Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mental Health User Spots Giant Miracle Yellow Spurting Fountain Statue In The NHS Ratlantic

Wowwwwww......! Its miraculous what some Service Users spot when out in those harsh health seas isnt it ?

We at UserWatch must praise Kakatoo for rowing and sketching heaving sights simultaneously ...How many hands does Kakatoo have ...?

Amazing !!!!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Mental Health Dog Island Without Health Beaches

Under the green sky
By Patient Dogcatraz

Where the DOH policy sharks
Can roam in foam

There's the social links
Empty soul belt ring
Where accountability
Has no home

Mind you
There's a Dog-bone moon
In the sky

And two Sigmund windows
For intelligence,

And a wise greeny-black
Roaming eye

Who would have thought
HMS Reality
Is little but a place of sink

And that Crusoe
Wants to remain where he is
To enjoy
Island drink

So it goes ....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Johnny's Post Trauma And Mental Health - World War One

By Silvis Rivers From

Commentary : Coming Up To November 11th 2008

There was no place for labels such as "Post Traumatic Syndrome" 90 years ago ...Just the "thousand year look" - white faced and dissociated . And some named it "Shell Shock" ...Why?

Shells were not just designed to explode on impact in the field, but in the air too ...So there was a steel rain of peppering death over soldiers in the field sometimes ..Living with a death rain of steel teeth and watching it rip friends apart will put men into an internal outer orbit - so they leave their white shocked skin selves far behind - on battle planet ..

I recall a man who used to have a "dog in his skin"....It was a shrapnel "dog" and he made it "sit up and beg" by manipulation and he showed it to children and made them smile when the dog settled down on his arm ...

He never told them how the shells in packs tore his friends apart... The tragic and mad and gallows humour though all link hand in hand - its the way of some soldiers

Today a BBC documentary on a Cornish man showed him remember the battle and deaths of friends and they filmed him on the french field of war - putting a wreath at last where his friend died .. 90 years it took to talk and join some tears together . Of honour, and war's stupidity, of some kind of gains, and of loss that saw another World War arise ..What a mix of a race we all are ..

Post Trauma though is a valuable locked in testimony often untold . Often socially unreceived because human pain is taboo and the truth of our collective madness is taboo. We have to allow people to own it more quickly on an individual level and to receive its implied terrible critique - of all of us ....

World War One ? Its worth remembering to the core ..

Johnny's Poem

Jack's left with

The clay god
Who in the rain runs red

And the mud-poke-bullets stand up
From the soil
Like the bone fingers
Of the machine gun dead

John's poppy is a time machine
He has learned to dread

For armies and those ripping screams
Under thunder tanks

Come out of the tracks in his head

Silvis Rivers ....Nov 10th 2008


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Mental Health - Ray Sandford's US Story Of Court Ordered Community ECT

We will carry this story from Mind Freedom International because there will be interest in the UK especially as "Treatment orders in the Community" can now be legally ordered on mental health patients .

MindFreedom International -- 7 November 2008

Human Rights Alert: Involuntary Electroshock - please forward

If it's Wednesday, then Ray Sandford is

Getting Escorted from His Home

for Another Forced Electroshock

Minnesota Resident Gets Involuntary Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
On A Weekly Ongoing "Outpatient" Basis

ACTION: How You Can Easily E-mail Minnesota Governor (See Below)

by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

The past Wednesday morning after the historic USA election what were you doing? I know what Ray Sandford, 54, was doing.

Each and every Wednesday, early in the morning, staff shows up at Ray's sheltered living home called Victory House in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, adjacent to Minneapolis. Staff escorts Ray the 15 miles to Mercy Hospital.

There, Ray is given another of his weekly electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments, also known as electroshock. All against his will. On an outpatient basis.

And it's been going on for months.

Ray says the weekly forced electroshocks are "scary as hell." He absolutely opposes having the procedure. He says it's causing poor memory for names such as of friends and his favorite niece. "What am I supposed to do, run away?" Instead, Ray phoned his local library's reference desk to ask about human rights groups, and the librarian referred him to MindFreedom International.

Ray called me at our office here at MindFreedom International about two
weeks ago. At first I wasn't sure I believed him. Of course, MindFreedom International has documented proven cases of electroshock against the expressed wishes of the subject all over the world, including in the USA. MindFreedom succeeded in having the United
Nations World Health Organization call in writing for a global ban on all involuntary electroshock.

But this is the first time I've been on the phone with someone getting court-ordered forced shock while living out in the community, on an outpatient basis.

This is the ultimate double whammy.

I confirmed Ray's story by calling two staff at Victory House as well as his court-appointed conservator, Tonya Wilhelm of Luthern Support Services of Minnesota.

Ms. Wilhelm said, "We are following the letter of the law." She said the State of Minnesota had secured a variety of court orders that require Ray to have forced electroshock against his expressed wishes. Ms. Wilehlm says it's all legal and she can't do anything about it.

