Sunday, December 18, 2011

Purple Bunny's Lesson On The Phoenix Jerk In The Box

Courtesy Artist : Silvis Rivers 2011

If you are a rabbit of light 'n purple sense
Then watch manipulation by the cleverly "dense"
Keeping others there , on the dependent shelf
For rich careers and the pensioned Self

You'll never be able to flow
Cus these fekkers play your lives
And never let go

One thing's for sure
They'll fight dirty, make it look clean
Show others up
While playing keen

And that's the ash you are sitting in
The polluted Phoenix
That changes to sin


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Politically Engineered Messes



There's nothing to fear
The Parties are here to engineer
With welfare pressure and a kick
Up the butt
And falling fired scaffolding
And tightening your nut

In a country where bankers can
Quietly rob
And you "blackies" must get
A void for a job

In London's gold streets
You've missed your role
Or was it undercut
By an EU Pole ?

Go burst the petrol dam
Let out the fire shoal
The volcano egg's hatching
Careful, its catching ....


Sunday, August 07, 2011

The National Association of LINks Members Press Statement


Toon Courtesy Of Art De Rivers

Below is a press statement we picked up and decided to publish :

The National Association of LINks Members

Healthwatch Pathfinders Starved of Funds

Secretary of State forgets his "nothing about me without me" mantra

Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health will today announce the details of 75 LINks (Local Involvement Networks) the local health and social care watchdogs, awarded Pathfinder status by the Department of Health to support their development to become Healthwatch organisations.

LINks are set to ‘evolve’ into Healthwatch in October 2012 with greatly expanded duties. But whilst millions are being given by the government for the organisational development of Pathfinder Clinical Commissioning Groups (£7milion in London alone), Andrew Lansley has plans to give absolutely nothing to Pathfinder LINks.

NALM finds it incomprehensible that that whilst money has been found to be used by the DH for LINk Pathfinder evaluation, networking and shared learning with LINks, that no money will be given to the LINks individually to run their leading edge Pathfinder work.

NALM’s recent report ‘Evolution or Abolition’ showed that LINks, have suffered an average 24% budget cut, and some cuts as great as 70%

Malcolm Alexander, Chair of NALM said: LINks are run by volunteers and have a major role in monitoring the quality and safety of NHS and social care services from a user’s and patient’s viewpoint. To expect them to run successful Pathfinders with no additional money is frankly insulting to the excellent and committed volunteers across the country, who strive to make LINks a success.

The launch of Healthwatch Pathfinders today is a hollow event. LINks have a vital role in monitoring services, and we expect the Secretary of State to value their great contribution, by funding the development of Pathfinders.

We (NALM) call on Andrew Lansley to show that the government values LINks and is committed to Healthwatch by producing funding that will enable them to development into powerful community organisations.

Malcolm Alexander NALM Chair

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Community Health Councils Landing In Birmingham?


Captured Using Telescopic LINk Fade-ar Plus Intuition

It was spotted orbiting over Birmingham UK . Neither man, nor aeroplane, nor bird - it was a Local Involvement Network (LINk) body (of health monitors) - slowly fragmenting and burning up suitlessly without enough resources and LINk oxygen as it entered into Birmingham Council bureaucracy and the political atmospheres of the new building of the HealthWatch giant rocket . Yes it is certainly rocketing LINk .

It will be all things to all citizens and will take a whole populations concerns on board . Or will it ? Will it lift off ? Will it be too heavy with its lead weighted ambitions ? Will it be mobile enough and will it be over-captained with far too many compartments? You ask good questions ...... !

Sources reveal to us that there was a Health Adult Overview Scrutiny Committee meeting at the Birmingham Council on 13th July 2011 . One Labour Councillor (from Birmingham South) there reportedly said of the Birmingham LINk :

"The LINK is dead in the water " - "HealthWatch should be moved on with " -

- and words to the effect that :

"Community Health Councils as a model are desireable so long as they are well run and professionally staffed ."

So now you know what is partly likely to happen because of the failure of the Birmingham Local Involvement Network and its poorly dis-unified un-strategic LINk Core Group (now virtually de-commissioned) i.e. it is likely that a set of institutions that were always predominantly white and middle class in Birmingham will resume in time. The CHC's - with a few sprinklings of politically correct Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups ?

Once again white middle class dominion rules ?

A council related document towards the shaping up of HealthWatch that is circulating, does show also predominantly white middle class (a South Birmingham bias ) Councilllors too will have the reins over the shape of HealthWatch . This is in a city with over 50% people who are BME.

Does anyone who is Black and Asian feel really confident about that ? Get in touch - we'll hear you out - leave a comment . We are not happy about this development of Birmingham white middle class white re-surgence of influence either . This is fair comment too on what we have seen so far .

In the HealthWatch Project Initiation document we have seen it says :

"Communications and Engagement plan (June-July)

1. Commissioners, councillors and other key decision makers engaged in discussions

2. Key decision makers include Cllrs Anderson, Tilsley, Rudge, D Alden and Bedser; Peter Hay (Strategic Director); Denise McLellan (Cluster Chief Executive) and the Public Health Transition Board. "

These are the people who will shape your Birmingham HealthWatch in the future. There's no doubt some of these folk have real ability, but are they representative of all Birmingham - really ? What happened to Asian and Black representation right at the top?

