Tuesday, May 29, 2007

CEOBT Therapy : CEO Sue Turner Offers Users One to One Virtual Boxing Therapy

Link: PlayMyGame

To throw your punches use the keyboard :

A = Left Jab. D = Right Jab. S = Uppercut.

Press space bar for blocking .................

Sue Turner CEO of Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust now offers one to one virtual (CEOBT ) Chief Executive Officer Boxing Therapy for Mental Health Service Users who are getting plenty of rounds of useless treatments elsewhere in Birmingham and Solihull ....

Users who wish to indulge in this completely free therapy can use their keyboard to throw punches and create real laughs.....The Dept of Health is looking closely at combining their failing CBT programmes with this new costless therapy in an effort to save themselves from an eventual public beating ...

PS. Go and have a look at Ruth's Sparky Blog ... That lady has sassy quills and inks...


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pins Of The World

The new legion is
The NHS bureaucrat

You raped Celt
On the lock up ward
Don't get too passionate

They tie you down
After ghosts of wars
And family battles

You get the swift spear of
And hear your own lungs
Giving out existential rattles

Why's mental health a kind
Of Palestinian or Jewish camp ?
Because we tatoo conditions
And hidden trauma's with a stamp...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cliff Ecotherapy And Socially Including Birmingham And Solilhull Mental Health Trust (Cheek Round Up)

Its only right that Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust should be socially included here by UserWatch. Its right to make an effort because bureau-disability to recognise others , other than those the Trust wish to see, pay, and butter up the arses of, is a blindness we need not to copy .

Cruelty to butter is wrong too ..

We want to help to reverse this cloaked sight therefore we will make every effort to mention "Birmingham And Solhill Mental Health Trust" ... Call it Installation Conceptual Textual Art . We are BROAD in taste and "Inclusive" ...!

The strange picture we show here today is a self portrait of mass patient souls - a kind of spikey amalgam spat out of a patient spitting blood and serviceless disgust. Its a common feature in Birmingham and Solihull ........Whoops ....."Mental Health Trust" ...We are inclusive okay !

On another lovely breezy cliff note we must say we like the story of the staff samaritan who employed themselves thoughtfully to watch the post traumatic misery of the abused person ( who became a patient) who was set upon by life's dirty old robbers.

Staffatan, who as you can see hybridised his name, "acted" empathically, ticked sheets when "assessing" what treatment was necessary for the patient mugged-one , for loss , helplessness , and a bit of existential rape thrown in ... Only to find no money supply for any real therapy ...

"Don't worry" said Staffatan

We are near a precipice here and it overlooks the lovely sea......Try some Cliff Behavioural Therapy YES its another kind of C.B.T. - watch the lovely watery greeny blue ooze in and out of your mind and eyes and dont do anything silly will you ? "

Ecotherapy IS the new ECO CBT therapy -- YES get out there and work you buggers in the country - there is an EVIDENCE BASE for this cheap and wonderful therapy while you are carrot digging ..

Or Cliff walking ?

Even MIND recommend it - but then they would because they are part of the Top Down anti patient choice state grotesquery that is dressing up nakedness with spin behavioural therapy . S.B.T. ...

Which is also known as T.B.T.. Tony Blair Tripery ...

Well there you go .... Patient Choice is now led by charity eco-lings who seem to have become a bit like robbers...... Park Behavioural Therapy is all . PBT is very wonderful now and then but so is having real therapy and being able to to unravel the travel and get out the gravel of ones soul when one is near the cliff . ..

On another note UserWatch watches those who watch Userwatch in an effort to create equal opportunity of paranoia .

Today we had some ex NIMHE-e-ites float in and view Userwatch and we note these "experts" having networked their way through Mental Health systems are busy setting up "social" businesses that connect back to their mates in mental health and the now lucrative money printing Third Sector ... This is the answer to Labour's dislike of the market and to the dual equation of having to satisfy a large dependent middle class sector on the services that effectively still divert money and chances away from the patient (post crisis). This is what Labour loves - socially engineering patients out of the opportunity of deeper mental health choices ....