Krista Erickson, chair of MindFreedom's Shield Campaign, sees it differently. "This is terrible. This is a serious human rights violation that should stop. I hope MindFreedom members and supporters speak out. Even if Minnesota is following the letter of the current law, the law ought to be changed. And Ray has not had the legal power to appeal to higher courts."

I pointed out to Conservator Wilhelm that the public -- when they find out about forced electroshock -- is passionately opposed to their taxpayer money being used to force such brutality on citizens. Ms. Wilhelm did let slip that what is happening to Ray -- involuntary
outpatient electroshock -- is not that uncommon in Minnesota.

But when Ms. Wilhelm found out we at MindFreedom are issuing one of our public human rights alert to you and others, at Ray's repeated request, she said something chilling.

Ms. Wilhelm claimed she had a legal right to stop MindFreedom!

Ms. Wilhelm told me :

"Only I can give you permission legally to say anything publicly about this."

I pointed out we are not a medical facility, and that if she falsely claims we're doing anything illegal then this is defamation. Which really is illegal.

Ms. Wilhelm laughed loudly in the phone, said : "let our lawyers talk," and hung up on me. I hope she hung up to read the First Amendment.

Let's disobey Ms. Wilhelm!

Spread Ray's alert far and wide! Speak out against this electrical torture, now! Because... Remember... While the world marvels at the power of USA democracy: If it's Wednesday morning, then Ray Sandford is being led from his home -- which is supposed to be his castle -- to get another weekly forced procedure that can cause brain damage and wipe out memories.

E-mail your firm but polite message to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

SAMPLE MESSAGE -- your own words are best:

"Investigate the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford. Every Wednesday morning, MindFreedom says Ray is brought from Victory House in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for forced electroshock. Stop all forced electroshock today! Taxpayer money should not fund torture!" [Your name/contact.]

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mental Health - Through The Valley Of Debt - And Treasury Vultures?

UK Government Walks Through The Valley Of Debt

Will The NHS Magical "Surplus" Be Raided ?

by silvisrivers | November 4, 2008

Well now, it does not take much to wobble a UK health planet made unstable with various contrary gravity forces around it - does it ?

The sudden deep gravity lurch towards recession has seen the UK Treasury eyeing up the NHS surpluses created by the Foundation Trusts . That is £2.5 Billion . Now there's a bit of rocket fuel for you ...

Of course locally, UserWatch is aware of the UK Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust declaring its last financial year surplus as £3.9 million.

The Primary Care Trusts with whom the Trust's are supposed to have planning partnership (PCT's are the planners , local redesigners and commissioners of services ) are frankly chaosed with so many new Govt imperatives . For example : becoming Foundation Trusts themselves and also amalgamating and also reconfiguring services galore - and also - and also, because the "also's" just go on and on .. Yes you've understood, the PCT's are "also-rated"....From having to digest too much ..

But joking aside, this is dangerous for some people's health because some patients just do not get timely services .. And of course the £2.5 billion surplus will be put into buildings mainly (A Keynsian economic strategy) - at a time when patients are increasingly short bed stays and are pushed to be cared for in their own homes ... Oh a time too when allowances for care will be means tested pretty severely ...In mental health, Service Users have for some time seen the great "you are on your own" push by the Dept Of Health - dressed up as a community care ..So this is nothing new to them .

But do not take our word for the problems we outline - have a look at what Bill Moyes (Regulator "Monitor" for the Foundation Trusts) says :

"The head of Monitor has warned it would be "completely bizarre" for the Department of Health to claw back foundation trust surpluses.

Executive chairman Bill Moyes' comments came after HSJ revealed the Treasury was considering holding on to all or part of the surplus to ease the financial crisis.

Mr Moyes told HSJ: "The surpluses are there mainly for capital investment. They have money and they are ready with specific plans.

"The chancellor is saying he wants to see capital investment brought forward. It would be bizarre for the Treasury to be saying that with one voice, and then to have the DH taking away the ability of foundation trusts to make those investments [with another]."

The Treasury has proposed a Keynesian-inspired strategy to stimulate the economy in the impending recession by bringing forward public investment in construction projects.

Mr Moyes said the foundation trust cash surplus, which reached £2.5bn in June, meant they were ready and able to play their part in that. He has already advised foundation trusts to bring forward any capital plans where they can.

"If David Nicholson and the Treasury think it would be helpful I am very happy to put that in writing to the foundations and to encourage them [further]. But my sense is they don't need encouragement; what they need is clarity from their commissioners."

Mr Moyes said the barrier preventing foundation trusts from investing their surpluses was that primary care trusts did not know what new services they wanted locally.