No-one is certain about the survival of proper monitoring methodology either that holds both Council and NHS to account . After all the Council are pretty much in control of the HeathWatch budget and its likely sponsored HealthWatch CHC model is still remote ..You might bet though it will be dominated by South Birmingham interests and mind sets .

We are probably looking at more years of post CHC, post PPI, and post LINks, tumbling group chaos, instead of a simple format for citizen training all lay people who want it, in their various local groups, into how to examine services delivery levels and failures and remain independent so they cannot be bought off by subtle favours from services with allegiances to mainly one professionalized class in Birmingham.

Is the CHC a social "analogue" model in a Birmingham society that is woven with many layers and in need of modernisation both socially/mentally ? The CHC model was in itself top down and corporate and frankly would it with a few tweaks somehow guarantee that a crisis like Mid Staffs would not happen ? What was the failure there ? Just poor systems of monitoring? Or was it "collusive" turnings of heads away from more obvious problems more outspoken people were trying to bring attention to ? Was it a situation where vision was locked out by all who wanted not to see it ?

Beware a mono-cultural approach .

HealthWatch Birmingham bottom up localism ?

Not a chance !

More to be a lord and ladies
Middle Class "made-ies " dance ?

Lets see if we are wrong ..


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Birmingham Gets Targeted By Mobile DWP Sherlocks


Its true ! Sherlock Holmes is on his way to Birmingham with a mean machine mobile squad of experts to look at all the benefit claims in Perry Barr and nearby Kingstanding Birmingham . We'll show you the DWP material later claiming this .

What is striking about both of these places is they are traditional working class areas that lost out when de-industrialisation gradually took place all around the Perry Barr area from the years of Margaret Thatcher right through to the promises of things "can only get better" with Tony Blair . There is a lot of knackered up people in these areas.

Now the motto is "Things can only get bitterer" as benefit claims are reviewed and reviewed till the new terror comes home . The new terror is a jobless economy and busted up working class that is not going to magically recover because politicians desire it . Yet the pressure is on to be seen to be "doing something" . It makes good press though and it does point to a genuine unresolvable anxiety that somehow the country just aint going to make it without a "working class" ... Can you remake a working class from the disabled or the unhealthy ? More to the point - who will make and sell what ? Who will compete with low wages in China and India ? Who will magically reinvent the 19th century free market conditions of europes ascendancy which carried on into the 20th century and has now ended in the 21st with masses of invented money and masses and masses of borrowing and banking debt .. ?

Does it matter ? Politicians have got the fox in sight ... Ride it to ground, and rip it apart with the hounds ... Amazingly 19th century isn't it ... Over to the DWP's own text below :

[QUOTE from 8th July DWP Press Release]

"Benefit cheats are being warned today that a new Mobile Regional Taskforce to combat fraud will be visiting their area. This new team will target all high risk postcodes across the country re-examining claims for benefits and Tax Credits.

The Taskforce is the latest crack-down on benefit fraud by the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC alongside local authorities, and cheats are being urged to admit their crimes and pay back the money before they get a knock on the door.

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform said:

"The new Taskforce is our latest weapon in tackling welfare fraud on the front line. We are sending a clear warning that if you are fiddling the system, you will be caught. Welfare fraud is a crime and takes money away from the most vulnerable.

"People who are receiving the correct benefits and Tax Credits have absolutely nothing to fear. But if people have deliberately not told us of a change in circumstances, they should do so now, before the team comes knocking at their door.

"Alongside the Taskforce we are bringing in the Universal Credit which will simplify and automate the benefits system. This will make it much easier to catch people who make false claims."

People who tell the Department about a change in their circumstances before they are found out by the Taskforce will have to repay the money they owe, and, depending on the seriousness of their action, may face an additional punishment. Anyone who doesn’t take this opportunity and is found by the Taskforce to be committing welfare fraud could be prosecuted and fined or imprisoned.

David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said:

"This government will not tolerate money which is meant for those in genuine need being siphoned off into the pockets of cheats and fraudsters.

"The new taskforce delivers on our commitment to tackle benefit fraud and together with the extra £917 million we have re-invested in HMRC sends a very clear message."

The Taskforce will start on 25 of July in the Perry Barr and Kingstanding area of Birmingham. People can also report a cheat on the National Benefit Fraud Hotline number 0800 854 440 or online via:"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Now For The July Birmingham UK Protests At Cuts


By A UserWatch Correspondent

There is a public meeting called for on July 20th 2011 in Broad Street Birmingham UK and it is a protest about £33 million spending cuts being targeted on disabled people and others in vulnerable groups .

Considering there has been a High Court case rolling back of Birmingham City Council's ambitions to cut £51 million, and a lot of it on disabled people categorised as within substantial needs, this looks like an evolution to a road to defeat to the Tory/Liberal held City Council .