Go and walk your cliff ...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Distractor ™ Unveiled

We've managed to get hold of the following promotional video demonstrating how 'The Distractor ™' works.

We understand that Dr Andrew McFudduck the Director of the Mental Wealth Foundation , a talking shop and obscure MH charity with no apparent charitable objectives beyond lining its own pockets, is currently talking to the inventor about the MWF taking on an evangelising and training role and assuming responsibility for product documentation. Comic Weelief are also rumoured to be on board with £500,000 of capital funding and the NIMHE tie-in already guarantees a degree of state subsidy.

It's an interesting startup and it remains to be seen whether the general production model will include a severe electric shock inducing mode as there's clearly potential for 'The Distractor ™ ' to be a multi-purpose CBT companion tool. For best results when viewing the video, turn it on using the bottom left corner "button" - then it will resolve into better focus .

Monday, May 21, 2007

NIMHE And CSIP Award London User For Mental Health Innovation

The "Distractor" comes in a small package and fits neatly into the ear where it burrows gently into the brain.

"It was a tough competition "

says the Service User "5X" (Name Changed) who invented it to compliment other new distraction based therapies like Elastic Band "wrist sting-ping" Therapy for self harmers , and Computerised CBT currently on generous offer by the joined up Dept Of Work And Pensions (DWP) initiative with Care Services In Partnership (CSIP) and the National Institute For Mental Health Education (NIMHE) .

The competition was even backed by big local Trusts such as South London And Maudsley and Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust ..

"User's in Birmingham (a Londoner laughed ) could only come up with car battery and self applied ECT. "

"The judges frowned on the burns it left though .."

They threw out the "document sniffing bag" where Users pile in lots of documents with better service promises written on them to sniff away, on the basis that it held up recycling of NHS paper. An important point because the NHS needs it paper to be continually recycled .

They said the "NIMHE Virtual Meetings Glasses" was : "a good idea" : where you paste staff and other Users onto the lens of large circumferential glasses and feel wanted and valued wherever you are ..

The Distractor however got the MAJOR PRIZE

"5X" (Name Changed) who hates Australian beer , the number 3 and 4 , and hard porn but believes in patient confidentiality tried out the invention on himself ...

Now he has won the "Innovations in Mental Heath competition" 5x will set up a small factory with a combined grant of 2 million and charities like Rethink and Mind , Mental Health Foundation , Mental Health Media will all chip in to further resource and film happy customers using the Distractor.

Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health will research the "Distractor's" outcomes but 5X is not worried because SCMH always favour things they already agree with ...

Links :

Elastic Bad Therapy (1)

Elastic Band Therapy (2)

5X 's Blog With Others


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Anyone For EBT ? And the Queezy Lisa By Mental Health Artist "Goan Van Koff"

Elastic Band Therapy or EBT which UserWatch discussed in its last post about the "distractive therapy" given to some self harmers with thoughts of self harm has now caught the wag of debate and discussion

Userwatch thinks the whole idea is barking really ..

So from the User-Kennel we will growl a few more views out ...

Lets face it, COME ON ... if superficial ideas that rely upon Service Users of the NHS stinging themselves are supported by serious professionals - there must be something in it . Really ?

UserWatch is not aware of any elastic band trials and whether there is a need to use thick or thin bands ..Or even some with a few pins in and maybe attached to a mild self ECT-ing battery ...

We'll ask around the scientific community though. Someone out there may have a good argument to stretch credibility - perhaps some of the same people that are pushing CBT, another "feeling-ignoring" application . Because that is what is if you look very carefully at how its being modelled after Lord Lamebrain had put his pennies into it ..

The CBT put forward by Lord Layard in practice is a very strictured format of partly seeing a "therapist" (you can do a course on CBT for under £500 quid) and doing "homework" and diary .

Userwatch came across this "homework" via a Borderline Personality Disorder Service User who seems to be having a counter-reaction to the therapist who told the User that they must be in bed for 10.00 p.m. do one thing pleasureable and do the washing or ironing - and must fill in the diary or they were going to stop the "therapy" ....

