Monday, March 30, 2009

The Man On The Wrong Railway Line - Therapy Wars UK


The story of the UK mental health service is one in which people with damaged backgrounds have endured poor treatment and little healing over time .. Has it changed ?

Dan (name changed) was a man in his 40's sitting on the railway line waiting for the train to come. He told me in a very quiet voice that he closed his eyes and just waited.
All this was some years ago - Dan is now well past his 60's .
He had come to be sitting in between the lines waiting for his own death because his marriage had broken down and he had some other lasting pains in his life he had not faced .
The railway line where he was sitting was near a set of Children's homes in Birmingham . He had been placed there as a child and had been raped in the Children's homes . So, coupled with his feelings of abandonment he had been seriously defiled and felt too much terror to speak about it. It had haunted him for years and years ..
When his marriage had collapsed he made his way back to the Children's homes - in a kind of trauma-homing-instinct and then after looking at the building where he had been housed as a child who was further defiled he walked through some wasteland to the nearby railway lines .
As he sat between them he finally heard the train. He tensed and kept his eyes closed .
The train went past on the opposite line . He collapsed and cried.
He told me recalling it all : "It was not my time "
His crying had been heard by a man who had been near the railway and that man ran down and picked Dan up in his arms . He took him to the nearby Highcroft Hospital and they "treated him" for depression but his past was not healed .
Dan in his 60's reported to me he was finally able to tell his story post 2005 - to a State mental health services therapist skilled at listening to feelings . Its a rare event in Birmingham for someone like Dan to be able to work through terrible feelings and memories. Too often the mental health services are risk averse around raising people's pain .
Dan's feelings and memories will always hurt him he says but he can live with them better . He had mental health problems all his life because of his pain and the shame and terror of what had happened .
Being in your late 60's is a long time to wait for mourning and tears for a childhood isn't it ?
The "therapy wars" in the UK are between a fundamental reality of being human with an internal narrative that can be properly heard, witnessed and re-owned with mourning, and a desire by the State to use a form of therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to help people control their feelings - to allieviate depression .
Should Dan have controlled his feelings ? For years and years ? No .. Dan needed his reality validated and to be helped to be wept out . He is lucky to have found a therapist through the mental health services that wanted to hear him fully . For others it still does not happen . There is even a part CBT culture growing that puts these "past" things aside trying to create "present-mindedness"
Emotionally wounded people deserve time and witness . Nothing needed to be altered in Dan apart from him being received by others and himself fully for his great wounds . Then Dan becomes integrated into his story, and so do we .

Oliver James (UK Psychologist ) champions greater depth than the UK Govt's £173 million CBT work driven push. CBT in the UK was mainly inspired by Govt by so many people claiming "depression" in the UK and claiming benefits . Will it do the job ?
On some perhaps . But in my experience there are still many many Dans and Dianas too .

From Adam James' Psychminded :

March 20, 2009
by Angela Hussain


A second high-profile clinical psychologist has delivered a hard-hitting criticism of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) claiming it is simplistic and “does not work”

Dr Oliver James accused government ministers of being "downright dishonest” when they claimed that new NHS CBT-trained therapists will cure half of 900,00 people of their depression and anxiety.

"“There is not a single scientific study which supports that claim,” says Dr James.

"Being cheap, quick and simplistic, CBT naturally appeals to the government. Yet the fact is, it doesn’t work,” added Dr James.

His attack in a newspaper column follows that of clinical psychologist Dorothy Rowe. Writing for Dr Rowe said CBT was a "Labour quick fix”.

Mental Health UserWatching The CBT "Therapy" Patterns


Media articles on IAPT

Ellesmere Port News - Therapist appointments to help mental patients - 7 January 2009

THE mental heath trust covering Western Cheshire is to employ seven specialist therapists to support a national NHS programme which helps adults suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, funded by the Department of Health via Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust, aims to improve access to care, cutting down waiting times and helping patients achieve recovery.

Pulse - Talking therapies scheme is working, evaluation finds - 24 November 2008

An NHS evaluation of the Government's flagship Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme has found it is successfully treating patients with depression and anxiety and helping people off long-term incapacity benefit.

Craegmoor - Anxiety and depression treatment boost in north-west - 30 October 2008

Access to psychological therapies for people suffering from depression and anxiety in the north-west will be improved by an injection of £43 million. The money will be spent on creating an extra 500 specialists in the field over the next three years.

BBC News Online - A lift for those who are down - 29 October 2008

Since almost everyone is affected directly or indirectly by the painful consequences of clinical depression and anxiety, I thought I would post some good news. The new psychological therapies which are being rolled out in England appear to be having a remarkable impact.

Yorkshire Evening Post - £4m for Leeds mental health therapies - 24 October 2008

LEEDS is one of 32 areas in the country to benefit from government funding aimed at helping people with common mental health problems.
NHS Leeds will receive over £4m over the next three years to deliver talking therapies for people with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Health Service Journal - Catching mental illness early - 22 September 2008

Things are set to change across much of Hertfordshire, following the county's success with several pilot and pathfinder sites for the national programme for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. Results from the larger original demonstration sites also persuaded the government to announce last October £173m of annual funding by 2010 for the programme across England, starting with £33m in 2008-09 to get the roll-out started.

The Independent - The pursuit of happiness: it's good to talk... or is it? - 8 July 2008

The belief that cognitive behaviour therapy is the most effective way of treating depression is wrong, claim leading psychotherapists.

The Sheffield Star - Recognition for staff giving mental health support - 8 July 2008

A team working to improve mental health in Doncaster has won a top national healthcare award. Staff from Doncaster Primary Care Trust's 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' scheme scooped the Service Transformation category at the Health and Social Care Awards in London.