It will not happen just yet - but it will happen, as other types of squeeze occurs on the disabled population who have some robust law to protect them coupled with welfare benefit changes that look set to actually claim lives and have done so already according to mental health charities (See also the suicide of Paul Willcoxson aged 33 )


Birmingham Local Involvement Network Gets Reduced


Tied To Action ? Or Is It A Jailed Approach ?

The Birmingham Local Involvement Network, a statutory health monitoring body, has only been funded lately for 7 of its Action (health monitoring) Groups according to sources and a text we have been sent. The funding in place for the Action Groups is only for the months of July , August , September-end . From Oct there will be a new contract and a new Host and there is likely to be new governance in place .

The Birmingham City Council have not funded the LINk Core Group which appears to have become an over-bureaucratic body riven with dissenters and some say it has been "useless" in terms of having any real role . The Action Groups appear to have proven that action is what counts and inward looking bureaucratic meetings do not . Its wastes money and time .

The function of the LINk Core Group was to manage the strategic directions of the overall LINk but it has not enamoured itself to the Council it appears . Neither did it succeed in creating a credible link between "elected" Core Group members and their suitability to be aiding the strategy of the Action Groups . This has been a topic of conversations in several Birmingham circles that have criticised the LINk Core Group .

The email text from Birmingham City Council regarding the reductions of support to just the Action Groups is below :

"Dear LINk Member,

We have now negotiated with Gateway Family Services, the existing Host organisation, for continued LINk Host maintenance for the Birmingham LINk to cover the three months from 1 July to 30 September 2011. We have established continuation of support for those LINk Groups that contribute to health or social care outcomes. On this basis, support for up to one meeting per month has been agreed for the following Groups:

Birmingham East and North Action Group
Enter and View
Heart of Birmingham Action Group
Older Persons Action Group
Mental Health Action Group
University Hospital Birmingham Action Group
Women's Health and Maternity Action Group

We would like to see all of these Groups working towards achieving benefits in health and social care in line with a work programme that is based on evidenced local need. The wider governance arrangements will be revisited once the new Host's contract has started in October. This approach has been agreed and endorsed by Councillor Sue Anderson.

In addition there has been provision for 4 consultation events over the 3 month period; the Birmingham LINk website will be maintained; the 0800 number will continue to operate; and, the insurance cover will remain at the same level as currently. Gateway will be processing LINk member expenses for activities that have been agreed in advance.

The Host is currently drafting a work plan for the three month period; further details will be issued once available. Many thanks for your continued interest and hard work in the LINk.

Head of Policy

Birmingham City Council
The Council House Extension,
2nd Floor,
Margaret Street,
B3 3BU"


Mental Health Economics - Why Has The Sun Gone Square?


Mental Health Economics UK

Finally it happened : with all the rest of world economy going insane, the Sun squared up and started to get letters going across its face . We discovered "Sun Text" ... It was all too predictable though ... Shine on brightly ? Nah.... Whine on brightly squarely we say ..

At UserWatch we had cosmic warnings long ago of this from "One-bar" the alien from the planet Electric, who told us bullshit particles were massing on Earth more than anywhere in the universe . We also have a pet wolf and polar bear in the UserWatch office who act as "instinct compasses" that have sniffed the human air and vomited often ...

"Everyone in the Galaxy comes to study Earth because of the colliding forces which create so many virtual bullshit particles that have a nature to spin about and lie in one direction or another or another or another " - stated "One Bar" the alien . "Its a question of Rantum Physics (a planet Electric discovery) .... "

"Its fascinating" said "Switch Off" (from the same planet) - " Earth's bullshit particles are so vigorous and wiggly, you could mistake them for snakes - is this why you had a Garden of Eden with a skin shedding character in the original tale ? "

At UserWatch we agree with the true-aliens - take the new snake-soap therapies in the UK designed to get everyone back to work when there is no prospect of competing with the China syndrome and the hungry migrators whose own blasted out countries have enough death-in-life particles so you have to run away from them.

Iain Duncan Smith (UK Dept of Work & Pensions Secretary Of State ) - him of the: "kill the disabily fekkers club" - with work massing gassing camps, which also produce work for a company who employ a post SS tribe of Doctor Clipboardmen, whose corporate name looks like "HATE-US" , has stated in the Daily Flail that immigration to Britain has soaked up a lot of the available jobs that no-one who is kicked off disability benefits can get because the "migs" have them ..

HSJ Mogger And The Death Of Disability xxx

Picture Courtesy : Silvis Rivers July 2011

Can you blame the "migs" (migrators) ?

Who wants to live in cratered existentialism in fucking useless economic countries where lower-end but high-volume production has emigrated to a factory in Wing Wang where the Wangsters live ..... ?

Logically in the mental health economy UK - you get CBT Cog-native tribe therapy to recover from depression from being out of work, only to become more realistically depressed about your death in life because a Wangster has got a job you might have had ..... Unless you just married a royal or live with £20 notes defecating from your arse like a banker who really needs stuffing with two barrels of high velocity shotgun pellets ..

Can we save the Sun from going square ? Is there a physics to protect us ?

No ...