The BPD sufferer currently straining to hold down a job is slowly getting to the borderline of "Fuck off" territory... We wonder if her fist will have an elastic band reaction to the therapist's jaw ..

We have colleagues at UserWatch that have met self harmers and some self harmers feel in control of their lives if they can cut their bodies/arms etc without being dived on by services and automatically legally "sectioned". Then they are really "cut up".....Some self harmers say having their freedom taken away can make them want to cut themselves even more ! And that is lot of stored symptomatic energy they are finally coming out from the lock up with when they have had their symptoms "controlled" ...

On one occaision a colleague meeting a self harmer found the following revealing in so far as it became obvious that the lady concerned had indeed been subject to very nasty sexual abuses but had coped in derivative ways that although were later self harming and thus symptomatic actually gave her an internal hold over the dreadful anguish that she could not consciously emotionally re-associate fully with herself ..

So we should hold the thought that "distracting" self harmers from their ritual harming may not be the way forward.

Rather, an allowance for this symptom coupled with a deep therapy is more likely to unravel the desire to self harm back to immense grief of powerful damage done ..

An important set of views on this by someone who is known as "Stray" who self harms, and who has also been asked by professionals if they have tried EBT (and even drawing on themselves with illusory red pen blood) is HERE . Stray also holds down a job although and they do not claim to be a "BPD sufferer" - they are in that sense also healthily self defining as far as we can see ..

UserWatch thinks Stray's post is revealing and echoes this :

any superficial application of "help" or therapy that is going to ban a symptom or try to distract it, is going to use a lot energy up and create a moral high ground that does not sustain a journey of discovery to the source of blood letting ...And there will be an "elastic rebound" because storing up symptomatic energy is increasing the pressure ultimately for it to connect back again unless its drained off to deeply stored emotional origins of historic harms

But then, there are few explorers in the NHS and fewer still that can bear the Niagric grief of trauma about child abuse and/or early seperation pains and lack of protection and whatever else when its finally unleashed ... NO that would rock the NHS into shock and into deeper humanity ..Even into therapy.

Being human more fully would then be a political agenda ......Oh god no ! - Not that ! Say the anti feeling twats at the DoH .. "That will cost money ... ...."

Finally The Queezy Lisa above was painted by "Goan Van Koff" The Mental Health Artist of Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust areas ....

The poem to go with it is :

I was inspired by a warp and wish
On a ward floor of white

I painted
Queezy Lisa
In yellow piss
And disembodied fright

I guess I just imagined
The policy of pricks
Thin steel sticks

But they laughed when I
Cold press tiled
And they controlled
Their professional kicks....

I felt green and bad
And my head distorted thoughts and
Number vomits
Threw up
Into triples of triple six

I warned them one day I'd write .

Monday, May 14, 2007

Borderline Personality Disorders Treated With Elastic Band NHS Therapy In The UK

This is not a spoof story. In fact its a disgusting story of impoverished Mental Health NHS UK approaches which apparently are not even accountable because these things in the UK do not rise inside the public's attention.

Patient's own reluctance to open up about these things serves to keep the ridiculous amateurish way they are treated out of view. And of course the NHS's de-risking use of "patient confidentiality" serves also to keep the Mental Health NHS services out of view too. In the NHS they do love to be shadows or to control their own PR.

The subject here is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) . A class of the human condition that can brought on in adults by layered experiences of excessively poor early childhood attachments, child abuse and a lack of emotional validation. In later life it can manifest as self harming behaviours, low self esteem, suicidality. It can be accompanied with terrible anxiety at being in the world somehow alone , a lack of feeling of safety, and even panic .

For some people, the degree of this developmental imprint in them is profound . In the UK NHS which is almost broadly anti-feeling-therapy like the UK character itself - it seems to be unable to deal with constructing the more extended emotional skills of emotionally rescuing tracts of people's justifiable rages (about their developments) and very great pain. Broadly it appears to be not helping to resolve deep grief life-experiences. Connected therapeutic crying over time for early repeated trauma it seems is off limits ...

