Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Local Involvment Network LINKSYCORNS Exist - Magical Screechism Proves it

Cartoon By Linkasso Brother Of Kakatoo

News from the caves of local Magical Screechism proves that in Birmingham the Local Involvement Network set up by the Birmingham UK Local Council to scrutinise and monitor health and social care matters locally has formed a Getting Going Group - a GEE GEE GEE...

Interesting ....Sooooo the LINKSYCORN does exist it is not merely a fairytale animal ...Its a GEE GEE GEE !!!

Ya Gotta Larf ...

Releasing The Thunder Voices Of Rape, War And Post Trauma

Art By Silvis Rivers (Copyright)

Commentary By Silvis Rivers

It is terribly moving to watch people in a deep rescuing feeling-therapy re-connect the thunderous but desperate voice of war trauma or rape, or early childhood abandonment, for these themes join together and show a core human need for protection . Its a protection that disappeared for them and life is left naked to be ravaged in one way or another. That life cries on the edge of its felt-death and re-experience of a kind of destruction - its like watching a small planet end. Even in an observer its rips away with its raw winds of human truth .

And yet there is a moving great integrity in these connections . Courage and humanity enough to move a God .. History claiming itself back to the core of a living document of soul that truly belongs with us all - not in some special existential or chemical zone of incarceration ...

It also shows up a previously terrible and effective barrier for the person to get well from emotionally traumatic events and that is the powerful reflexive action by the brain to partly split from events . To dissociate .

There is no doubt that our cultures constantly recruit this feature of dissociation and partly do so perversely as a functional virtue, yet when this socially functional virtue-reservoir is full up enough of internal pain and trauma, then it spills forever and creates its host of internally dislocated and weird effects - here comes "madness" and a crippled internal life unless a way is found to drain it and not "chain it"...

At UserWatch we will speak up for that kind of therapeutic travel for time and time again we have found UK NHS services and certainly in post industrial Birmingham UK dealing with people labelled as Borderline Personality Disorder and various forms of psychosis and severe neuroses and other hells in the experience of the human continuum as though these things are not socially and familially connected. They are .

Our culture is still afraid and controlling, and disconnects the partly disconnected all over again to keep them disconnected and it does not allow them the grace of their terrible story and the grace of socially borne full witness. Connection and re-connection over time makes the self slowly create a home in itself . But others too can make healing faster if they can admit the sorrows of the facts of trauma .

Yes, connection and re-connection and the growth of the emotional-Self to tolerate itself and its memories and feelings and yet feel its core of humanity is not merely a "personal experience "- it can be a socially allowed one too - that is always part of the problem - that the self is always set inside the emotional prohibitions of culture and family .. And often permanently chained there.

That is where the primary mental health stigma still is, in the emotional underbelly of our cultures : The Taboo against feeling pain and connecting it and witnessing it into slow growth - into real human stories ..

And with that witness a new critique of who we are and where we are and why we war and rape and abandon the weak begins...Its a hope perhaps that we will all slowly walk as a culture one day towards rescuing human pain with fuller witness and not psychiatric and chemical services that often keep history so completely chained and away from real human languages ..

Today is a day when UserWatch puts a story here below about war and sexual trauma and its effects but we could be just as easily writing and echoing and showing other writers stories about family trauma , child abuse, and the mechanisms that keep people mad and crazed for years ....We all keep each other mad until we find mechanisms of joined up emotional acceptance of feelings and experiences and making languages around it all for as long as it takes to make some collective sanity ..


Sexual Trauma Haunts Many Female War Veterans

Study found 1 in 7 from Iraq, Afghanistan who sought medical care were victims

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Shedding light on the challenges facing women in the military, a new study shows that more than one in seven female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA medical care reported experiencing sexual trauma during their service.

Posted October 28, 2008

Veterans who reported sexual trauma, such as rape and threatening sexual harassment, were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

"These mental health conditions are getting recognized, diagnosed and treated," said study co-author Joanne Pavao, a researcher with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System's National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in California.

Pavao and her colleagues analyzed the records of 89,960 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who sought medical care in the VA health-care system between Oct. 1, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2006. They were expected to present their findings Tuesday in San Diego at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting.

A total of 1,849 women -- 14.5 percent -- reported experiencing sexual trauma during their service; 471 men -- 0.6 percent -- said they'd experienced sexual trauma.

A study released in 2007 found that 22 percent of female veterans and 1 percent of male veterans reported sexual trauma in VA health-care surveys conducted in 2003. That study looked at veterans of all types, not just from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The new study found that these men and women were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than those who didn't report experiencing sexual trauma.

Among women who reported experiencing sexual trauma, 76 percent were diagnosed with a mental condition, compared to 47 percent of other female veterans. The rates were similar in men.