No more than we can control our global social economies to produce for real needs and not half a world of bullshit. Remember, economics is dominated by the cheapest unit-price and the cheapest cost of labour and then you'll remember our own demands create hell sooner or later for someone. You clever recallers - you have defeated the fashion of amnesia.

Who needs balance ? Contradictions are maintained and we make the politico-economic particle winds we are pushed along by .

Take the "new" now mainly failing mental health services in the "recovery" sectors - where under Labour (2000 - 2010) so many false bureacracies propped up a kind of false service economy in mental health which some of the fitter mental health "recovered" Users traded off. In that diversionary costly economy (£3 - 400 million est.) - front line delivery never saw patient choices in mental health , and though some "patient choice" budgets were piloted - they were minimal - designed right at the end of a Labour Govt that prefered system economics and mass delivery as though everyone exists as clonal Cog-native types .

We can never forget a web post by a well known "Mental Nurse" who claimed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was just another "tool in the kit" .. Yeah ... To tighten the loose nuts no doubt ... Who needs individuality when you can have state-top-down mechanics with their engineered contradictions and threads which do not fit individuals .

Put the Car-gnitive workers back to work producing invisible cars ?

The reforming Carbon Dioxide company "CO2" - does not need more car workers but rather eco-workers to harness a simpler economics after the hyper wave of burned out over production. We all need a gentler existence that is not dealing with the post trauma of post industrial family life and its mass class alienations but that might mean making the Sun round again .

See-ing the circularities of nature and mass particle build up of contradictions is way way overdue . Will the Sun give us time ?

Will we ?

Lets say a prayer in purple ....

Bunnetary Policy And King Stick xxx

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Birmingham LINK Lazarus Breathes Again?

LinkArticle From The Blogosphere Elsewhere

[Just in case you do not know - LINKs stands for "Local Involvement Networks" - the health & social care monitoring bodies that are supposed to hold the UK health and social care services to account .]

In its May 26th 2011 document The National Association For LINk Members writes :

"The ‘HealthWatch Transition Plan’ makes it clear that the decision whether to transform a local LINk into HealthWatch through a process of evolution, or abolish it and establish an entirely new organisation, rests with the Local Authority.

We object to this – we believe it would be wholly unacceptable and an appalling waste of resources, for a Local Authority to abolish a LINk after three years of creating a local people’s champion in health and social care.

Destroying organisations set up to monitor health and social care is disruptive and undermines the safety of our care services. Evolution and transition to HealthWatch must be the way forward."

It appears in Birmingham there is only one evolutionary proposal: "The Round Table Proposal" so far argued to take forwards an efficient LINk/Action Group /Local Authority partnership model (to preserve good health monitoring practice) and it has been agreed at least to be trialled from Oct 2011 .

That agreement was negotiated by two Birmingham LINk Action Group leads - the Chair of the Women's Maternity & Health Action Group and the Co-Chair of the Mental Health Action Group . This is clearly shown in a 9th May 2011 letter from the Council agreed by 3 policy and performance officers :

"In general, we would support the idea of a round-table approach, particularly to facilitate the independent monitoring aspect of the LINk. However, we must bear in mind that HealthWatch will have a much larger remit than that of the LINk. Consultation and engagement is a key role of both the LINk and HealthWatch and we feel that this would need further exploration to see how this can be fulfilled within or alongside the round-table proposal.

The transition period from October to July provides an ideal opportunity to trial this arrangement to see if it could be incorporated into plans for HealthWatch (including how consultation and engagement within or alongside this model would be fulfilled)."

NALM's position in its report supports greater independence from the Local Authority as a provider of services and a commissioner of HealthWatch, and it uses a generalization to justify its position :

"LINks have developed over the past three years into influential local bodies that represent the patients, users, carers and the public in key local decisions affecting health and social care services."

Sadly this is not true of all LINks and some have performed very poorly and thus are ripe for a takeover of their functions . There are Local Authorities who have enough evidence of poor LINk functionality and will be in a position to take over large parts of it with 3rd sector partners already in place and positioned to take up the LINk void .

There are strong signs in Birmingham there is a strong player already in place to take up broader HealthWatch functions .

The Birmingham LINk Core Group has now adopted its latest Version 10 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) on May 25th 2011 though its very late in the day to have done this .

It is unclear how some of those Core Group members view the evolution of LINK to HealthWatch though some do see the merits of the "Round Table " efficiency approach which is intended to flatten down the management, create efficiency of good practice, more immediate peer review, with strategic vision being shared more quickly .


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Birmingham Local Involvement Chair Raj Resigns


The Birmingham Local Involvement Network Chair Resigns
Emailed Letter To Members passed to UserWatch

Dear Member

We are writing to inform you that we have received notice of the resignation of Rajinder Rattu, the current Birmingham LINk Chair. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Raj for all his contributions and wish him all the best in the future.

Kind regards (officer of)
Facilitator – Birmingham LINk Host

Who can save the future of health monitoring in Birmingham ? UserWatch previously covered how this Health Monitoring body seems to be melting down due to being termed : "unsafe" after it was pretty well ordered to get itself in good order .

It had no Standard Operating Procedures after 3 years apparently and frankly seems a bit of a mess .