Daily Mail - Talk therapy for the depressed 'could be wasting millions', say psychotherapists - 6 July 2008

Depression sufferers may not be receiving the most suitable treatment because of a Government obsession with one type of therapy, warn leading psychotherapists. The idea that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is more effective than other methods is a 'myth', they claim.

Last year Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced that by 2010, the Government would spend £173million a year on CBT.

Test Link : J4K Draft Survey

Sunday, March 29, 2009

NHS 400 Deaths God Is Aquitted But Patient Details Not Minuted

Cartoon By Kakatoo

Anything else to be squeezed out from this story ? Oh yes there is - do read on ..

Alan Johnson the Secretary Of State opposes a Public Enquiry into examination of the Mid Staffs NHS Foundation Trust 400 extra patient deaths (beyond the expected rate) . The Health Care Commission took quite a time to reveal the problems at Mid Staffs and the main public whistleblower Julie Bailey (who runs a cafe) with her concerns over the death of her mother Bella quite clearly did an important job of cutting right through the sleeping layers of NHS bureaucracy that surrounded change at Mid Staffs .

The current CEO of the Mid Staffs NHS Trust too opposes a Public Enquiry .

From The Staffordshire Newsletter :

"Mr Morton [CEO] said everyone had been shocked at how bad the report was but he saw no reason for a public inquiry despite calls from MPs and campaigners.

He said: "I think the Healthcare Commission was set up to do exactly what it has done. There is nothing more public than that. There is also the Sir George Alberti investigation, which will last at least four weeks."

UserWatch says : the amazing facts are that there was an Independent Patient and Public Involvement Forum (PPI) up to the time of Mid Staffs bidding to become a Foundation Trust . Two of the lead members of the PPI in fact became FT Governors .

The independent PPI's though were disbanded in March 2008 and ever since a hiatus in independent lay scrutiny has dominated the UK .. Its a Dept of Health and Gov't designer mess now called "LINks" (Local Involvement Networks) and it is not carrying any serious scrutiny weight at all .

What appears to have happened across the UK is "Partnership arrangements" but when you decode this in the company of previous lay scrutineers of health, it pans out to mean , too close a public assimilation into the bureaucratic and managment mechanisms of the State ..

Critically for health the public have to be able to depend on "Independent mindedness" without any conflicts of interest . FT in-house Governors are in fact a weak link to the public and were for the main self appointed and elected unopposed. The Trusts too have made them very in-house orientated and some patients feel they are "tamed" ..

Interestingly David Denny a Non Executive (appointed for the public interest) who is leaving Mid Staffs after 9 years on the Board, queries on 18th March (in reponse to another poster on Health Service Journal) why details surrounding Patient Safety and quality did not enter the Board minutes at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Hospital; Trust

From Health Service Journal

(Its amazing no-one in the British press has picked this up !)

"Added: Wednesday, 18 March 2009 14:26 GMT
David Denny, Stafford, United Kingdom

The very point I've been trying to make in other threads. There is so much that is inaccurate in the reporting and the HCC report; The Board did not discuss patient safety and quality - rubbish, it was discussed at every opportunity but it appears was not recorded as such in the minutes.

The Board didn't consider complaints - wrong. The Board were focussed on FT - yes, but only as a means to reinvest in patient services and move away from the DoH. I could write a book, maybe that's not a bad idea! "

As far as NHS complaints are concerned (as a mechanism of creating awareness of NHS problems) the UK Health Ombudsman themselves criticized the two complaint processes of NHS and Social Care - declaring that both together (and some patients do have dual services of Social Care and Health systems) they were often unnavigable. The NHS one alone was also criticized .

Its not surprising when you look at what the Labour Govt did by having two seperate Statutory Instruments in Health (2004) and Social Care(2006) - which created confusing layers of double processes to go through despite the 2001 Health and Social Care Act which proclaimed "Integration of services"... Its only NOW in the coming April 2009 that a new complaints system will be integrated more effectively ..

The big question is :

Who arranged all of these years when effective complaints systems were compromised ?

God ? No .. It was UK Government .

Also see the Ombudsman's new office recruitment drive below :

"Home > News > Archive

News archive

Latest news

15 July 2008

PHSO plans major recruitment campaign

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is to set up an Office in Manchester for up to 150 staff, and will soon launch a major recruitment drive. This will be part of the build-up to the implementation of the two-stage system for NHS complaints in April 2009.

A range of posts in both London (where the Ombudsman already has an Office) and Manchester will be advertised in national, local and specialist press from September 2008. They will include opportunities for people with relevant skills, knowledge and experience to join PHSO as case workers, customer service officers, clinical advisers, managers and administrative support staff. A separate recruitment process will be available for any applicants who are currently employed in complaint handling by the Healthcare Commission.

People who wish to register an interest in working with PHSO should email us with details of the type of roles they are interested in. We will send them application details when vacancies are advertised. "


Friday, March 27, 2009

Cure The NHS ? Can It Ever Be Cured By Patient Democracy ?


UserWatch supports straight action to reform the NHS away from User/patient false involvement and impoverished bullshit democratics, into clear sightedness about who gets decent treatment at the front line. We are not sure the NHS can be cured though - its sick with corporatism, class based governance and it's greasily constructed to be top-down and anti-local and ultimately that often means anti-individual .

Mid Staffordshire Foundation Hospital has shown up the great rush to create Foundation Trusts for what underneath its really been - corporate conformity without enough moral vision for other people's pain . Ordinary people - not Boards and Non Execs and Governors and other arse-wiping bureacrats - are expendable unto death. This is not our opinion - it appears 400 people are the proof in the Staffordshire cemetaries .

Its a good thing that people like CURE THE NHS are forming a PETITION

Its nationally available in the UK. (REALLY WELL DONE!) What a hearted and human response that is ! We hope corporate mansluaghter charges are brought too - and the political fallout hits Labour hard over time ..

