Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Are Mental Health Charities Back Door Civil Services ?

The national mental health charities behave as though they are often the voice that represents the concerned cross-organisational standpoint over services that affect the UK "Users"

The truth though is more complicated by their self interest and their sector career needs to survive, together with their knowledge that their sector is set to pick up potential injections of political support as the NHS services are so called "opened" up to more "choice" ...

The new Social Enterprise Unit has been set up by the Govt in 2006 and is looking for "trailblazers" which might show the way to provide more patient orientated services.

The evidence though appears to be the charities are often combining to produce a very slippery notion of quite what it is they really support. We might argue if they supported "Patient Choice" then they would be glad to support marketising service delivery on the basis that Service Users could make genuine choice about what services are to support their own individual longer term management of difficult lives with difficult symptoms..

Userwatch in this new year will bring some stories about this sector and its ambitions to develop as a bigger default "notional" voice in the absence of patients themselves having a real democratising consumer led choice of supportive treaments for the longer term.

Prof Nick Bosanquet's latest document amusingly called "The empire strikes back" (Download from here) shows the NHS is striking back at reform which in Mental Health terms must mean if the mixed economy (part market) approach is not in the ascent then the Charity Sector will probably be used as the buffering tactic by politicians .

This does not make more informed MH Users very happy since charities are quasi corporate organisations that have showed a underlying duplicitous ethos of currying favour with Users whilst selling out their broader choice interests with carefully chosen language to soap up Govt policy evacuations - Suddenly for instance in 2006 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy was issued forth like "Choice" and a big hurrah went up when the computerised version of it came on stream.

In Birmingham and further afield wiser Users about the human condition, said it was like a one armed robot - but at least it had two policy fingers sticking up from it .....

What can they mean ?

UserWatch thus alerts its readers to make their own "Watches" and see how events are likely to roll out in 2007 . Once again however, it has to be stated that without the cost wasting NIMHE at 65 million quid up to 2006, Patient Choice might have been piloted directly more widely and better from the same money. As it is some wasteful energy and money was put into "Anti Stigma campaigns" and some twisted "Social Inclusion Ethos" which has been used by Trusts (and definitely Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust ) to dilute services, save money, cause distress to Service Users on the back of some of the dubious work arranged by the MH Charities themselves which was fed into Government circles ......

Userwatch will discuss this further on into 2007

Happy New robotic CBT two fingers this year ........

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