Instead there is continued goverance made remote by centralising "local" bureacracy which likes to believe with its control now over some User and ex-User internal colonies that it is somehow "patient centred" ...
We know it isnt ... Its staff and patient-bureau-assimilative and worse, its more illusory.. ..Still, that goes with being subtley stoned ... There's nothing more narcotic than a User Party set up by the health authorities with free flags of new user-ideologies being rolled up and waved about . This has been the case for a few years now ..
We are astonished (no we are not) how we have heard that the concept of "stigma" in mental health Art for instance is being used to highlight that the the term "mental" should not be applied to Van Gogh , Sylvia Plath , and others .
Why not ? What's wrong with being "mental" ? Everyone is, and we have a crazy and crazing society , come on, lets be socially inclusive about this, especially those that think they are not .. Instability and neurosis and delusion is just part of the human condition in a sick world of power, dodge and deceit - we have seen it in mental health circles of the service deliverers themselves . Its a weaving spectrum through all of us and maturity dictates that it also can bring vision and breakthroughs as well as craziness, pain, and chaotic being ...
But has the Dept of Health joined in the stoning of patient power ? Oh yes it has - it has watched the "locality" like hawks along with the politico's and the moaning CEO's who have been reporting back through their own channels at how hard they have been having it and wouldn't it be nice if we could have "Watchdog's" which were nicer ... With bureau-cream and scones ...And made up of cake liking networks they already know and feel safe with ..
So they got their way .. And the Blairite soon to be Brown agenda of making the NHS comfortable for the middle classes and a power base mainly for them is set to spawn the new circuses of NHS futures .. NIMHE was one such pseudo-podium - it has favoured a new mental health middle class structure many of which have buggered off to get new careers now ...
Patient Forums (B. 2003 - D. 2008 ) or PPI's as they are just about still known, held out the hope of some independent checking "patient power". In reality many are burned out and have made only modest gains and have been strongly resisted even with Dept of Health connivance regarding Patient's Section 11 (Health and Social Care Act 2001 ) consultation rights, according to Parliment's : Health Committee's
Userwatch like most of the health circus community knows the PPI's are going in March 2008.
Quote From the Health Committee June 2007
Too often NHS bodies have sought to avoid consultation under Section 11 about major issues. Unfortunately the Department of Health has supported those NHS organisations in trying to limit the scope of Section 11. "
In mental health the PPI's had the power to visit NHS premises . That will not be the easy case with the newly proposed Local Involvement Networks LINks ....They will have to seek permission from part of the Dept Of Health . The Health Service Journal with its damn good health sharpies flying about have seen the evidence in a DoH regulation circular .. LINks are set to become a post PPI mish mash of pre-existing networks including the all too friendly Mental Health Charity Third Sector which already favours and earns some of its keep off the NHS bureaucracy with its dominant ownership of the patient's landscape ..
Local involvement networks, set to replace public and patient involvement forums, will be denied access to mental health facilities, children's care homes and non-communal areas of residential care homes.
An internal Department of Health draft policy document, seen by HSJ, includes a table of where LINks members will and will not be allowed to visit. The representative bodies are set to replace patient and public involvement forums next year.
The document says that LINks will not be able to enter social care services establishments and institutions for children; patients' homes to see services provided by social services or through individual budgets; group homes for those who are disabled or have mental health and leaning disabilities; and care housing for older people.
The DoH confirmed it was planning limitations and this is also backed up in its response to the health select committee's report on patient and public involvement, which states: 'A change in the mechanisms for patient and public involvement has been made necessary by significant changes in the health and social care system.
'It is no longer appropriate to have a system based around scrutiny of individual institutions. We want this new system to consider both health and social care.'
The health politico's and Dept of Health bureau-expansion-planners know what is good for them, so here comes the new circus ring of the Stoning of more patient power ....
One of the biggest problems for patient democratics UserWatch feels will be the Foundation Trusts who will have internal firewalls of the newly hypnotised "joined-up" public to protect them. This is just a sad cycle unfortunately .. The governors in Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust mainly will be those who are seeking influence and power and will bung in a few rituals of public concern. They will because they will be partly concerned but the juggernaut will roll on crushing many more of its believers or those who are chained to it ..
There will be few real critics and a clean eye with a good arrow shot at the Health bull .. There will be a handful however in Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust like Dr Lynne Jones MP (the MP Governor) who reportedly has tried to be robust regarding patient's rights for Section 11 consultation and follow up of their satisfaction when Mental Health services changes happened ... But the resistance around this has been big enough and culturally deep and has also as we have seen been encouraged by the Dept of Health itself ..
Its also a good thing for patients to remember that the NHS services in mental health now are DWP driven political instruments - they are pro patient-colonies too, but not pro-patient choice
That would re-divert power, cash and career chances, back to the patient ....Its the nightmare the DoH particularly and Govt wants to keep politically stoned....