The politicians (of all parties) need a serious shot across their wavery and dodgy bows on health policy because all parties in the UK have broadly supported the cost cutting (service reducing in some cases) new surplus making NHS Hospital Foundation Trusts ..Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust it has been claimed has cost at least 400 extra patient deaths beyond the expected rates.

CURE THE NHS are home grown from the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Hospital Trust crisis.

"About Cure the NHS

This site is firstly dedicated to Bella Bailey 16/02/1921 - 08/11/2007 ... and also to the many others who have lost their lives needlessly on wards in Staffordshire General Hospital.

We launched this campaign after witnessing 8 weeks of elderly care in this hospital. What we saw after the first few days left us fearing for my Mother's life and too frightened to leave her.

We stayed by her side sleeping on a chair for 8 weeks, because we did I believe my Mother stayed alive for those eight weeks.

What we saw horrified us and from the letters we have received, it haunts many others who have had relatives/friends on those wards. Some relatives have spent longer staying in the hospital than us and have shared their experiences. Most of the letters relate to wards 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 and it is ward 11 where my Mother spent her last days.

After her needless death, who yes was ill but not ready to die, we her family felt unable to let the suffering/abuse we saw continue. The campaign was launched by this [letter to the Staffordshire Newsletter].

The launch of the campaign with the help of the Staffordshire newsletter brought in many similar stories to ours. Their loved ones had been neglected or abused on those wards. My Mum was lucky she had us to help care for her. Many didn't, they died alone.



Today, the Patients Association and Cure the NHS have launched a national petition calling for an independent inquiry. With cross party support from senior MPs including Liberal Democrat Party leader Nick Clegg MP and local Conservative MP Bill Cash we are calling for all patients and members of the public to join us in our campaign. Andrew Lansley MP, Conservative Shadow Health Secretary has also called for an independent inquiry in the House of Commons.

The Patients Association and Cure the NHS asks all those concerned about the appalling standard of care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust to sign the following petition:

I the undersigned support the Patients Association and Cure the NHS in calling for an Independent Inquiry chaired by a Senior judicial figure with clear published terms of reference to provide an answer to the following questions:

How were the serious failings in care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust able to continue for so many years?

Can the public have confidence that the current and future systems of supervision and regulation will ensure safe hospital care for patients in the National Health Service and prevent this from ever happening again? TO SIGN THE PETITION CLICK HERE

See also Health Service Journal :

"Association president Claire Rayner said: "What is needed now is an independent inquiry into the whole function of each of the regulatory authorities and organisations that should have picked up what was happening. All we want is to find out how and why it happened and prevent this terrible situation happening again." Sir Richard Branson and Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb are also supporting the petition.

The Healthcare Commission last week said it discovered understaffing, terrible standards of care and poor management on visits in spring last year.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mental Health Grave Failures Kill Two Cops 2004 and 2007


Tennyson Obih aged 29 of Luton in the UK killed Constable Jon Henry at Luton Town Centre in 2007 and the BBC and other media have covered this in March .

Yet this text flags up the need for some more examination of similar poor NHS care themes - take for instance the 2004 killing of Constable Swindells in Aston in Birmingham by Glaister Butler aged 49 .

Both Tennyson Obih and Glaister Butler are Afro-origin and its absolutely known in the UK that Afro-origin community mental health patients have a much more dubious outcome for their care by the UK system . But a deeper sub theme perhaps lies in the question : should paranoid schitzophrenics be in the community ? Both men were unwell paranoids . Both men have now killed . What's the deeper story ?

Tennyson Obih was not taking his medication and had only a month before been in the Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health NHS Trust care .

"A series of NHS blunders left a paranoid schizophrenic free to stab a policeman to death. Cannabis user Tennyson Obih, 29, went 'off the radar' to kill PC Jon Henry after he ditched his prescribed medicine in favour of 'olive oil and prayer'. A team of mental health visitors was supposed to monitor his progress after he was released from hospital."


And of Glaister Butler who was supposed to be taken care of by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust (now Foundation Trust) :

"Under his community-care order, Butler was supposed to be visited every two weeks by a psychiatric nurse with his prescription drugs. He was also assessed by a consultant psychiatrist every three months. But outreach workers admitted they often simply dropped off the medication on Butler's doorstep and had "very limited opportunity" to spot changes in his behaviour. After his arrest, police found 462 prescription tablets - equivalent to 18 months' supply - in Butler's flat."


Both the Bedforshire and Luton Mental Health Trust and the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust (now Foundation Trust) were either struggling with "debt" (arguably Gov't underspending on mental health) or the need to make surpluses .. Both Trusts like many others have reconfigured services, had assets sold off, and have by now shaved resources leanly to "mainstream Users" - "get them socially included"

The periods of 2004 and 2007 have seen both Trusts have to make "tough" decisions pushed by politicians to dis-invent asylum and create building-less services ..

The problem is this creates situations of mental health services on the cheap and of poorly checked vulnerable men with mental illness who effectively have no "asylum" but a community corner. These men have inner-worlds of terror or fear which when reactivated become dealt with violently . It is illness .

And yet " Community Care" - some might say "Cornered Care" as a policy , remains ..

The defence barrister at the trial of Tennyson Obih says it all :

'Your Lordship may wonder how many more tragedies have to take place before it is realised that those who are mentally ill cannot take care of themselves.'

Source: daily Mail UK

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mental Health Cartoonist Wins Dept Of Health Uk Hard Hitting Hygiene Contract


One of the UserWatch cartoonists has won a Dept Of Health UK contract to tell the public they are just dirty germy punks in straight terms

The Dept of Health have been panicked into straight talk after so much NHS bullshit that needs cleaning up has stuck to its shoes lately and in a clever media move they are turning on the public ..

We wish KAKATOO the best of luck in his new mansion...