Yet cases are being reported to UserWatch where Community Psychiatric staff have recommended elastic bands to be put on the wrist by BPD sufferers and used to "distract" them away from panic or thoughts of self harm .

I suppose you might call this "Sting-ping" therapy. Don't worry if you do, satire has become a sign of sanity . And at UserWatch we'll give you an astral certificate with our hearts .

The sheer power of disturbing feelings ascending in BPD is rather like an emotional express train and in many sufferers when they have those ascending feelings of pain they need to cut themselves with the anguish . Their's is a case of tears of blood.

Also, an elastic band stinging away on the skin put by the side of real panic is like jumping into an eggshell when there is an American Katrina around the corner .

UserWatch and PatientGuard which is morally hissed off about unreported UK NHS Philobullshitology has made an offer to parts the patient community of which itself is a part, to get more stories out into the exposure of debate with some added feeling ..

So far we have come up with cases of Sting-ping therapy for panic, and used for the distraction of self harming thoughts.

But we are human explorers, and what is also developing are real stories of ICE CUBE DISTRACTION THERAPY . This is where self harming thoughts are treated by cold distraction . In other good old Pavlovian words, "punish" the association with self harming thoughts with ice cubes ..!

Staff of course are obviously being taught this impoverished anti-feeling anti historic trauma - rubbish .

Patient's who are highly dependent will follow anything to relieve distress and discomfort, and that is their disadvantage but no-one can blame them - they are truly wrecked by their internal world of Self and have little compass left and now are dependent on the polar NHS .

In the UK, without quality therapies being broadly available, patient's one way or another are being kept "on ice" - whether that is chemical evasion of human issues in the human condition, or now it seems actual ICE ....

Set this against a lack of empathy software in the new UK Computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy roll out (as from March 2007) and we are set with many superficialities as "treatment"

Why can't staff admit they are poorly trained and feel helpless - after all their "hour-age" could be converted financially to a patient steered choice of deeper therapeutic choices ?

Of course this would happen if given the chance . Then patients would be increasingly rejecting the NHS or shaping it to respond properly . There's the rub - the State in the UK refuses to allow the patient reality to escape in quality driving their own experience by challenging the farcical supply side . This way the State keeps patient's more unwell and it keeps the NHS and a lot of jobs ticking . It does not make sense, but in the UK the welfare state has become a form of patient choiceless entrapment.

At UserWatch we think there's a good consumer story here which the BBC and its program "WatchDog" could check out. The minimal psychology in this elastic band distraction therapy is about valid as a snake oil cure based on the placebo effect ..A bit of relief for a time does not a therapy make ......

(Later Note : We discovered the BBC had in fact run a piece on this tosh which was all about the wish fulfillment of services trying to create distraction rather than employing probing deep therapy, based on eliciting destructive feelings . The NHS services broadly use simplistic cover-up tactics on seriously post traumatized often child abused people who have not had their history and feelings properly validated or even worked with - welcome to UK Services-Madland)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

History : The Pioneer "User" Voice For Mental Health Social Care Day Centres In Birmingham

It might be sobering to realise for those in the Mental Health community of the Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust that a "User Voice" long ago appeared in the shape of the "Pioneer Voice". Michael Elvin mental health patient and Chair of the PPI Forum in 2004 who died in 2006 was prime mover in this.

On the left we see a front cover dated 1994 . Its clear historically that this "Pioneer Voice" was not sustained well by the Social Mental Health Day Care Services themselves.

Michael Elvin was correct in believing that unless the health bureacracies feels safe with a group they can control they will not support them . Instead they will undermine them in subtle ways where the evidence is hard to obtain ..

UserWatch confirms this tendency.....

The Law in the shape of the 2001 Health And Social Care Act, about Mental Health Day Centre consultations over service changes, had altered the balance of power to include Social Care Day Centres like the one Michael Elvin had attended - provided the NHS had entered into a joined up contractual managment agreement usually oulined as the "Section 31 Agreement". Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust and Birmingham City Council had such an agreement from Oct 2003 .