According to the study, the most common mental health conditions among the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders (which cause stress and other problems during certain situations), and drug addiction or alcoholism. All were more common in men and women who reported sexual trauma; post-traumatic stress disorder was much more common in women than men in that group.

It's not clear where the sexual trauma occurred. "It's sexual trauma that occurred during active military duty," Pavao said. "It could have occurred at any point during the service history of these men and women."

All veterans who seek health care within the VA system are screened for sexual trauma, Pavao said. "When this is detected, they're offered free health care for all conditions that the clinicians determine to be related to military sexual trauma. This is part of the VA's large-scale efforts to treat these conditions in a timely way."

If they get treatment, many women who experienced sexual trauma can recover, said Edna B. Foa, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania who studies sexual violence.

About 20 percent of women who are raped in the general population develop post-traumatic stress disorder, she said. "Even if they don't meet the criteria of the disorder, many of them will have symptoms that will cause them distress, difficulties having sexual relationships, etc....," she said. "Having a sexual trauma is serious."

More information

Learn more about sexual trauma in the military from the VA. "

Monday, October 27, 2008


UserWatch in the UK has been Top-mental-health-Charity-watching for some time and its clear they face in two directions at once. There's no doubt they were responsible via consultations and even Select Committee level for what is now an altered Incapacity Benefit (IB) into the Employment Support (ESA) Allowance.

IB as of today is extinct .

The two-faced charity position is constructed by having a "we are for you" face for the domestic audience of their constituences as well as one for strategic survival with Govt at a top level .

Its been organisationally profitable for Rethink and MIND to be close to the Welfare Reform action and shaping that. More recently they obtained £18 million of Big Lottery money for anti stigma "work orientated" campaigns along with Mental Health Media a charity that supplied some data to "SHIFT" another DOH anti-stigma quangling, dangling from NIMHE. Mental Health Media is now to be absorbed into National MIND ... Confirming to some of us that its duplication of Govt policy through the back door can now quietly disappear .

Instead of creating an impetus for more Patient Choice the Top-MH Charities have gone along with the cheaper ideas of Dept Of Health's over-regulated C.B.T therapy, and no wider therapy choices . Patients cannot drive the shape of their own recovery treatments despite the visions put forwards for years . Many are still not centre to their own recovering lives through supply-choices . The system still is . The MH Large Charities have in fact re-inforced the idea of Top-Down bureacratic policy roll outs because all of them re-inforced the idea of NIMHE and CSIP (Care Services Improvment Partnerships) the mental health new bureacracies that have cost well over £100 millions from 2004 onwards

The doublespeke continues though . UserWatch picked this up in the Independent from Sophie Corlett - It appears to UserWatch to be a MIND PR attempt to show how "concerned" national MIND is now that the ESA is here

Hundreds of thousands of people who have not worked for years because of long-standing problems will be forced to hunt for jobs as the new medical assessment is gradually rolled out to the 2.5 million currently on incapacity benefit, around 40 per cent of whom have mental health problems.

The Government wants to cut the number of disability claimants by one million by 2015, even if that means unemployment figures rise.

Sophie Corlett, the director of policy at the mental health charity Mind, said: "The new benefit is system driven, hugely bureaucratic and is too inflexible to deal with the range and complexities of fluctuating mental health problems. The tragic thing is that we know what works but they haven't had the courage of their convictions."

The first line out of a BBC Social Affairs Co-respondent James Westhead's mouth tonight was to re-stigmatise benefit claimants. The BBC correspondent said the Welfare Reforms had been passed over concerns over benefit "fiddling" .

See BBC's So Called Balanced Reporting HERE

Benefit Fraud is very small in the UK and represents only 6 tenths of 1 per cent of each "Welfare Pound" spent..

From David Freud's innacurate benefit fraud-claiming interview in the Telegraph this year and from 2005 David Blunkett's claims reported in the Guardian :

The report came as the work and pensions secretary, David Blunkett, admitted the disability benefits system was "crackers", and told claimants to stop watching daytime television and get out to work. He also conceded the £13bn housing benefit bill was a "nightmare"

What we have in the UK is an attack on people at the bottom of society fanned by the media and worked with by those who believe in Top Down Goverment ..

UserWatch has to give credit to one Journalist at the Guardian - Jonathon Rutherford and this is a post of responses below he made to concerns expressed in his article about new welfare reforms (relevant to mental health ) :

Good points ET. I agree we need to change the welfare system and I agree with you that training and skills are central - so too though is proper provision for people who are mentally ill - not just CBT and a brief Condition Management Programme.