Mental Health Humour DOH in the Green and Peasant Land


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mental Health Humour Rescues Dept Of Health Juggler

The UK D.O.H. re Dept of Hopelessness has been sent a dog rescuer by UserWatch . Elastoplast Dog can work wonders where there are latent smiles and idiocy , oh and fragmentation of patient democracy ..

Local Involvement Networks LINks which the DOH planned in place of the Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPIF's) have become the latest juggling trick and they appear or rather "unappear" to be at the end of the DOH's democratising rainbow pot of lead ..

Jeese we thought GOLD was in the pots at the end of rainbows - but not if the DOH have seeded the rainclouds and sent out the well planned grey sun ...


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Will Mid Staffs FT Trust Pay Funeral Expenses Of Dead From Its Surplus?



Remember The 400 Dead at Mid Staffs FT NHS Trust

The figures are clear from the accounts presented to Monitor the UK NHS Foundation Trust Watchdog that from the £ 22 million income the Mid Staffs NHS FT Trust it made a combined surplus in 2008 of £886,000 .

Maybe it will offer to pay some funeral expenses for those it helped toward death by neglect ?

Or maybe these surpluses will form the legal fees for any corporate manslughter cases brought?

From the Annual Plan presented to Monitor by Mid Staffs NHS FT Trust :

"1.2 Summary of financial performance

2007/2008 was a year of financial consolidation for the Trust, the Trust concluded the financial year in recurrent balance, repaid in full the previous Staffordshire & Shropshire Health Authority financial support and in cumulative surplus.

The Trust has completed two year end final accounts for 2007/2008, these being the 10 month period ending 31st January 2008 for the NHS Trust and the 2 month period ending 31st March 2008 for the Foundation Trust, both of which are still subject to final Account audit opinion.

In the final 10 months of NHS Trust status a surplus of £250,000 was achieved, whilst the Foundation Trust first two months delivered a £633,000 surplus. The combined £883,000 surplus was achieved after successfully closing the CBT Laundry & Line business, this highlighting a non recurrent contribution of £737,000, the balance related to non recurrent gains linked to additional elective activity.

The combined surplus will give the Trust financial flexibility to manage the hidden costs of the HCC investigation and provide resources for improved facilities. "


Opposition and other Comment Guardian

Main Findings

Mid Staffs and BCH

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mental Health Art : The Self Alienated Statue Of Coggerty


In memory of the Mid Staffordshire Trust 400 dead

When the planet of heart speaks
It may borrow red

And it does this
For the lost and UK dead

For when money mixes
Its snakes into
Hospital care

Then look out for your family

And carry your bag
Of despair ..

Poem By Silvis Rivers March 2009

On DOH red planet in the hot fire deserts there is a statue of Coggerty
which tells everyone that :

"Hell is Self Alientation"

Its the new National Health Service policy


Mental Health New ZeroSoul Party Advert For Users


WE KNOW ! - The Conservatives originally nicked some ideas about getting out a bit more from the wards, and then Virginia Bottomley in the early 1990's began the long road to asset stripping out the asylums and creating Community Cave treatment which Labour have finished off ..


Mental Health Hallucination Captured As Two Million People See It In UK

Hold onto the timid cat and swallow your pills before you watch this


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Staffordshire NHS Death Camp For Some

Staffordshire NHS Death Camp For Some ?

No , Its not an over dramatic headline at all, for up to 1200 people admitted to the Mid Staffordshire Hospitals Trust may have died as result of poor care .

The death rate there exceeded the expected range by quite a lot and the UK Health Care Commission investigated . The media in the UK is full of the story :

Its our studied opinion at UserWatch that the pressure that produced that situation of poor care was the great NHS Foundation Trust Status rush . Foundation Trusts have to prove they are "debt" free, hold surpluses and then they can enjoy greater autonomy - their status is then assured by a Watchdog named "Monitor" . These latest events in Stafford near the midlands have seen the Gov't. trying to side step its own part with its pushy ambitions in 2006 - 8 in trying to create these Foundation Trust hospitals all across the UK .

In Birmingham, UserWatch saw the rush too to "clear Debts" in the local Hospitals .. The Mental Health Trust was keen and tightly performance managed so that it cleared several million in one year before it then created a bankable 1+ Million surplus and was granted Foundation Trust Status . Its heading towards a projected £5 million surplus next year ..Is it good for patient care? That is very debatable .

"Debt" in Trusts was defined when a Trust exceeded the Dept of Health allowances it was given per annum and then it was expected and pressured to clear them.

So if Trusts were say , "£3 million in Debt" - they would have to save that £3 million by underspending on care the next year .. The underspending is not called that though. In reality it means not recruiting staff where you need them, and patient care goes by the wayside or is rationed tightly.

In Mental health Trusts this is probably more concealable and patients without therapy or support just suffer internally more .. Who is to see that, if the patient categories are not crisis ones ?

In the Stafford Trust, death was not concealable from physical manifestations of bad health and poor hospital care and staff rationing . Many deaths occured because as the Guardian states :

"Few patients were given the drug warfarin to help prevent blood clots despite deep vein thrombosis being a major cause of death in patients following surgery."

The Telegraph reports :

"The Trust - which was under pressure to save £10m from its annual budget - was more concerned with hitting targets, gaining Foundation Trust status and PR marketing and had "lost sight" of its responsibilities for patient care, the report said. "

A director of the local Patient Association said :

"Government targets have directly impaired safe clinical practice and money and greed for Foundation Trust benefits has taken priority over patients' lives."

UserWatch is mainly a Mental Health Watchblog and we know its easier to conceal what patients feel and what mental health pain they are in. That is the great sadness of mental health in so far as so much extra suffering can be caused and concealed by ambitious money saving Trusts and is left inside the mind of patients where its not easily seen ..

The terrible shock of Mid Staffordshire Trust though we feel has yet to run its full course and there may be other stories like this to come ..


