall Street
B3 3PL
Tel: 0121 464 5121

The email below puts forward a number of important views and questions the apparent lack of Section 11 (Health And Social Care Act) 2001) consultation in Birmingham UK on certain parts of the Mental Health Day Care Services ..

The original email was copied in to Netter Carder a Director at the Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust , To Sue Turner's (CEO) secretary and to the Statutory Forum for Patient & Public Involvement and others ... :

"Dear Catherine

I believe part of the Adult MH Day Care services is adrift of appropriate Sect 11 consultations. I am very concerned that the MH Services co-admined by Social Care and yet under the service provision via section 31 agreement with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust - appear to be chaotically adrift of openly announced Section 11 consultations.

Was the statutory PPI ever involved in being told what Section 11 arrangements were put into place at The Hawksley MH Day Centre ?

The Albert Rd Day MH Centre for instance appears to have had its services varied almost by stealth over some time ; subtracting an activitiy here , and an activity there ...Making it less attractive .

Reducing Service Users numbers and dependency on it . A self fulfilling service prophesy of under-use apparently .

The current broad brush approach for 2006 - 2011 "Commissioning Strategy For Adults Of Working Age " would also appear to be , I am sad to say , democratically perverse.

It has every sign of becoming a substitute for individual Mental Health Day Care Centre Section 11 consultations sensitised to local context and Service Users at specific Day Centres.

The rush to "socially include" and "mainstream" and create a "clubhouse" modernising services is poorly thought out and ideological.

Arising partly from Dr Bob Groves (et al) work involving the Sainsbury's Centre For Mental Health " Pathways to Work" with its initial limits of application placed on those on Incapacity Benefit for up to two years , and with some initial age cut off's involved - we now see a massive overapplication of its theme justified by the "Social Inclusion Unit" and major pushes to shrink down the budget for Mental Health still further ..

Sensitivity of application over these "social inclusion" processes and careful thought has been lost Catherine , in a dash to force national policy onto everyone and bypass the check and balance of what Service Users want individually . Evidence in Birmingham of Service Users wishes is flawed because it hardly exists . Please demonstrate where your MH Day Careservices have carried out properly announced Section 11 consultations involving the PPI monitors on the following locations : Hawkesley Centre , Albert Rd Day Centre , and Main Street Centre .

Fitter users and younger ones may well wish to work . But there are other Users who are being cornered by the false modernisation drive which does not involve better supports and treatments ..Some users are lumped in to the drive to "socially include" and frankly are not fit enough and feel intimidated by the whole process and rarely are their direct voices audited. If you have any evidence of audit then please do share it with the PPI .

My position is very clear : apply social inclusion where people want it , are fit enough , and are actively engaged in that and preserve the asylum value of MH Day Centres because long terms Users need them . "Recovery" is not possible for some . Being permanently different is actually their reality .. Seeing that , is the job made possible by individual Centres following the Section 11 law and recording patients voices properly .

I dont think this is happening properly .

Finally I tried to get a place at the Sapphire Suite (a consultation event on 27th Sept 2006 ) and was told it was fully booked by your Secretary Kath Cunningham . I have now been sent a letter by someone who was there which deeply questions how many Service Users were in presence if at all any.


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