"My message for the DH is that instead of thinking about taking away foundation surpluses, encourage PCTs to focus on where they want new facilities so that foundations have a basis for spending money sensibly," he said. "

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mental Health : The Dept Of Health's Repetitive Pyramidicity Syndrome

UserWatch Reports

After several years of attempts at "Patient and Public Involvement" the Dept of Health (DOH) are at it again with a new document . Its called "Real Involvement" It was released on the 30th Oct 2008 ..

Its a bit of shame the document was so big at 6.1 MB because it does present problems of download for some members of the public and when oh when are the DOH going to produce simple black and white text versions for easy and economical printing ?

At 143 pages its hardly a User friendly document to encourage "Real Involvement". Most Service Users we know are already yawning at it and could not be bothered to read it - that is if they even have a computer.

Meanwhile Local Involvement Network (LINks) spiderlings are emerging out of the re-constructed hiatus web that Labour politicians and the DOH bureaucracy with its fear of real patient democracy created . Certain signs of some vision are occuring with some LINks in the UK but it is very early days and there is plenty of time for background concealed top level NHS attack on lay bodies like LINks, that dare to criticise local service delivery .

After years too of DOH politically correct "equality practice" good old class riddled Britain is hardly Mr Health equality either . We note a recent Health service Journal article provokes concern - it followed on from the recent Press Association's UK wide statement with a breakdown of Primary Care Trusts who were not keeping to good health-equality delivery practice :

NHS services in the poorest and most needy parts of the country are being systematically
underfunded to the benefit of the healthiest and wealthiest.

Analysis by HSJ of the budgets allocated to GPs to pay for drugs and hospital care for their patients show that the wealthiest tenth of the population are, on average, more than 2 per cent overfunded while the poorest tenth are 2 per cent underfunded.

The analysis, confirmed by health economists and the Department of Health, shows the inverse care law - which says those who need healthcare the most are least likely to get it - remains true nearly 40 years after the phrase was first coined.

Still in the field of "Real Involvement" UserWatch notes an article by Richard Knowles in the Health Service Journal . Richard looks at the use of the terms "Command and Control" - clearly wanting to rescue the terms from the critics of the bureaucractised NHS and make them re-cast as worthy of use ..

The problem is, the NHS is so weighted with bureacracy and centre-ism or inside giant existential glass dome protection zones that patients lose out out on REAL local control . Real local control cannot be exercised until the patient democracy has much closer power-to-purchase, and the accountability mechanisms to monitor that complimentarily lie inside local connections, as local in fact as General Practitioner Doctors (GP's) and local lay committee of public volunteers who can scrutinise the process over years for fairness .

The NHS in truth cannot let go of its over attachment to the patient because the DOH itself cannot let go and the Govt cannot let go either of the idea that State knows best ....

The clogged up area that militates against "Real Involvement" appears to be a whole section of both DOH functions and local NHS functions which can actually be made worse by Govt's ideas that everyone should change into quasi-state-bureacrats in order to be "really involved" and protect the NHS ..

The truth is people want health budgets and not health bureaucracy and what we do have is command and control diversions from that simple truth ...In mental health (MH) do we have better recovery cycles for patients - do we have real therapy choices ? No... Do we have ways to negotiate with a State bent on turning everyone into a worker ? No .

Locally the NHS in Birmingham creates more and more of its own in house solutions and attracts a new form of patient bureaucracy to it . This idea was created by a combination of DOH and Dept of Work and Pensions planning plus some MH charities keen on getting in on the provider side to become job creation schemes themselves . We think this is questionable because of genuine lost treatment opportunity to other patients . At UserWatch we have seen that inside the local mental health services , the "assimilated" patients, are patients that are fit enough to work elsewhere .

Its just another case of bureaucratic diversion which will be spun out as creating work - paradoxically though, we think it keeps others quietly more disabled...

But what is happening to the patients who are not "equal to it all" ? - Lets get back to that theme - they are not the "healthiest or even the wealthiest" - and neither the most articulate - we think what is happening nationally on large scales is reflected in the way even at local levels in mental health services the NHS creates new mini enriched bureau-pyramids that also inverts the care law ...

UserWatch Says :

Look its simple : The Basic LAW OF GOB ( GOB'S LAW) says - if you are wealthier and healthier you have a bigger and more articulate voice, and that is the point, the real practice of hearing the patient voice has to be allocations of care given via Patient Choice - "bottom upwards" as close to the patient as possible , and monitored locally and genuinely by the public with completely independent advocacy for those at bottom of the voice pile ..Its not "ideal" its REAL ...

At UserWatch we are sick of seeing MH charities locally being both providers of services (NHS contracted) and also in this cross organisationality so called "advocates" for some patients ... That is not right either - its a conflict of interest position and these exist more and more with the State becoming enmeshed without boundaries into all kinds of new types of organisations that have few mechanisms of real accountability ..