Mental Health UK : NIMHE BitesThe Dust But A Sandbag Org In Its Place Is Born


National Institute For Mental Health In England To Go

Dept Of Health Announcement

Well, from User Empowerment and User Involvement to back to your jack-only . However, whether this means this useless body of bureaucrats which delivered mainly careers to themselves will somehow be sucking off funds in a different way remains to be seen .

But it has now fallen backwards into the arms of the Dept of Stealthy-Health that preserves career wealth rather well . What a waste this organisation NIMHE has been . Its done nothing that Patient Choice earlier could not have generated as a bottom up led culture of purchasing recovery treatments and special ways for mental health Users to manage and try to contribute back to society .

Is UserWatch happy ? No ......... No-one is here . We sadly think of the colleagues that have gone down the drain and just wanted individual help and instead there were years of the NIMHE meeting after meetings circus .

But NIMHE has created a sandbag organisation in the shape of National Mental Health Development Unit. It will mostly likely collect statistics and merge them into promotionalised sense with skewed supply approaches of almost one size fits all CBT and other measures like heavily gatekeepered "Personalised Budgets" ...

It would have been better to have scrapped it all and made provision for Patient Choice and recovery purchasing power .. Labour however listen to the "experts" - they commit a cardinal error of all State mental health services. "They know best for the minds of others" ... The people that advised who they really took note of were the bureau-careerists ..

But no we do not believe others always know better than the patient .. After crisis, people need lives they can own and recovery strategy they can directly own if that is what want .. That is the culture that needs to grow . That costs money which is in direct competition with the Dept Of Health bureaucratic planning

Crisis cycles are ensured for the future in mental health in the UK because many will not get a power to choose what supports they need ... Demand is thus hidden and sickness will continue whilst new revamped bureaucracies flourish .. The full text from the Dept of Health is below showing what NIMHE is morphing into ..

Department of Health

Tuesday 17 March 2009 13:42
Department of Health (National)

New agency for a new era in mental health

A new agency to ensure national mental health policies bring about real improvements for patients and carers will start work on 1 April, Care Services Minister Phil Hope announced today.

The new agency - the National Mental Health Development Unit - will succeed the current National Institute for Mental Health in England.

The change follows a review of mental health service delivery, taking into account Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review and the need for more personalised services. From April, the ten strategic health authorities* will oversee much of the regional and local delivery of new mental health policies, with support from the new Development Unit.

The Development Unit will continue the momentum in co-ordinating support for key mental health projects such as:

* improving access to talking therapies;

* promoting equalities in mental health services for different groups, based on race, gender and age;

* promoting social inclusion and social justice for people with mental health problems;

* promoting well-being and mental health for the whole population; and

* supporting effective mental health commissioning.

The unit will be led by Dr Ian McPherson, former head of the National Institute for Mental Health.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

"The National Mental Health Development Unit will make sure that mental health services around the country continue to go from strength to strength.

"New Horizons and the Darzi review mean we must actively promote public mental health and well-being, as well as spreading best practice and maintaining world-class mental health services everywhere. The National Mental Health Development Unit will help us do this."

Louis Appleby, National Director of Mental Health Services, said:

"The National Institute for Mental Health demonstrated the importance of having a national body to help care for our mental health. Mental health care reform is as important as ever and I look forward to working with the National Mental Health Development Unit in supporting the delivery of the next generation of mental health policies."

Dr Ian McPherson, Director of the National Mental Health Development Unit said:

"I am privileged to lead this new unit. I recognise that some people may be concerned that as the National Institute for Mental Health is ending, the national profile of mental health could be reduced. I am determined that will not happen.

"I look forward to working with former National Institute for Mental Health colleagues as they establish new regional arrangements to deliver mental health services in a manner more suited to the post-National Service Framework era."

Steve Shrubb, Director of the Mental Health Network, NHS Confederation said:

"The NHS Confederation's mental health network looks forward to working with the National Mental Health Development Unit to build on the impressive work of the National Institute of Mental Health in England in supporting the development and implementation of key strands of mental health policy."

Sir Neil McKay, Chief Executive of NHS East of England who led the review on behalf of the Strategic Health Authority chief executives said:

"The Strategic Health Authorities welcome the Department of Health's commitment to implementing mental health policy on the basis of co-production and the establishment of the National Mental Health Development Unit to support this. Strategic Health Authorities will be using the additional resources they have acquired in these changes to ensure that the key mental health priorities of their regions identified by the Next Stage Review Clinical Pathway Groups are effectively progressed. "

Richard Webb, Joint Chair of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Mental Health Network said:

"ADASS welcomes the creation of the National Mental Health Development Unit. NIMHE has played a vital role over the past decade in improving mental health services. However, the New Horizons review gives us the challenge of addressing much broader issues about mental health within society, as well as mental health care, and we look forward to working with the new unit to take these issues forward."

Notes to Editors

More information about the unit can be found on its website which will be available from 1 April 2009.

*The ten Strategic Health Authorities cover the following areas: North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, South West, South Central, London, East of England and South East Coast.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mental Health : Has NIMHE's SHIFT Gone To SHxT ?


SHIFT with its anti-stigma in mental health policy thrusts - was created by the Dept Of Health (UK) and the National Institute For Mental Health in England .

Who created NIMHE ? - It appears the DOH and Sainsbury's Centre For Mental Health (SCMH) did since SCMH registered the NIMHE website itself in 2001 .. It is strange that a national Charity like SCMH should be doing that for the Dept of Health isnt it ? Its never been answered why that happened . (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Its also likely that people close to ex Prime Minister Tony Blair and his love of all things american (NIMH - in the U.S.) helped the UK version of NIMHE into existence ..

SHIFT which came later (2005 - 6 ) though was just part of set of ideas that was guided by a mental health "anti-stigma" policy thrust to get people back to work who were suffering mental health problems .. The anti stigma thrust SHIFT was to follow, was formulated by several mental health charities : Mind, Rethink, Mental Health Foundation, and it was hinged into an economic model that placed a priority on getting mental health Users (MH Users) back into work .