This is long term, there are no quick fixes. There are a lot of people who need long term support and it need not be in paid employment - it's about helping people find their own capacities going at their own pace knowing that benefits are not going to be taken away from them - maybe its helping people into social situations after years of isolation.

There is a tendency in this debate to talk about the unemployed without recognising that people on IB are also ill or have a disability. Also we need to recognise that years of poverty, deprivation both material and emotional, plus the dysfunctional family relationships they lead to leave their mark through generations. The damage done by the Conservative government in the 1980s lives on.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

DWP Resources Swiped Here For Users

UserWatch is giving you the resources for further study on the Dept of Work and Pensions's (DWP) website page ref: Welfare Reform . The Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is here and Incapacity Benefit (IB) is changing . So study the situation if need be ..We know that great anxiety is being created by Govt and we feel the way Welfare Reform has been treated, is less enabling of the Ladders-and-Bridges-to-recovery approach , and more getting rid of the workhouses (that became mental health asylums) only to create community re-isolated workarses. That's you . Its quite cruel and typically unegotiated by the new political classes who wanted welfare to die a Thatcherite death. So much for the Service Economy (globalising) approach and banking to sustain us all . We predict a new form of localism (not protectionism) will evolve though, as slowly it will become socially and economically impractical to have productive sectors the other side of the world .....

No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility

No one written off - case studies

The Green Paper “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” was a wide ranging consultation on the future of welfare. It set out plans for improving support and work incentives to create a system that rewards responsibility and delivers greater choice and control over the support that is provided. The consultation closed on 22 October 2008.

A summary of responses to the consultation and the Government’s White Paper will appear on this site.

Get involved – take part in our final consultation event

Our final consultation event is on Friday 24 October in Newcastle – this event is now full.

Read the Green Paper


Section by section - PDF

Large print

Easy read version

Consultation questions

No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility – List of consultation questions (13.9KB) rich text format

Quick Read

The Quick Read is a shorter summary of the Green Paper.

No one written off - quick read (547KB) PDF

The printed version includes a FREEPOST response form to make it easier for people to send in their views on the policy proposals. If you are running a consultation event, you can order copies using the contact details below.

Impact assessment

Impact assessment – No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility (387KB) PDF

Case studies

Watch three short films that explore the steps some of our customers have taken in their journey to secure work after a period of long-term unemployment. Through the continued support of DWP they highlight the challenges each individual has faced and overcome to find a fulfilling job.

More support, higher expectations

The Government believes that citizens should meet certain conditions in return for state support and that this will help people to find work and escape poverty. This is known as conditionality.

More support, higher expectations: the role of conditionality in improving employment outcomes (169KB) PDF considers the impact and effectiveness of conditionality in the UK welfare system

Copies of the consultation

You can order copies of the consultation from:

Post: Department for Work and Pensions, Welfare Reform Green Paper Team, Room 249, Level 2, The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT
Fax: 020 7712 2458
Telephone: 020 7712 2316
Textphone: 020 7962 8380

Google For Mental Health Users TOO ! Get Empowered

UserWatch Supports Google Supporting Others

This is a good trend by Google getting tips and hints on YouTube so others can learn quickly how to make better use of the brilliant free BLOGGER facilities. The Vid above shows how to use "Gadgets".....So get into these vids - kids !!!

We put two vids on UserWatch previously HERE - and will continue to build up links that show empowered use of Google facilities - anything to get others getting their own spaces and outside the clutches of State driven blinker-sites..


Mercedes Benz To The Endz - Alleluyah

A Song About One Hell Of A Car



Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Deny Russian Connections With C.P.T.

UserWatch Reports

Rumours that the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust have been involved in attempts to sleight Sarah Palin of the US republican party have been investigated by UserWatch.

Although its probably true their State orientated ways of "Top-Down" control are influenced by ex KGB immigrants and relatives of Pavlov who love CBT, and other forms of simple mind control - we have examined the video evidence above and cannot identify any area of the room shown therein to support allegations of graffitti done by Sue Turner the CEO of the Trust .

Questioning staff too - UserWatch finds no solid foundation either for the accusation that BSMHFT music therapy dept has had any involvement in the evidence shown above . Boris , staff revisionist guitarist at the Birmingham And Solihull mental Health Trust claims that he and Sergei may tinkle bells to get patient saliviating at their music but they did not help their cousin shown in the video with his proof that Russia has developed a brand of the more specialised CPT Therapy..

UserWatch welcomes a firm evidence base that develops Cognitive Pisstaking Therapy measures ....Well done Vlad - you are in the clear . We too think Sarah is "grate"....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mental Health & Disability Google Alerts Facilities - You Design It They Get It

thinks Google is a reasonably good company with policies of helping people in order to build up an empowered market- supported base, that allows free resources and information expansion to occur . Users of Google resources can get a google-mail account and set up their own alerts worldwide on categories of subjects tailored for the individual's interest .. What we show below is self explanatory ...