It does have some good groups on it and we have seen their minutes and work but it does not seem to "link" well to itself and that problem originates right at its top "Core" group areas who appear to be unable to co-ordinate their own act properly .


Saturday, April 09, 2011

HSJ Mogger Attacks Welfare To Wolf Policy

HSJ Mogger Attacks Welfare To Wolf Policy - - by SilvisRivers

Well one thing is for sure - we'd all like a serious hero rather than the fecking zero status most of us are but HSJ Mogger - once little more apparently than a squiggle on a page, surely shows the way, with magical claw thinking ... The rest of us can reach for a pillow named "Dave" or even "Gord" since there were secret deals between all parties to feck us up for about 30 years by removing the manufacturing capacity with little serious policy to protect that (unlike Germany) and the over-zealous belief in bugger the working class - let them eat credit and benefits ..and silly fecking retail jobs and social engineering nuttery ..

Was it once pink with freedoms
But it turned cold blue
Did it give you your life
Or bite and bleed you ?

A pattern of hunting
And down with the weak
As it licks their face
And their prospects are bleak

New Norman castles in the land
And the smells of blood
In the air
Its an old old beast
This blue one
That brings despair ...


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Blue Welfare To Wolf Spotted In Yellow Desert


Acknowledgments To Silvis Rivers Who Sent This In

(Winner of 2010 UW Cheeky Bastards Award)

In the deserts of yellow
Where the policies dwell
Comes the Welfare blue wolf
Snapping teeth of hell

Into your life
And your jobless shell
Leaving suicides and death
For your family to tell

Its blue revenge and hate of class
And disabled animals get off your ass
In five years crossed boned and votes
Will make it pass

But some will be bitten into lasting ash ...


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Jack Gets Pickled By Eric In Sour Form


Well there's nothing like a bit of vinegar spitting in Parliament and Jack Dromey (Erdington Birmingham) and Big "EK" Eric Pickles have been at it . For sure Labour would have had to create cuts too, but the voting circus money is on a big vote for Labour in two years in Birmingham and a collapse in the votes of Lib Dem and Tories .

The massive cuts which will affect the disabled in Birmingham (4000) - which is part of the welfare to wolf policy, will be echoed by Employment Support Allowance migrations over from Incapacity Benefit this year too . That will bite deeper and deeper and the teeth from the chased welfare foxes will turn backwards onto the largely Blue Wolf .. Boy there will be red and red and red everywhere ..

(From HANSARD) 4 Apr 2011 : Column 724

Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford) (Con): Will the Secretary of State join me in congratulating councils that have protected front-line services through creative and innovative thinking about their budgets, such as Medway council, which has halved its funding to trade unions and given that money to fund library books instead?

Mr Pickles: I do indeed congratulate them. My hon. Friend points out to those on the Opposition Benches a way in which money can be directed towards the front line. I hope that the right hon. Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) will send out requests that Labour councils similarly to look towards trade unions and reducing their costs.

Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington) (Lab): The Secretary of State has described his cuts as progressive, fair and protecting the most vulnerable. Last Friday, Conservative-led Birmingham city council inflicted the biggest cut in local government history of £212 million. Some 4,000 people face losing their care packages, including some of the most vulnerable, many of whom are in ill health and in the twilight of their years. Is that progressive, fair and protecting the most vulnerable?

Mr Pickles: Let us be absolutely clear: these are Labour cuts. The Labour party was planning £14 billion-worth of cuts, all of them front-loaded. At least we changed the formula to help the most vulnerable. We find ourselves in a position where we know perfectly well that the Labour party would have inflicted even greater cuts on local government.

Service User Matadors Stop Birmingham Bull To Rescue Small Charities


Stopping The Council Bull In Birmingham

Well it took the small guy - the Service Users in the end to take on the Birmingham Council barons of "fundingless" at the Hight Court and win . Third Sector Online lead the story well :

"Birmingham City Council's decision to cut more than £1m of funding from 13 advice charities in the city was unlawful, but only the three that challenged the decision should have their funding reinstated, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Blake ruled last week that the three charities – the Birmingham Tribunal Unit, the Chinese Community Centre Birmingham and St James Community Support & Advice Centre, Birmingham – should have their funding reinstated."

The barons of "fundingless" are those along with other parties that helped to preserve the crazy economy and crazy banking system and the crazy way those who are disabled and in social care or health need will pay dis-proportionately for everyone else having lived off fantasy economics in the UK for quite some time without a manufacturing productive sector. Now you can see what happens when you invalidate a "working productive class" for 30 years or so ..

Neither the hands of Labour or Tories are clean in that and the middle class bureaucracies that sprung up under 13 years of Labour had better look at themselves and re-organise their lives for real work never mind attacking the workless welfare class and the disabled with tabloid media masturbations and prejudice - take a look at the subsidized lives of all and ask who is really fit to bear less and finally generate wealth ?

Or shall we claw the disabled ... ? Probably the latter knowing wolf class world out there.