The MH charities in the UK and the big engine of them all SCMH , set about trying to convince society that society itself was a serious problem in stigma terms to MH Users gaining work and yet for years they deliberately missed the discriminative way MH Users were not given equivalence of Patient Choice of some treatments, or consultants or hospitals that the general populace were given in other areas of medicine and care .

Patient Choice of treatment etc , and real empowerment like that was not their real priority.

Funding and growth was and that was not going to be a problem with a Government eager to hear their combined voices of advice of how to set up mental health Users to get them back to work .

Pretty soon in 2006 and 2007 both Rethink and Mind had their own Day Centres re-oriented to work and task based regimes for Users . At UserWatch we heard about it all . Patient Choice with its real degree of self determination was subsumed under ideas of Patient's having a voice but not one that was going to create serious choices otherwise maybe many within its empowered direction would have walked away from the mental health charity day centres too .

"Anti-Stigma" was thus skewed towards work and disability discrimination for purposes of saving Govt from paying out Incapacity Benefits (IB) - and we would argue perpetuating the charities interests alongside creating the new bureacractic job creation NIMHE, which from 2004 - 9 cost over £100 million .

Embedded in anti-stigma ideas in mental health was an idea that work was the priority part of the new "recovery model" alongside "social inclusion" . It was a hook that sounds good until you leave the part out of Patient Choice and its crucial role in empowering recovery .

What patients really wanted we at UserWatch argue, was subsumed in a drive to herd them into meetings in Trusts and with NIMHE, to get them moving in the right direction across a few years .. Brand them with new optimistic ideas about User-Movements and Experts by Experience .. Very few obtained any real Patient Choice though ... Many had no therapy and real recovery treatment they could genuinely shape outside of monopolistic NHS Trusts busily saving money and creating the impetus for making future "surpluses"

We know of MH Users burned out by it all across the country . Some were tempted into the new organisations like NIMHE and its Users In Partnership or the Patient and Public Involvement Forums .. Most were burned out or disillusioned by it all... UIP's still exist, but are basically directionless groups.

In an economy on the up, this work driven anti stigma recovery model across 2004 - 9 seemed almost hypnotically possible and Tony Blairs influential policy statements of making the workless class (40% of which were mental health recipients of Incapacity Benefits ) work again in a something for something society took shape in David Freuds privatised mechanisms to get people off IB and into work while private firms made profits from it .. All has gone awry now .. The big credit rivers have dried up .... All SHIFT can do is shift dust gathering around it perhaps ?

Will SHIFT survive the recession ? Probably in some form or another ... Because the MH Charities and the UK Govt all think dominion ideas like their work driven ideas and the new Employment Support Allowances (in place of Incapacity Benefit) and "work is recovery" really are the answers .

We think a real Patient Choice culture with training allowances (to train where people can choose) and recovery budgets Patients can control are a better answer. We also think the Govt and society has to tolerate people of different mindedness who may never be able to be fully functional but who may be able to contribute here and there ... The mental health charities too should try tolerating that instead of being modernised workhouse masters .. Their career self interest though and Govt funding connections through the back doors l;ike the lottery will be uppermost to them ..

We doubt any serious reform will happen. Images will be spun, Trusts will make surpluses from patient care , and lives and opportunities will be lost all over again ... Why ? Self interest at the charity level and bureacratic level , and spending priorities from Govt will never enfranchise MH Users fully .. In the UK its just a fact of life .


Friday, March 13, 2009

Mental Health Is Worsened By Class In Britain WHO March Report

World Health Organisation Mental Health Report March 11th 2009

The World Health Organisation latest March 11th Mental Health Europe report states its findings are open to interpretation . The Guardian in the shape of writer Mary Ohara reported on the 11th March about the social inequalities being the factors that caused worsening mental health outcomes the further down the social ladder people are in the UK .

But what's wrong with the word and concept of "Class" ? Well it appears it's a dirty word in the UK. One the eliter classes in Britain do not like. The UK has some of the worst mental health outcomes where material inequality is sharp and social cohesion is underminded especially by its own benefit and health adminstrative classes . That much is echoed even from Mary Ohara's report. The UK when compared to Sweden just does not rate as very kind to its underclass and mental health lower class citizens (unless somehow they are well connected)

"The adverse impact of stress is greater in societies where greater inequality exists and where some people feel worse off than others. We will have to face up to the fact that individual and collective mental health and wellbeing will depend on reducing the gap between rich and poor."
" In Britain it is very evident that some of the poorest people feel abused and disrespected by public welfare provision and are hurt by the manner in which they are characterized by the tabloid press. Not only do they get less welfare than their Swedish counterparts, but they receive it in a context that is often dehumanizing and unpleasant. "

Jones et al 2006 p. 430 "

At UserWatch we would go further and say the great Social Inclusion experiment run by Mental Health Trusts (as per Social Exclusion Unit logic 2003 ) is something approaching a costly scam . Driven by top-Down delivery beliefs in "anti-stigma" the result is not social inclusion but selective inclusion of classes of fitter aspiring-Users in mental health . These people often now with Trust jobs, form the "voice" of others . The truth is many Users are not represented and cannot be until they have their own budget power or independent local groups that are not inside the compromising context of performance management behaviour of the Trusts themselves .

So what keeps this illusion of "social inclusion" and "User-Voice" going ? In the UK it started with "Class" - the middle class absolutely run the Trusts from Board level to manager level and look for those Users who fit their agenda and then they promote it all in a skewed form of image management and publicity ..There are sadly plenty of Users who have no choice of how to form their social inclusion and get in control of their affairs in their own locality - part of the reason being is the Trusts have little populations now of captured User-workers to support and spare capacity money if that is what you may call it, goes that way .. Its a dead end cul de sac route of "social" inclusion just for the few with a narriow gully at the end where some are filtered through for strategic use ..