Google News Alert for: Mental Health Charity

Exclusive: Dementia flagged as priority but services are cut by PCTs
Healthcare Republic - USA
Dr Chris Manning, a member of the RCGP mental health group and founder of charity Primary Care Mental Health and Education (PRIMHE), said: ‘We should be ...
See all stories on this topic

Google Blogs Alert for: Mental Health Charity

Charities Join Forces To Amplify Voices Of People With Mental ...
By Health News from Medical News Today
Two respected mental health charities are set to merge to make their work more effective. Mental Health Media has taken the decision to join forces with Mind to put a powerful infrastructure behind its work in giving a strong voice to ... -
Debt and mental health
By (John Gale)
A survey by the mental-health charity MIND has looked into the links between mental-health problems and debt and found that 91% of people said that the experience of being in debebt had worsened their mental health. ...
Mental Health Update -
Conferences, Meetings and Events
By Paul Dudman(Paul Dudman)
The Welsh Refugee Council is hosting a groundbreaking conference on mental health for asylum seekers and refugees. ‘Mental Health Matters: Issues for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ takes place at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea on ...
Refugee Studies Current Awareness Blog -
Raising Money for an Important Organization
By (Tasha)
The goals of the NAMIWalks program are: to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the mental health system in this country needs to be improved and to raise funds for NAMI so that they can ...
afrobohemianchick -

Google News Alert for: Incapacity Benefit

A matter of policy with French Property
French Property News - Norwich,UK
This means that if you are over the UK legal retirement age and drawing on a UK state pension, or you claim longterm incapacity benefit or severe ...
See all stories on this topic

Google Blogs Alert for: Incapacity Benefit

100th new hospital
By Miller 2.0(Miller 2.0)
This is a great milestone. We're getting more equal, and we're getting more hospitals. Now perhaps we should stop being shitty to people who claim incapacity benefit or want to emigrate here to work...
New Direction -
Disabled or sick ?
By cusp(cusp)
For a long time now, people who receive Incapacity Benefit were in a sticky position if they began to think about a gradual return to work because, as Melissa says. '....IB has been a rigid, all-or-nothing system; you can work, ...
L'Ombre de mon Ombre -
The No Handouts Act 2008
From now on there will be no tax credits, no JSA, no council tax benefit, no housing benefits, no income support, no incapacity benefit and no disability living allowance. In short all hand outs are outlawed. To stop himself loosing the ...
The Thanet Star -
Mental Health You Cannot Bank On Incapacity Benefits Unless You ...
By PatientGuard(PatientGuard)
Mental Health Users that have contacted UserWatch have expressed worries about the changes taking place in Incapacity Benefit (IB) UK rules and eligibility criteria as well the Govt's partly stigmatizing push to get people off benefits ...
Birmingham and Solihull Mental... -
MEA’s response to Work and Pensions Green Paper
By meagenda
Around 2.7 million people currently claim Incapacity Benefit (ICB). The benefit is paid to people who are judged to be incapable of work, initially by a GP and then at a later date by a Benefits Agency doctor. ...
ME agenda -

Google News Alert for: mental health U.K.

National service on Mental Health comes on eve of 10th anniversary ...
Black Mental Health UK - London,UK
Human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK's have organised a national service on Thursday 30 th October, a day before the 10th anniversary of the ...
See all stories on this topic

UK teenage suicide rates on the decline - London,UK
Over the study period, only 14 per cent of young people who committed suicide were in contact with mental health services in the year prior to their death, ...
See all stories on this topic
UK teen suicide rates on the decline
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
Over the seven year period, only 14% of young people who committed suicide were in contact with mental health services in the year prior to their death, ...
See all stories on this topic
Good Mental Health Equals Economic, Social Wealth
Medscape (subscription) - USA
The authors support a "cradle-to-grave" approach to mental health and well-being that includes the development of initiatives to support early diagnosis and ...
See all stories on this topic
Charities Join Forces To Amplify Voices Of People With Mental ...
Medical News Today (press release) - UK
Two respected mental health charities are set to merge to make their work more effective. Mental Health Media has taken the decision to join forces with ...
See all stories on this topic
Mental health steps advised
Craegmoor News - UK
Steps need to be taken to safeguard the mental health of employees in Britain, according to a new report. The government's Foresight panel has made a series ...
See all stories on this topic

Shrink isn't in: Dearth of psychiatrists in India - New Delhi,India
New Delhi: This Mental Health Awareness Week, CNN-IBN does a status check on the facilities available revealing a shocking state of affairs in the country. ...
See all stories on this topic
New website gives information on mental health services in Wirral ...
Wirral News - Wirral,Merseyside,UK
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) has launched , which covers topics like its mental health, learning disability and ...
See all stories on this topic
GPs urged to recommend occupational therapy and physical activity
OnMedica - London,UK
The guidance focuses on the role of occupational therapy interventions and physical activity interventions in boosting good mental health in older people. ...
See all stories on this topic

Google Blogs Alert for: mental health U.K.