But did this make a difference in Birmingham in 2005-6 . No . As this article is written the services (Social Care and the Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust ) were both finally caught with their pants down with evidence supplied that service changes happened at Social Care Mental Health Day Centres without consultation and they were signficant enough to distress a number of Service Users .

The evidence intially was with the Service Users themselves but later it became available to an M.P.. The Overview Scrutiny Committee at the Birmingham City Council responsible for viewing changes in services, demanded in 2007 more evidence of concerns expressed in 2006 by Service Users.

Astonishingly the OSC did not have it and appeared not prepared to investigate on their own behalf . The PPI Mental Health Forum also was very slack in 2005 - 2006 in chasing up what was happening and recording it from the patient's perspective . That was astonishingly and ultimately left for Mental Health Service Users to do

Criticism is deeply deserved of all those bodies involved above that did not protect the simple right of patients to have consultations over changes in their Mental Health Day Care services - that they experienced were "significant" ..

Neither was there any protection given from the Birmingham And Solhull Mental Health Trust's internal and Trust paid "User Voice" mechanism. which has been criticised for its lack of independence . In truth all of the PPI (Patient & Public Involvement) mechanisms failed patients (Service Users). This story has yet to run fully because we hear there are to be further developments in June 2007 which we will report on later ..


Michael Elvin's 1990 Mental Health Document "Shifting The Balance"

The late Michael Elvin in Birmingham, once a mental health patient, and Chair of the Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust Patient & Public Involvement Forum in 2004 had in his possession an interesting 1990 document titled : "Shifting The Balance" intended to give more rights to Birmingham City Council mental health Service Users - or "Consumerees" as he called them.

He was rightly skeptical of such intentions by the mental health services in Birmingham and in this case the Birmingham City Council, to reform their approaches.

They never have really. In the opinion of UserWatch. Service Users are still under the yoke of bureaucracy in various disguises and its various cost cutting driven agendas.

Its striking over 10 years later in 2003 the Strategic Health Authorites also created a paper named "Shifting The Balance of Power" - which was something Michael Elvin was aware of . And skeptical of .

Intended to create a more robust sense of Patient Involvement in health with a future quality driver of patient choice shaping the State enabled purchase of treatments, the sense of "Shifting the balance" has become mangled within new service assimilated "User-bureacracy" (especially in Mental Health) and a lack of real choices, so that the status quo Health Bureacracies are still monolithically in the driving seat ..

Lets have a look back in time through Michael Elvins own words, rhetoric and views taken from his JARMI (Justice And Rights For The Mentally Ill) site that has outlasted his life :

"Our stand is for Justice, Rights, Democracy, and Fraternity

We start with a message about the attitude of Birmingham City Council, United Kingdom:

Birmingham Mental Health Pioneers operated on a shoestring and their friendships laced community care together ... ... shamefully untied by Birmingham City Council.

We are informing in part of our antecedent, so that you may understand our motives and intentions. JARMI evolved to be dedicated to the cause of justice and rights for people with a mental illness because of the numerous occasions people with mental health problems have been let down by society, government and statutory agencies. By "rights" we mean those that are legally enforceable and not wallpaper.

In 1990 Birmingham City Council produced a document with the title "Shifting the Balance" (Click here). It was described as "a strategic review of community-based mental health services in Birmingham. The foreword contains the following:

"This Review of Community Based Mental Health Services has been undertaken because the City Council wished to raise the profile of a large group of people who are seldom noticed, and who have a need to ensure their voice is more clearly heard. The work was conducted by the Strategic Policy and Planning Unit by Alan Coe, seconded from the Social Services Department and Ed Whitton from this Unit."