The Mental Health Trusts in the UK are given too much power over patient budgets and , we repeat , the result are forms of captured User-corrals they can point to for "good performance" .

Frankly in Birmingham UK this competes with any independent User-led models/groups which can barely exist in a mental health economy dominated by the State . In Birmingham the best outcomes for mental health patients in the community surrounds assimilation into the middle class and management connection .

The remedy at least partly may be localising power over social inclusion budgets, taking them away from the large corporate mental health Trusts and ring fencing them into localities whilst powering social inclusion groups in those localities. The delivery method might be the UK Primary Care Trusts and local constituencies who have the means to allocate funding even more finely. The NHS in mental health is a perverse social engineer that should empower recovery treatments but only through personalised budgets - otherwise the NHS creates a permanent round of a User-culture benefiting the few and trapping the weak within limited almost opportunityless contexts....We've observed this at a number of Trusts in the UK .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mental Health Guardian Readers Revolt Over CBT

Everyone at UserWatch has been smiling as the Guardian sounded out the new promotion of CBT for all "Victims Of Recession To Get Therapy"....

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is now readied for all the mild to moderately depressed people in the community who have just lost their jobs in the financial meltdown caused by politcian's banker mates. Govt figures like Like Jimmy Purnell (DWP) and Red Nose Whisky Johnson (DOH) , and ex soviet advisor like Dicky Layard, plus Paul Corry charity trampolinist and ideas-tosser , are all in favour of people being helpedwith CBT therapy to get back to work . Work of course does not exist .. UH OH - the reality principle is missing here - call for a psychiatrist ..

Wonderful posters in the comments of the Guardian section say it all :


08 Mar 09, 12:27pm

Anyone having to deal with the Kafka meets Orwell processing at Jobcentre DoublePlusGood can be excused for feeling a bit down in the dumps. Perhaps they could just accept that there are only half a million minimum wage jobs to about five million jobless and stop treating claimants like it's their fault.

A mortgage to try and keep paying, too "experienced" to be offered work and too broke to be able to afford to study. I've got bloody good reason to be miserable and no amount of psychobabble is going to help with that situation."


08 Mar 09, 12:44pm

This is like holding up a plaster as an effective treatment for testicular cancer. Utter nonsense."


08 Mar 09, 1:35pm

The overgrown State has fucked up royally and now the government wants to throw around yet more band aid to the victims of their fraud and incompetence.

Britain is a depressing place to live in on both the economic front and on the rapid erosion of civil liberties. We are heading for an economic depression in 2010 and as I look on I can see no politicians coming up with real solutions to ending the centuries of boom and bust cycles What people need is hope for the future and confidence in politicians to provide real solutions. This isn't happening, so of course we are 'pissed off', call it depression if you like. It isn't just the unemployed it is more likely the vast majority including the employed wage slaves who are robbed of their hard earned through taxes which are invariably squandered and syphoned into the pockets of those who created and sustained the economic maelstrom.

People are fucking angry, maybe the government should contemplate electro-shock treatment, lobotomies and chemical treatment as mandatory for those who appear to have 'dangerous thoughts' - implemented under anti-terrorist laws? I wouldn't put anything past these authoritarian bastards.

The big State is a complete failure, a complete crock of shite. If a country so cocks up the core roles of small government (defence of the realm, justice, law and order) what arrogance to believe that they have any real authority or credibility in the intricasies of people's everyday lives?

Sort out the economy - bring in Land Value Tax whereby people can be free of the overbearing, corrupt, illiberal and disastrous big State experiment which has spectacularly failed."

And so on ....

UserWatch believes at least some of the readers may well be Guardibots and Labour Cogno-men because we know the age of Sheer-Shattism (a browner version of Fascism) is here and some of the inner players in the circles of planners like Sainbury's Centre For Mental Health and Dicky Layhard as well as Rethink with its eye up the Govt's anus have been in evidence for some time.

Cognitive Behavious Therapy (CBT) is stupid by itself , what should have happened is patient's choosing from plenty of other therapy supply sides already in existence . Let patients start to create the culture that drives quality . But, Labour has to control control control ..

The inner-toon-truth (above) captured by KAKATOO shows Cogno-behaviour-men with large heads in the shape of a :

"G" - do exist and some have Elvis Presley quiff like prominances from their heads too.

When this is all decoded it simply means Rock and Roll is over - Now it's "Cog and Roll" and cofee is out - its bread and water .. In the Mental Health Community its always been like that except for the Eliter-User-Groups in performance bubbles kept by NHS Mental Health Trusts for box-ticking ..

This New Labour symptom of "Mechanicality" has occured because they miss industrial workers and the working class and deep down need someone oppressed to represent. The plan is to begin the oppression under Labour and let the Tories later continue until in 7 years time Labour will save the Class of mind mechanicalised slaves making fuck all for no-one in particular ...

Suddenly we are all inside mass illogicality ... And the image makers are in serious farcking trouble .. Bankers have created a hole in Sense-Space where everyone was warped and everyone wants more illusions to close the hole ... Money has nearly lost its ragged pants and its arse is showing as it runs about in panic needing CBT ..




Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mental Health User Discovers Fish Formation In New Aqualaxy

Its A First ! Claim Dept Of Health Jealously.

There's always something fishy going on, on Earth and the Dept Of Health is one big badquarium always giving out one story or another about its new lands and catches when it trawls about for credibility .. However a Mental Health User using a simple halluciscope has seen Fish in a new formation of bright hot gas and stars .. The vision has been passed on courtesy of a stolen NASA photograph ... But there sure is goldfish in the star rivers out there ...

U.F.O. NASA agree, has taken on a new meaning . Its possible objects some of you are seeing in the sky are in fact Unidentified Fishy Objects ...