The pattern of funding less advice orientated charities though is interesting for amongst them was Birmingham Tribunal Unit with a wealth of experience in tackling injustices and complex problems to those on benefits . Quite a number of these 13 small charities targeted were welfare advice type charities - meanwhile bigger charities out there have slurped at the bowls of local health and social care commisioners . We know who they are in Birmingham and as usual in mental health everyone knows who they are that suck off the lottery cash cow and various udder pots of milking money ..

Interestingly a reader on Third Sector Online states the obvious :

"Surely, there is a message here that bigger charities should step to the plate and take the fight against cuts by local councils to the courts. It's the smaller ones and their service users that are leading by example and taking practical action that are yielding results. It seems that the bigger charities are all talk and no action, and too scared to take on the bullies"

We might say some of the big charities are also the "bullies" ... Or the Bull for service user matadors to take on ..


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Detained Mental Health Patient's Special Pilot Study


Its about time we heard what the patient experience is of how well the system of UK Mental Health appeal tribunals do their job when patients are detained on a "section" . Deprivation of Liberty safeguards are essential for people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 powers . So here's a March 2011 pilot study by the Care Quality Commission who together with the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council have put together some extra safeguards by really listening to what patient's are saying .

From the report :

"The AJTC is entitled by law to observe tribunal hearings but has no direct access to patients; CQC, while having access to patients, has no statutory right to attend hearings. It therefore made sense for both bodies to work together in order to obtain first-hand information from patients themselves about their experiences of the tribunal system."

And generally reported :

"A ground-breaking report is published yesterday 30th March 2011 on the experiences of patients who appealed to a tribunal against their detention under the Mental Health Act. First-hand information has been obtained for the first time from patients of their personal experiences of appearing before the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health), formerly the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

The report finds that patients’ experiences of tribunals were diverse, ranging from positive to strongly negative and that delays are a substantial factor in many patients’ negative experiences of the tribunal process.

To view "Patients’ experiences of the First-tier Tribunal" report, click here "

Friday, April 01, 2011

Social Workers In Birmingham Gather And Protest


SWAN Conference

Film above and an extract below from the social workers Social Workers Action Network protesting about cuts . They are going to meet on 15th and 16th April by the look of it by the Birmingham University . We have had to screen capture their text (its not copyable as text ) and below is their advice about using the social media .. Wellllll it helps if you can copy text for a start ..

Their Full Document/Programme Is Here

We are genuinely not sure where everyone is going with "protest" though and the idea that someone out there or in here or somewhere or others can restore a State where needs can be met . In mental health where needs are often diverted into new ideologies of the day and corporate strategy, the idea of User Involvement was hijacked by careerists some of whom were every bit as greedy and selfish as so called "capitalists" ....Everyone banks on opportunities and bankers just did it too much speculatively (bastards!)

The bigger truth is humans look after themselves all the time and some accumulate more wealth because they are greedy animals at base that want more life opportunities or bigger self reflections to look at . Big brains means the likelihood of big imbalanced egos too .. Yep, people are bastards ...And have a guess what - all of us are people .. Except at UserWatch we are actually dogs that can write ...


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birmingham LINK Goes Into Meltdown


The UK Birmingham Local Involvement Network (LINK) of Health and Social Care monitors appears now to be going into China Syndrome . Its Core Group has partly become unstable perhaps ? Oh yes, its finally been told it is NOT SAFE and it has to be made safe . This email below attributed to Gateway Family Services (The LINk Host) sent on to us is doing the rounds of health activists and Users in Birmingham and further afield. It clearly needs to be seen by all . We understand though the "Action Groups" associated with the Birmingham LINK are still to work .

"Dear [Chairs of Core Group & Finance and Admin] (names redacted)

We are writing to inform you that we have received a high level of complaints within the last month, both from LINk Core Group members, Link members and Councillors which pertain to the lack of a governance framework.

We have highlighted this as a risk to BCC, as we believe it renders the LINk vulnerable in terms of legal, financial and reputational risk – in these terms we regard it as unsafe. I would like to point out that minimum standards of policy, health and safety, safeguarding and equality legislation are being met.

This volume of complaints has allowed us to identify a trend which relates to the decision making and accountability of the Birmingham LINk

The Issues and associated risks

The main areas which represent significant risk are as follows:

Absence of, fit for purpose, governance framework – namely

1. Lack of comprehensive and agreed Standard Operating Procedures

2. Unsuitable and unenforceable complaints process

The risk associated with the above issues are:

1. Decisions being made without sufficient governing documents

2. New and existing members unable to be provided with handbook – as required in the audit – due to insufficient governing documents

3. Members therefore able to make decisions and represent the LINk without clearly defined responsibility, accountability and boundary of role

4. Financial decisions being made without a suitable framework of accountability

5. Codes of conduct, procedures and current protocols are unenforceable due to inadequate complaints

Appropriate Solution

We propose to solve the above issues and associated risk by:

1. Suspending meetings*of the two key decision making groups ie: Core Group and Administration and Finance Group, until such time that agreed Standard Operating Procedures and a robust Complaints Procedure has been approved.

2. To form a sub-group tasked with the actions in point 1.

3. To gain approval of required governance framework through single issue meeting with a quorate membership of the Core Group

*although meetings would be suspended, information would still be disseminated to the relevant group members.