The key features of the strategy included::

- Participation of Service Users
- A multi-agency approach
- Creating uniformly high service standards
- Ensuring that the needs of under-represented and minority groups are met

Key conclusions pointed to the need for:

- increasing service users participation in the running and planning of services
- ensuring information about services is easily accessible to all
- reducing stigma and creating a positive image
- ensuring there is improved access to leisure, training, and employment opportunities achieved
- ensuring equal access to services for those presently under-represented as service users
- providing support for the development of more community services at weekends and Bank Holidays

The strategy led to:

- the development of a City-wide users movement
- increasing opportunities for user participation
- ensuring bids for new resources have the active support of service users

In the Introduction of "Shifting the Balance" it is stated:

"that the involvement of service users and providers was seen as particularly important if the cultural shift from provider-led to needs-led services was to be achieved."

Birmingham Mental Health Pioneers proved to be a highly successful for mental health service users who wished to be involved in the development of social and health care delivery. The outstanding success of the Pioneers was extensive city-wide networking which increased choice and opened doors for those who wished to grab opportunities and become involved. In 1993 Birmingham social services decided to withdraw funding. This was not a council decision but made by social worker employees. It is the view of JARMI that the reason was because the professionals resented the shift in the balance of power.

In addition, The Search Team was created in 1990 and the Pioneers played an active and successful part. Michael Elvin, in particular, completed original work on the accessing of social workers. Michael Elvin's research was accepted by at meeting of the highest level managerial team of social services attended by the Director and all his Assistant Directors. It is the view of JARMI that this success was resented by middle managers.


In 1991 The Search Team consisted of special interest groups of which mental health was one. The mental health special interest group was always active and well attended. A particular special interest groups was the Black Community Care Forum which was formed in the Autumn of 1991. In 1992 the Black Community Care Forum had over 60 members. In 2004 the 60 members had been reduced to about 6 members. The mental health special interest group had ceased to be active before 1996. The Black Community Care Forum amalgamated with the Elderly Special Interest Group.

An initiative proposed by Birmingham Mental Health Pioneers supported by The Search Team and led by Michael Elvin was for two service users to become Care Managers.

The following account was published in Summer 1998 edition of BMHP's newsletter, The Pioneer Voice :


Are we the enemy? They talk about user empowerment, but what does this fancy jargon really mean? Recent experience suggests that the words are false signposts, erected to lead us up the garden path.


The Pioneers are represented on the search Team which is a 'watchdog' for Community Care. A forum for users, carers and service providers. Search put forward the proposal that 2 service users should become Care Managers.

We accepted this proposal and negotiations resulted in an offer of 2 Pioneers to perform the role of Care Managers and participate in training. We were told to recruit 2 people. The project would be called 'Start-Up'.

Here was the opportunity for The Pioneers to embrace a real partnership with the professionals. Our policy is to work with them, so we pursued this partnership with enthusiasm and a belief in mutual trust and respect.


We were told that the project started at the beginning of September. We were told that Birmingham University have the job evaluating the project and were looking forward to service users being involved.

Two people with excellent qualities were recruited. The Pioneers have no doubts that these two people are as capable as the professionals for becoming Care Managers. We share with them the bitterness of disappointment when it became apparent that our partners, the professionals, were not consistent with their initial enthusiasm for the partnership.


The fact is that we didn't get the expected go-ahead, even though we had two superb people ready willing. Indeed, communications became difficult and we weren't informed about what was going on.

Eventually in October 1998 , we did attend a meeting expecting to negotiate the release of funds. But, THERE IS NOTHING TO NEGOTIATE, we were told. To add insult to injury a professional said:


This sick statement was thrown at us as if we were the scum of the earth. They had revealed their true intentions. The partnerships was dead.

Well, they can treat us with contempt. They can treat us like dogs. But, the professionals, even after a million years have past, will never understand the love and friendship that binds The Pioneers together.

Our cause is just and honourable. Together we shall march into the future with pride and dignity. Our time will come because we always have each other, united under The Pioneers banner.


We were offered another crack at Care Management last Spring. We were being set up for yet another put down. Do they want us to fail? Are they frightened of us? Perhaps they are drunk with power, arrogance and delusion! "

(Michael Elvin D. December 2006 )

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Big BMA Ideas And Under-Served Service Users In North Birmingham

(See Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Angle Too)

The BMA's idea in its recent discussion document :

"A rational way forward for the NHS in England "

is , to get politics out of health and have a constitution and and a Governing body . Uh-Oh....