Wowww... Its kinda peaceful though ...

UserWatch thanks ace-cheekster and visioner Silvis Rivers for the pic.


Mental Health And The Third Sector Extinction Event ?

A firm RAPIDATASERVICES tracking direct debit cancellation for charities and the growing Third Sector (Community Interest Companies) and the like, which New Labour wants to enhance, so the State no longer carries direct service delivery responsibilities has registered a pattern of cancellations of direct debits to charities .

Third Sector UK say :

The Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report 2009, published today, shows an increase in cancellations of direct debits to charities in December 2008 of 67 per cent on the average December figure since 2003. In July last year there was a 54 per cent increase on the average July level for the same five-year period. The figures contrast with a steady decline in cancellations of charity direct debits between April 2003 and July 2007. Scott Gray, managing director of Rapidata, said the decline stopped abruptly after the collapse of Northern Rock.

"Cancellations skyrocketed last summer," he said. shows more information on the percentages :

The monthly cancellations rate is the percentage of live direct debits that are cancelled each month. Average monthly cancellations rates for each year are:

2003/04 3.54%

2004/05 3.45%

2005/06 3.18%

2006/07 3.05%

2007/08 3.32%

2008/09 4.64%

For the first time, the financial year 2008/09 saw monthly cancellations rates exceed five per cent, on four separate occasions – July, September, October and January.

UserWatch knows locally Third Sectorlings (migrating often from the NHS) in mental health are buffered for a time because the state has shrunk and contracts are forward planned .

The local mental health trust has 200k for a few years (maybe 4 ) to give away and play with from its own charity too .

So in Birmingham there are some buffers and ofcourse we have the "surplus" creating " Trust with their new regimes of lean management shaving savings off from what we would argue is a disappeared never-evolved-culture of Patient Choices with purchasing power.

The State appear to have defined what's left of "Patient Choice" in terms of its feeding of the Third Sector so if its does not grow through poor receipts will supply sides of "mentors" or "support workers" etc dry up

The wasted chances though in mental health to create a growing culture of patient-experience of recoveries they choose (beyond crisis) is down to Labour's distortions of the "Patient Voice" - which has been compromised by corporate State service supply, creations of uneccessary bureacracy like NIMHE and CSIP (costing 140 Milllion 2004 - 2010) and managment performance pressure to conform to a NHS false partnership between Users and Services that sees some of the Users paid off in jobs in safely tick-boxed bubble-groups which serves to further divert from the growth of an independent culture of Patient Choice ..

Labour, and in fairness the Tories too, have wanted more of a charity State service delivery for all types of social care and health .. But who picks up people on the edges when the receipts it prospers from dry up ?

And do we really need corporatised charity service delivery moved in on by corporate business classes ? Why ? What about local market supplies competing with each other and the competition purse hand being patients and local doctors with volunteer lay inspection (and plenty of it ) ? You see under Labour they have favourably stacked the odds with the Third Sector... Its the next form of internal colonialism of people lives if we are not careful , its not freedom to choose . Its freedom in service-chains...

The 1990's - 2008 oasis built on unsustainable debt and froth services and corporate dizzy-visions is going dry.. But watch what happens in Health and Social Care .. Its the next UK gold rush.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mental Health Users We Advise Assess The Risks Of Fourms

How To Die If You Are Not Really Careful

Almost co-incidentally as we ran the recent story over the Caring Souls Forum where we believe a professional UK counsellor "Fran" wrongly engaged in support of a friend poster named "Souls" to run the Forum who was too unstable to do so and collapsed the Forum with everyone's details in it making some people so distressed as to feel suicidal , so the Birmingham paper "The Sunday Mercury", ran a story on Sunday about an internet predator. The important theme here is RISKS and exploring them and making them safer

The police in the US are looking into claims that a Minnesota man (a Nurse) pictured may have assisted people into their suicides by engaging with them in chatrooms .. Even one suicide occured locally to Birmingham UK.

The problem we at UserWatch argue, is some hyper-vulnerable people with huge emotional needs are out there on the Net and their needs make them in one sense emotionally boundaryless . They can be preyed on and influenced and in the wrong hands and mind - they can be influenced to die even by default actions and a lack of ethical standards by other posters .

Forums need checking carefully by unstable Users - if at all possible - and that's the gamble here where the black dice can turn up skulls and crossbones. At UserWatch we are now arguing when people Online call themselves "professional counsellors" they should make their registration details available so their behaviour is accountable and can be reported back to their registration bodies if necessary .

So where's some of the evidence that Caring Souls Forum advertised its : "professional counsellor?"

We have screen captured it underneath just click on it to enlarge .. And note what it says of promoting the Caring Souls Forum :

"one is an experienced counsellor in private practice and the other is a counsellor in training with a huge knowledge of therapy and mental health issues through her own experience "

Yet we clearly know out of the three people running the Caring Souls Forum : "Souls" "Fran" And "Willow" up to its crash in late February . Willow is just a well meaning grandmother from New Jersey hooked into a very needy Forum .

Her own words which we have recorded were :

"From the very first day I told everyone in a number of posts, that I was not a therapist... and I did not have any qualifications to give advice on any medical issues... and I was willing to become the "unofficial grandmother" in the forums. I posted in my introduction that I was a wife, mother and grandmother... and that any words of support from me would be given straight from my heart, with all my love and I would be drawing those words strictly from my life experience "

"Fran" is the professional counsellor from the UK with a private practice and "Souls" is most probably and sadly a Borderline Psychotic with active problems which "Fran" knows about, and are extensively documented by two therapists into the UK . Its only right people for Users and vulnerable posters to know what they are getting themselves into and who with and if its accountable if it goes wrong .

In "Fran's" case - she is not accountable to any Users for poor ethical behaviour online, gives false details , and no details of her registration body in the UK ....