Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sainsbury's Centre For Mental Health : Pathways To Hell

Image By Silvis Rivers (Copyright)

So far we have seen the much vaunted "modernisation propaganda" about Mental Health services include praising getting rid of the asylums (turning them into homes for the middle classes and use by property speculators) , creating "community care" (social disappearance locally) and the policies of "Social Inclusion" (the creating of selective inclusion of fitter Users in Trusts to create new limted treatment diverting bureuacracies ) .

We have also seen a rise in the amount of self medication (over 100% ) across the whole UK using illicit drugs and deaths because of it . There has also been a rise in the prison population of mental health Users and those with MH problems .

Sainsbury's Centre For Mental Health one of the midwives for NIMHE and CSIP (Care Services Improvement Partnership ) has been one of the main architects of all this including "Pathways To Work" which for some are becoming "Pathways to Hell ".

By overarching the patient's needs and treatments shaped directly by "Patient Choice" and trying to turn Mental Health Users into socially engineered work fodder, the Govt have designed a kind of hell for many Users who cannot fit into society . Trusts have been encouraged to become "Lean" and this has meant even more disappearance of patients into community Zeroland or the existential treatmentless corner . We have noted though that those Users who work for Trusts and Staff too appear to get better treatments or attention .

The word "Lean" now has entered the NHS admin-class lexicon . Language for that admin class is just another way to conceal truth and misery . Prostituting health to politics . The Health Service Journal promote this "Lean" idea too which shows the word now is fashionable amongst the health admin classes :

"Becoming a Lean Champion 2008"

Yet at the bottom of the pile the patient is now increasingly under social engineering assault. The treatments do not fully exist that fit realistic Patient Choices but are made of of ideological CBT soup and other watery dilutions. More dilutions are bound to follow . Big system sovietisation is all, the few tins on the health supermarket shelf attest to that .. But the prize Labour and other politicians will be looking for is to get unfit people off benefits . To create a "working class again" that can supply New Labour with its missing ingredient - a seriously oppressed class ..

The oppression is shaping up though , and Chris Close (Advocate in Darlington) is the first advocate we know, to pointedly state that MH Users are being unfairly assessed off benefits .

One example he chooses to write about shows the sheer bureau-spaghetti knots one person is tied up in through a false medical assessment that they are unlikely to unravel for at least a year if at all . But he says there are others too . Yes, we have known about them and its difficult to dossier it all into something that is so sharp it will stick into the heart of the system . Betrayal of Mental Health Users is built into the system and in Birmingham this is also the case . There are very very few in the services who will put themselves into the firing line for Users because mainly they are paid by the services and its a conflict of interest .

Chris Close wrote in March 2007

Especially when the people concerned cannot work because they are not fit to do so.I am witnessing increased levels of distress amongst clients with mental health issues as they are gradually 'reassessed' by the DWP as not being ill enough to qualify for Incapacity Benefit or for the Disability premium on Income support and told that if they appeal against the 'decision' (which is often arbitrarily made after a medical examination which concentrates on their physical health) they will lose 20% of their benefit whilst appealling! Hardly an encouragement to appeal! The Government target is clearly not to assist the people concerned but to reduce the benefits 'burden'. Often the people concerned have no extended family supports or mechanisms and I fear the development of a system which further marginalises and alienates already marginalised and alienated people. This time they are not being marginalised by their own ill health but by a Government which it seems to me has no capacity to care for the vulnerable.

Chris Close
Advocacy Manager Comment first posted: 21 Feb 06

In August 2008 (18th) he writes :

"I have spoken to the DWP office today about a specific client whose situation is thgat despite being diagnosed by his own Consultant Psychiatrist as suffering from Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression a reactive severe mood swing condition he has now been "de-recognised" as suffering from that condition after a laregly physical examination by a Benefits Agency Doctor "

Pathways To Work for some will be a pathway to personal hell because the sloppy system favours not rigour and real supportive treaments to get people back to some real creative contribution, but bureaucratic power .

This policy slop is designed deliberately though - with its lack of rigourous coherent law that protects the individual - and that shows the need that politicians have for unaccountability to drive "change" through . Labour are anti individual, and are system driven with a need to preserve the massive admin class which gives them power. From the split up of complaints processes in Social Care and Health with two differing Statutory Instruments (2004 and 2006) and multi layers to be negotiated, even though Service Users could and have been using both services, to the way they have created new layers of treatment diverting bureacracy.

They have not missed an opportunity to quite frankly fuck the individual up unless they could recruit them into the system itself .


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