Responsible owners for all remedial actions required

Host organisation

Sub-group facilitated by the Host organisation

LINk Core Group (quorate amount)

Timescales for remedial action

Suspension of meetings of two key decision making groups - with immediate effect

Formation of sub-group - 15th April 2011

Final draft document agreed 13th May 2011

Website consultation period complete 30th June 2011

The remaining elements of the contract, including the Action Groups plans and objectives, together with the main priorities for the LINk will continue to be delivered.

During the period of the suspension of the groups, we advise not holding the Vice-Chair election and halting the co-option process to enable the governance documents to be drafted and approved.

Regards [Host of The Birmingham LINk]

LINk Logo

Birmingham LINk

c/o Gateway Family Services CIC, Radclyffe House, 66-68 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 8PF

Tel: 0800 652 5278, Email:

Monday, March 28, 2011

More Zero State - Beyond The Watertowers NHS Confederation Report


By a UserWatch Correspondent

Apart from being anti-patient-choice in mental health - but certainly avidly-for Mental Health User Involvement (which created over 13 years of Labour) more bureaucracy and subtle dominion in the NHS, the self interested as ever NHS Confederation trots out its new brown going part pinky blue trottery on the Gov't take .. Piggies in middle class eh ?

Meanwhile we all have seen the "heroic" 250,000 people protesting about cuts as though these things were never in the Labour lexicon.... Far from it, 13 years of Labour in mental health showed a mirror of the economy - all bureaucracy and no productive reality . Apart from theorising here and there about "social inclusion" . The cuts and attacks on welfare were on their way - we need weeding out ... UserWatch is full of nettles though for all parties and even God ..

The balance of trade to get back to sanity though , might have been called the imbalanced national mental health mindedness since finally someone sees some sense and the Gov't are quoted in the NHS Confeds "Budget Briefing" :

"Alongside the Budget the Government published its Plan for Growth, which outlines how the government plans to make the UK :“a world-leader in manufacturing, life sciences, creative industries, green energy and non-financial business services”.

Frankly UserWatch supports realistic think tankery rather than credit laden thankyou very much bankery that has kept everyone inside expensive illusions. This Government faces the obvious : "produce or slowly die off you feckers " ...

In the economic squeeze though mental health patients and their ideas of growth are pretty well zeroed out . The time of slaying off the welfare weak has come - a bit of cannibalism first happens with a few statues pulled down of useless ideas on top of people and then its down to putting the expanded middle classes from priestly bureaucratic churches now being demolished back to work in the manufacturing sectors (like Germany has done successfully) all because you have to earn your way rather than invent your pay .

The NHS Confed Budget Briefing also includes :

"The Plan for Growth also stated that the Government will shortly publish "Shaping Competitive Markets", guidance to support departments in better decision making by setting out measures that procurers should take to shape and open up markets, and highlighting how procurement decisions can have undesirable consequences on markets."
Now that should be interesting since it is time for mental health users to look into the mouth of the shark world and realise they were already there inside the NHS if they disagreed with it so what's different about the new potential for "markets" ?

Just be aware the mental health charities are lining up to line their pockets now as price undercutting "willing providers" . If you are serious about personal growth in mental health as a User or Carer - look elsewhere because this Charity-way is not the way either and will lead to a duplication of another form of under-stated need - the Under-State , Zero State is close by.

Watch out for yourselves .. Don't go numb and mad . Fight for life . You've got one in the whole of eternity so kick the charity sharks in the teeth before they bite your legs off ..


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tar Heaven And The Slowed Pace Of Patient Choice In Mental Health


Snowballing Patient Choice In Mental Health Service Hell ?

By the time any Patient Choice happens in mental health using healthcare budgets it will be almost designed out into a form of DOH bureau-clevered-up non existence. Taxes and death are assured - so is no Patient Choice in Mental Health (MH) services in the UK. Social Care budgets for MH are already under attack and eligibility for them is subject to greater testing and more restrictions right across the UK.

Bureaucracy survives and just wants a slow exit from the field. Well it would wouldn't it and maybe there is even partial merit in that argument, after all, anti-market sentiment in mental health is a seriously embedded culture in both NHS and MH Charity providers and therefore a culture of choices has not grown at all. Keep it slowed down ? Trickle down choice. Like gluey tar in a wine glass pyramid and you can drink thickened up gunk in a few years - if you are alive ..... Its black all around . Tar heaven .

It's all been predetermined by Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health (now the "Centre For Mental Health") into designer top down supply side provisioning and de-institutionalised provisioning of despair in the community. You cannot help thinking that the death rate of MH Service Users will get higher over the next few years and this is like an atavistic anti welfare wolf policy surge of a socio-economic Darwinian clear-out-time of the old and weak ....Some of us said a few years ago that the Workhouse times were back - modernised of course . Only there's no house - just chains in wildness spaces called "community"...

You can barely believe, but have to believe, that after years of talk about shifting the balance of power, the only power that was significantly shifted was the power of the MH charities to form themselves into public servants of the Governments and build up empires of double and triple facing duplicities that build the new parasitic 3rd sector corporate classes . Aided by a culture of paid off MH User-involvement....