UK Health News 10/23/2008
By western4uk
Simple activities such as gardening or mending a bicycle can protect mental health and help people to lead more fulfilled and productive lives, a panel of scientists has found. A “five-a-day” programme of social and personal activities ...
Fade Library -
UK: Warning on workers' mental health
By Gary Holden
UK: Warning on workers' mental health...
news -
Mental Health Nursing In The UK Article - Health Articles
By admin
Mental Health positions can be accessed through various UK jobsites. Due to the chronic shortage of nurses in the UK employers are proactively widening their recruitment nets abroad to try and cover their vacancies. ...
Maintain a healthy -
Warning on workers’ mental health
By quaker
BBC News health reporter. The UK needs a major rethink of its workplaces to avoid mental ill health increasing amid the current economic uncertainty, say government advisers. More than 450 experts assessed the potential challenges of ...
Bunpai -

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mental Health : You Cannot Bank On Incapacity Benefits Unless You Are A Banker


23rd Oct 2008

Mental Health Users that have contacted UserWatch have expressed worries about the changes taking place in Incapacity Benefit (IB) UK rules and eligibility criteria as well the Govt's partly stigmatizing push to get people off benefits and into work. These matters were not well handled either by David Freud ( a one time Banker) who advised the Govt on IB alterations and who appeared to pander to anti-benefit sentiments that are all too readily linked to prejudice towards those who find it difficult to fit easily into society and the world of work . (David Freud Telegraph Article)

IB as it is often called, is changing into Employment Support Allowance and we consider it has been handled in a very poor way and has not considered fluctuating disabling conditions enough . Therefore "TOOL UP". In Birmingham you might want to seek help in time by using the following website to find a solicitor and or advice



Look at the left hand side of the site and put in your postcode as well as define the area of advice you want ... Then check the results which will come up automatically

We note also the Guardian have run a story (Oct 22nd 2008) about the difficulties of those with fluctuating conditions - its worth a read although parts of the case are hardly applicable to those at the bottom of society who have far less power of negotiation than the person who offered their experience up for observation . Nevertheless the weaves and twists of the story do show up some all too common themes of a chaotic dryly cold and uncompassionate State ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mental Health Individual Budgets The Latest

Individual Budgets for mental health service users in the UK with a social care component in their needs are being partly successful in the UK - USERWATCH shares the Govt report below this paragraph . The real problems though with this partial picture and way of doing things is the way Patient Choice needs to be trusted far more and the theme of personal financial control extended in matters of various therapies , psycho-therapy and other recovery approaches . To be sure the patient is not always "expert" enough in the way they might navigate mental difficulties but the chance to develop a patient culture of best practice from various routes of shared patient experiences has to be released otherwise a culture of more genuine patient choice cannot increase and become self informing from patient to patient as well as being cheaper and more efficient for health.

21 Oct 2008

Individual budgets can give people more choice, flexibility and control over their personal care, as well as a better quality of life, according to a pilot scheme evaluation report launched today by Care Services Minister Phil Hope.

The independent evaluation was conducted by a combined team of five university research units. It found that individual budgets had particular benefits for mental health service users and younger disabled people. While there were no important differences in overall cost (IBs cost on average about £280 compared with £300 for standard mainstream services), there were indications that individual budgets have the potential to offer greater value for money.

Individual budgets give people who have care needs the power to decide the nature of their own support and the report showed that most groups liked this. People can choose to use the money to fund the care that suits them best and fits in with their lifestyle - for example by having someone support them at home rather than going into residential care.

Mental health service users in the individual budget group reported a significantly higher quality of life. Younger physically disabled people were more likely to report higher quality of care, and were more satisfied with the help they received, the choice and control they experienced and felt they had the opportunity to build better quality support networks. People with learning disabilities were more likely to feel that they had control over their daily lives.

However, the report found that older people did not find the individual budget system used during the pilot as easy to use as the other groups, and they did not appear to like the idea of managing their own support.
Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

"Individual budgets can put people back in control of their own care, and give them a better quality of life. This report is invaluable in helping us understand the benefits of individual budgets, as well as the action we need to take so that everyone can benefit from them.