Sounds a bit like a new job security push to us at Userwatch .. The BBC of Health . And why in 79 pages is there no mention of "Mental Health" services?

Perhaps they are right though and the NHS can be "remade" into the image and services of healing people well.

The big disparity in their kind of thinking though is where is the real power of the patient ? At UserWatch we like to use the word "REAL" in a tangy way so its fizzes on the tongue as its supposed to . In their ideas we will all probably be called "stakeholders" or "cakeholders" - or "slice-eaters" or something which usually means fuck all because at local levels we cannot understand the fancy equations by which our services are planned or our lack of services are planned to be erased ..

The BMA do not like maketisation believing in the idea State knows best provided the populace will create the taxation vehicle to pay for all the quality that is needed . They see in themselves in their document as Top Down knows best .. This is old London planning bullshit excerting itself again.

Locality is where we all live and localities must have the power to plan their own fates . The taxation issue is very important to put back to the paradoxical British public who both love and hate their services and who both want quality and not to pay too much for it . That cakery-division started with Mrs Thatcher and has never stopped - in fact it propped up the middle classes themselves who are finding as administrators in the health services they might just have to compete with the rawer quality driver of the market which the patient OWNS .

Do the middle classes want services they can control and use and shape ? If they do then avoid the Top Down Londonistic way forward . Let the local equations of population need dominate the agenda and let the local distribution of health be distributed locally . Pilot the bloody ideas and get the Doctors locally to set up their own administrations and be given money directly from the exchequer to serve their own populations needs . And the Dept of Health ? Get rid of it . Favour local inspection and stronger use of local law . Oh dear it might mean the British dictatorship of Parliament might lose a bit of power. The web will become the massive way to distribute information and knowledge and good practice in the future which is already here . The Dept of Health are somewhere else in 1950 management land.

Meanwhile in North Birmingham we discover that for two years 2005 - 7 there was no Lead psychologist and the clinical team reduced the number of allocations into it for therapies to 2 a month per psychiatrist. This resulted in a peculiar manifestation of a "waiting list" which was (we can only say) artificially constructed to appear that the then reduced demand by Service Users who were being seen was at "parity" to the national average of about 20 weeks .

When this was examined more closley it was found that other Service Users with a need for therapy lay behind this "waiting list" . In those two years the Birmingham And Solhull Mental Health Trust was dealing with "Debt" . In others words not being suppied the money to properly function by Goverment and having to reduce recruitment. By 2007 The Trust entered a surplus of 1.8 million and guess where that came from ? Undersupplying the services to patients by not recruiting the skilled clinicians that were needed . The CEO once announced something like (to paraphrase) :

"We want our services to be so good we would recommend them to our friends and family "

Oh really ....... ? That like many Dept Of Health NHS ideals is as trustworthy as grease ...

We need local control of services and purchasing power of health services like we need breath


Frank About Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Art Strategy

Congratulations to Frank Barton Birmingham depression sufferer for being able to spread the message of how to do classical type arts in oils and similar mediums. He's a damn good artist known to UserWatch and the eye-eye-gang in Birmingham .

The Birmingham And Solhull Mental Health Trust have promoted Frank on their website HERE.

You are lucky there Frank others have tried for fair promo on the Trusts website and we know they promoted other Art Trust "recognised"organisations .

As usual though, the Trust have their own "business" promotion motive lying just underneath. Its one of those facts of NHS services that they will cherry pick Users to sell the public that they are doing some good and using our money well . That's life.

But there is unease in the Service User Community i.e. those medium and Service User long-termers who feel the services in Birmingham seek to create corrals of Users which are increasingly amoebically digested by the services themselves . The services do love their creeping pseudo-podiums to use a biology metaphor ....

Is there any alternative ? UserWatch thinks there is . There a balance of power problem with the State being in so much control and even in the Mental Health Arts in Birmingham the evidence is of a slowly growing MH arts bureaucracy.