"Since this research was undertaken more support has been put in place for older people and early indicators have shown that this has transformed their experiences of using individual budgets. We will conduct further research to investigate the impacts further. We must also get better at letting people know that they don't have to take on management of the budget themselves.

This is a very complex area. We will work to address the recommendations of this report, to make greater choice and control a reality for many more people."

The results of this research will feed into work to introduce pilots of personal budgets for healthcare from 2009, as announced in the NHS Next Stage Review.

As part of the Department of Health's plan to transform social care, the Department announced in late 2007 it would empower people to shape their own lives and the services they receive through personal budgets.

Notes to Editors :

1. The "Evaluation of the Individual Budget Pilot Projects" report is independent, written by a combined team from The University of York's Social Policy Research Unit, Kings College London's Social Care Workforce Research Unit and the Personal Social Services Research Unit of Manchester University, LSE and the University of Kent. They are collectively called The Individual Budgets Evaluation Network (IBSEN). The report can be found at the Department of Health website :

2. The report is an evaluation of the pilot scheme conducted over two years, 2006-2007. It involved a survey of 959 people including disabled groups, older people and young people in transition to adulthood.

3. Further research on the impact of individual budgets on carers will be published in due course. Early findings from the research suggest that at least some carers of older people may experience considerable benefits from the flexibility offered by IB's.

4. The aim of Individual Budgets is to give individuals the power to decide the nature of their own support. An IB brings together resources from different funding streams into a single sum that can be spent flexibly in accordance with their needs and preferences. They can either have the money paid to them directly and then make their own arrangements to meet their needs, or ask the Council to provide services, or a mixture of both.

5. The Individual Budgets project was commissioned by the Department of Health in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). The Supporting People programme, one of the six funding streams included in the IB pilots and managed by CLG , was identified by the IB managers as one of the most flexible of the funding streams. It is possible for a majority of Local Authorities to deliver IBs which include SP within the terms of the existing Grant Conditions - a number of non pilot authorities are starting to develop processes to do so.

6. 'Putting People First' - a vision for the transformation of social care - was launched alongside a £520 million Social Care Reform grant in Dec 2007. It set out the need to empower citizens to shape their own lives and the services they receive. This included giving the vast majority of people who receive funded care thewith clear rules - for example to ensure that it fully supports the principles of the NHS as a comprehensive service, free at the point of use.

COI ref 166588P

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is There Mental Health Hope For The US ? Judge For Yourself

See more Hayden Panettiere videos at Funny or Die

Mental Health Foundation Trusts Lack Patient Choice Vision ?

Whilst UK NHS Mental Health Trusts are making "surpluses" (£3.9 Million For the Last Financial Year at the UK Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust) by shaving off activities such as better patient choice of therapies, it is becoming clear from BBC reports "Elite Trusts Lack Ambition" that a lack of deeper relational vision with patient needs is not just a local phenomenon.

The criticisms and concerns are coming from MP's and the oft quoted King's Fund - but what is best for the patient in terms of choice is being fought over - particularly in mental health by the legions of Dept Of Health related bureacracts that want everyone to believe that they know best and are advised by "experts" . A patient culture however of CHOICE which drives quality is left out of the equation . The patient is denied the expertise of their experience and even evolving that .

The slowness of the so called IAPT programme in the UK (Improvement To Access To Psychological Therapies) is not merely due to the national slow roll out of new CBT trained graduate psychologists but due also to the Foundation regimes at Trusts to "save money" and create surpluses subtracted essentially from patient need .

What UserWatch can reveal is a collection of Primary Care Trusts (Pan Birmingham Commisioners) who dole out money to the hospital based Trusts and Services are looking via on Online survey to Third Sector and charity supply of therapies - to take a measure of what is on offer .. No doubt the DOH with its heavy handedness and current Labour spectacles will try to cobble private supply approaches with perverse over-insistence on "objective evidence bases" in a field which is substantially patient-relational and often about the patient's relational pain in the world which connects to their difficult inner life .

UserWatch talking to patients locally and across the UK have heard a common theme about many NHS psychologists - namely the Psychologists have an irrational belief in an objectivity that tries to embed itself in the relational field of the patient without realising that its own stance creates substantial distrust and alienation of feeling related to .. Try being clinically "Observed" by others . Its paranoia inducing . Its as simple as that . Some psychologist need to be trained in relational psychodynamics which views the patient inside a relational field with them and the institution they are in . Either that, or get a microscope and change proffessions.

The demand locally in Birmingham UK for psychological therapies which match conditions that need mixtures of therapeutic support across the spectrum from severe neuroses (OCD) to Bipolar and Schitzophrenia, to Personality Disorders is still active though too often muffled because of the selective hearing and spending problem that exists at Trust Board levels - i.e. the demands to make savings ...