Better if the State created local development grants for small groups of Mental Health Users with an extra grants for an Independent empowerer which are not too embedded within the health bureacracies . Userwatch knows there is practice to support this through the use of group-joined-up Direct Payments. We have the information and strangely enough it surfaces within CSIP the NIMHE quangle-dangler - or "quangling" to experts by experience .

The Art mentor or empowerer could do a few hours a week of helping groups to constituionalise and become admin-fit to run themselves ..

UserWatch sees no problem also in better positive use of Day Centres where small peppercorn rents could be paid for leased-use of a NHS room in which staff agenda's do not have a overpowering place.

Its very easy to enshrine a paper agreement - its done all time when groups rent space from Community Centres..Couple that with chosen independent mentors and voila ! You have an empowering equation ..

The key element here is responsible and empowered patient ownership of space . In Birmingham the supply of that space within the Trust is woven within too many State and Trust agenda's . The State idea is "recovery" and the reality is many Users need a mix of real empowerment and less loud State voices . The mix of State pushed policies coming over as raw benefitless-recovery-ambition and the reality of User-capacity to recove, is still set to show up big contradictions and the pain will paid for in time by the Service Users . We are not theorising at UserWatch, we know of cases where the pain has really hacked in from the State .

UserWatch will monitor all this evolution . And Birmingham And Solhull Mental Health Trust will ofcourse create its own shapes of the Mental Health service related Arts. BSMHT always has its own way ......

UserWatch notes that a public relations firm under contract to the Trust called LTA Communications have been involved in the promotion of Frank and we certainly uphold the promotion of Arts in Mental Health.. The Trust position though on promotion of Users "arts" on its own website is that it does not promote organisational web-links unless they are "recognised" groups..

We have information backing this from one Sandra Kelley the IT Director. It appears true-ish unless of course you include some PDF files available for internal user circulations....We note LTA under contract to the Trust to do a press release about Frank and the Trust on its own website have in fact promoted Frank's individual website though .

That is effectively marketing someone privately whilst promoting the Trust. How fair is that on other User-Art organisations ? We would say its a great idea provided all have equal opportunity to do the same making it a level playing field otherwise there is danger of accusations of favouristism......

We repeat this theme : the MH Services some Users claim are institutionally engulfing of Users when they can use them . It appears the Services often "service themselves" on the back of that engulfment. Whenever this might change is anyone's guess. The real culture shift needed is for Users to purchase services beyond the closed health economy of the NHS Trust . The stranglehold over Users is created both by Govt and by the Services who dominate supply and the health economy. In Birmingham we see much evidence of fitterUsers who apparently cannot get outside of the Trust's health economy ... Is this real "social inclusion" or in fact a few exclusive circles that can be used by the Trust to advertise its "Social Inclusivity" .....Only Alice knows.....


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Lone Painger Footage Discovered In Ward Cellar ...

The Wards's Lone Painger


Chief Executive Sitting Bull Turntoe (Tonto's Cousin)

said to be warpathing about .

Feathers on wards seen to be flying

Day Centre Teepee's crushed

By cheap beef policies

Battle of Spittle Figma Horn on way

(Bindians Predict)


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Satire -The Ghoulian Weaver NHSS

Ahhhhh the strange ways of Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust in the UK have reached our digital ears yet again ...

In a strange twist of weavery and curley little overlapping social boundaries the Trust not content with employing ex Users in a conflict of loyalty position as the "User Voice", is now advertising for Service Users to go out and get 50 sign ups for its bid to become a Foundation Trust .

The procurement of Services Users for this exercise by the Trust will result in the Users being rewarded if they get the 50 sign ups with £25 worth of Bull Ring shopping vouchers .

Since when does a Mental Health Trust that wishes to morph into another type of NHS service body think that it is ethical to use Mental Health Service Users to bulk up Foundation Trust memberships numbers like this ?

Huhhh ? This is just strange and obviously needs therapeutic treatment......Although some things you just cannot straighten out from being bent . Was Uri Geller an influence in some NHS Trust thinking here ? ..At UserWatch we really wonder ......