It is the State we at UserWatch believe that is holding progress back because patients are not allowed to drive therapy-choice and quality through being directly involved in purchase control too .

What is powerfully the case with Labour is their distrust of ordinary people to order their affairs when assisted in the right way . Labour only appear to have a "mixed-up" policy which tries to slowly morph the State supply sides into Third Sector and Charity suppliers and the merit in that is it may suppress the private sector supply costs but it also may put into an iron jacket the patient, who cannot importantly drive the chosen quality of the treatment-supply in style and time scales relevant to their lives ..

Sunday, October 12, 2008

World Mental Health Day And Light Relief

UserWatch Gives Light Relief

The UserWatch team prowl dark local patient areas in the new NHS and Mental Health Charity existential binlands where the increasingly well fed NHS fur-lined User Crats mowl in meetings and stalk ..

But frankly - or wankly, if you look at the cartoon above that emerged from deep boned experience of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, we have heard back from a few of the Team ....Yeah, KAKATOO has not wasted time either as we can see and some staffies no doubt will be harassing UserWatch for being hatebags with acid balls with nails through them etc ..

Apparently some of the UserWatch Team though have been talking to local Birmingham Users about World Mental Health Day and its theme and it was revealing . It emerged quite quickly in uniquely lateral logics that some Users thought Dorothy was on Oz-ward and that the Wicked Witch Of The West who controlled World Mental Health Day was actually senior management figures . But UserWatch would not locally accuse Sue Turner the CEO of BSMHFT that - Nahhhhhh...

She is uniquely one-derful ...

Some Users (confidentiality preserved) said Kansas where all the tornadoes happened and Toto's descendents pissed on local bushes, was next to the World Mental Health Day town : "WANKAS"...

We absolutely dis-associate ourselves from this belief because Kansasians are good people and are not associated with the World Mental Health Day "WANKAS" - unless they too have World Mental Health Day parades there ......

Another young lady User reportedly said : "WANKAS - is the Zietgeist FOOLS"..

Another User claimed to have seen the geist-thing film and they had to up their medication afterwards .

"Yeah but that was that Polter thing" ... Said another User apparently .

"Stephen Hawking made it " Replied another, say the Team

"CERN has lost its particles and so have I " Replied another in the World Mental Health Day conversation which had now moved on from Dorothy to geists to other types of unintended Stephens and then towards fundamental origins of the universe..

"Patient Choice is a rare particle in NHS Physics !" -

Piped up a UserWatch Team member trying to be fucking clever and failing other UserWatch members judged by sheer User-scowls

"Are CERN part of the NHS ? " Said another User

One User with pure focus reportedly shouted out :

"You are all fucking WANKAS" ...

Everyone apparently agreed and stopped being prejudicial to World Mental Health Day Towns allegedly next to Kansas . It may be rare pariticles like strange-hope and Patient Choice may be detected one day, but until then everyone needs a good solid hand and some light relief .....We know the Services though get their planning brief from WANKAS and the furry User Crats often seek lots of extra creaming there .. They are truly WANKASIANS ...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Al The Cannie Announces Care Website For Birmingham You Can Spell Out Your Views On

SEEEEEEE.... UserWatch is not always nasty to bureaubods - We do things for the Government too . Secretary Of State Alan Johnson after a beer or ten with us all has announced a website that people in Brum can access to spell out how they think social care should be shaped in the future .

We hope some mental health users will use this - but the first problem is what you might call "locked context" - since most people have known nothing but Council social care services could they possibly stretch to seeing another supply side which might help them more ? Its true that the Local Council do "Social Care" assessments and then there are some private suppliers the money pays for - but how much does this stretch across to wider User-Choice in adult mental health ? Not much ..

But for all that we will put the link to that website here - see below for Al's full text .


People in Birmingham will today have the opportunity to shape Government policy and tell the Health Secretary Alan Johnson what they think about the future of the care and support system in England. (SEE WEBSITE HERE TO GIVE YOUR VIEWS )

In the next 20 years the number of people over 65 in the West Midlands will increase by 373,800 (43%) and the number of people over 85 will increase by 101,700 (93%).

As a result, the care system must change to meet the changing needs of society.

The engagement on the future of care and support involves members of the public, people who use services and their families joining the Secretary of State to discuss their views on what kind of system they want to see in the future, as well as how it should be funded.

Alan Johnson said:

"In 20 years’ time the number of over 65s in Birmingham will have increased by 16 per cent so it’s vital I discuss, with the people of Birmingham, how we can create a high quality, affordable care and support system for a rapidly ageing population "

“The care and support system for the future should promote independence, choice and control for everyone. It is important that everyone has their own personalised care plan so that they can choose how their needs are met both though the care and support system and the NHS. We are committed to creating a care and support system that meets the needs of our ageing population and their families. I urge people to get involved - the reform affects us all.”

In 20 years’ time a quarter of the entire adult population in England will be over 65 and the number of people over 85 will have doubled. We expect over 1.7 million more people to have care and support needs in 20 years’ time.

Millions of people across the country are involved with providing and using care and support. This reform is about finding a new way to help people stay active, care for family members, retain maximum dignity and respect and have the best possible quality of life.

Members of the public can contribute their views through a website :

This Is A Mental Health Users Way Forward - Learn To Use Blogger - GET A VOICE



We at Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust UserWatch UK applaud Google for making Blogger and tutorials available which is part of the growing ability for people to democratise the web and not have the pyramidicity of the media as the sole place for information to flow . This is a good move by Google and we missed it for a time it ! It needs to be spread in our mental health communities and we have been doing some of that that already at UserWatch (for free) - i.e. hands on teaching of real mental health Service Users to use Blogger who are now more autonomous ..

We have talked about this "pyramidicity effect" in the corporate planning of national mental health health in the UK . Its not altogether good, to say the least, when patients (Service Users) cannot get to the health supply side they need and they watch staff and quasi staff bureaucracies gaining more and more operatives, but still patient support needs are unmet and even disappear because of no representation of those in corners of the community ..

We'll do everything we can to support those who need their OWNED SERVICE USER VOICE and to compete politically and socially against those who claim to be their mouths for them ..

We actually believe in freedom of the individual and do things to make it so - we do not pay great heed to pc ways forward which are in the contrary repertoire of the strangely fascist Liberal-left who mostly create bureaucracies - ie. career freedoms for themselves .. Capiche? We've seen it at first hand ...

At UserWatch we are making sure our communities know about too . Hey ...Buckle your Blog shoes on ... Now ! Public !

Another resource is shown below

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mental Health - Have Foundation Trusts Banked NHS Money Abroad ?

UserWatch Asks

Has the UK Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) exposed itself to financial risk by banking NHS money abroad ?

There is a powerful furore in the UK at the moment over Local Authority Councils having invested in collapsing Iceland banks. The exposure could be as much as one billion pounds - and this now includes stories about Police finances too .. It appears in the mass zeitgeist of financial hypnosis over years that a kind of boundaryless "global" has been good and "local" is boring - thus some serious public money in the UK is locked away in debatable foreign areas of financial nothingness just as confidence in banks everywhere has disappeared ...Suddenly the notion of real boundaries has re-asserted itself - Yeah ....Like Iceland is in fact another country ...Whoops that's geography for you, rather than virtuality...

We do not know about BSMHFT. Not as yet . What we do know is there is evidence that a NHS London Foundation Trust has been looking at banking abroad in Dec 2007 - Feb 2008 . The banks are listed in the document we are linking you to . There are quite a lot of Foundation NHS Trusts in the UK now

"Foundation Trust" status was intended to set the Trusts free from centralised Dept Of Health control . Over time the FT Trusts would become ideally free to make autonomous financial judgments about how they invested money they had "saved" on their functions and to "invest" it where they saw fit "for the good of the patients"...

At UserWatch we have criticised this mentality and practice and always said "Patient Choice" should be the driver not NHS Trusts because we've seen care services shaved away and patients partly abandoned . Govt we have argues should enable "Patient Choice" the closer to the local General Practitioner (Doctor) the better .. New Labour though we think has undermined the GP patient axis . Its our opinion .At local levels its an experience of many .

But anti-local boundarylessness is also a very strong feature of New Labour - NHS Trusts are using lottery money for preferred groups they support and at least one Strategic Health Authority is, as well as the DOH created Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP related to NIMHE). We are talking several million pounds here . This strategy creates more bureacracy not local autonomy and locally led growth ..

The point is, public money , serious, rather then ritual local deomcracy and boundaries are actually needed. Perhaps the dreaming is over regarding a lack of accountability, for in Local Council banking and finance of council-taxpayers money we see at last the democratic deficit built up by politicians so local control is diluted or virtually lost and local people are under thrall to bureacracy "gone a bit global" ...Maybe up the pole too ..

Boy do we need a UK democracy to seriously re-assert itself - and the same in other democracy dreaming countries .. We had all better wake up .

Ps : The UK Housing Associations may well have some very serious risk exposure to foreign banks - Journalists should checks this out with the London Housing Coporation


So far two NHS Trusts and some Housing Associations are exposed to risk by having their money deposited in banks outside the UK (Source Channel 4 news UK 10th October 2008 ) some charities look likely too to be exposed to risk