What the hell is wrong with Patient Choice in mental health ? It was easy to budget for and pilot at the therapy end initially . Piloting was the way but instead CBT was chosen and dominated the budget for anal retentive therapy "training" as opposed to using eclectic mixes of emotionally healing talk and feelings skills that already existed . Keep it head-bound though - do not let those dangerous feelings become owned again .. Keep 'em split off .. Medicalise history and distress and make the new tranquil pill out of controlling thoughts - kinda suits the age .

Its a middle class ethos - anti-social-context . Feck the social contradictions boot em out ... Make 'em busy ... Surviving .... Give 'em more trauma . Keep it subtle though inside gymnastic languages that talk about "care" ...

So what do the health care professionals say about Patient Choice ? Well see it all here. You hardly have to read it really . Cautious and bureaucratic - looking for "evidence" having denied it for years by collusion with anti-patient-choice policies and prime amongst them is the National Development Mental Health Unit - the replacement for NIMHE founded and architected by Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health - who registered its website first and foremost . Whoops ... DOH and SCMH slipped up there ..

What will happen to Patient Choice in mental health ? It will be over-managed and under-resourced and argued over so long as we do not create a culture of choice driving pathways of results. If GP consortia have got any sense they will take the therapy budgets and purchase in new providers competitively but they will probably not have enough money to show proper results over time because the simple truth is it takes time for people to heal in a society of busted up cultures , dysfunctionalising families, and despair .

Never mind there's always Tar heaven .

See also Health Service Journal :

Monday, March 21, 2011

Health & Social Care Bill Too Extreme Too Rushed BMA Says




What we are seeing in Birmingham is very fast "reforms" . Part of the problem is the Govt economic driver and the way it has been shaped like ideological spears . "Transforming the Communities" (a New Labour document of 2009) as a policy goes back in its formations for years with the Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health pushing different forms of de-institutionalization and "social inclusions" but now the added 2011 Coalition incentive to save money and cut services is likely to be a toxic situation .

Welfare reform, GP commissioning and shifting secondary care "SMI's" (serious mental illness Users) over to primary care side supply is going to be lethal for some Users who fall outside of being able to be supported or cared for by family or the dwindling support systems we have .

Coupled with 3rd sector instabilities created by the local authority being over-ambitious on service cuts (no rises in council tax) and eligibility criteria for support being altered (4000 affected in Birmingham alone) - its all not looking good . Over to the BMA letter :

British Medical Association Letter To Andrew Lansley :

"March 17th 2011

Dear Secretary of State

I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the BMA’s Special Representative Meeting (SRM) held on Tuesday to debate and direct the BMA’s approach towards the Health and Social Care Bill, and the subsequent meeting of BMA Council.

On Tuesday, just under 400 members representing the whole range of BMA national, regional and local structures across the UK voted to carry 33 motions covering many different aspects of the Bill. All of the motions reflect grave concern about major elements of the Bill, especially, as drafted, the powers that will be given to Monitor to ensure the promotion of competition. Despite Government reassurances, the vast majority of doctors believe the implementation of these powers will lead to a fragmentation of care and will undermine commissioning consortia’s ability to make decisions based on the best interests of their patients and local populations.

In many ways, motion 35 summed up the feeling of the SRM. A large majority voted that the current plans for reform are too extreme and too rushed and will negatively impact on patient care. By a smaller majority, the SRM called on the Health Secretary to call a halt to the proposed top-down reorganisation of the NHS and to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill. However, the SRM also recognised that some aspects of the Bill have the potential to improve and safeguard care. In particular, motions were carried supporting the principles of clinician-led commissioning, albeit with concerns about how they are intended to work in practice.

The SRM, by a narrow majority, pulled back from asking us to oppose the Bill in its entirety, but very clearly indicated that doctors expect to see more progress on amending the most worrying aspects of the Bill, calling on the BMA to publicise and oppose the damaging elements of the Bill and to consider what form of action should be taken by the medical profession.

I have had the strongest steer from our representatives and Council that we have to focus our energies on improving the Health and Social Care Bill for the benefit of patients, the profession and the NHS. This comes on top of our recent major survey of members by Ipsos MORI, which clearly showed significant concern about the reforms, especially about increased and enforced competition. This was the case even amongst those doctors generally supportive of the reforms and those involved as Pathfinders.

I have asked our Director of Representational and Political Activities to liaise with your seniorofficials on the full range of motions carried by the BMA SRM. I also hope that you and I can meet soon to discuss how the BMA can work with you to ensure that doctors’ views and concerns are properly reflected in the Government’s proposed reforms.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Dr Hamish Meldrum
Chairman of Council, BMA "


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welfare To Darkness Rolls In


Will the suicide rates go higher when the ESA muds swamp in ?

As from March 28th the ATOS doctors will be busy re-assessing

Of course it has been coming for years - "REFORM" - the Incapacity Benefit figures were attacked as too high and those bad ol' shirkers out there were just swinging the lead and refusing to be the working class on dog wages . Of course not only were many disabled but they could not compete with the 1 million Poles and few others and many who lived 15 or twenty to a house thus knocking down the rent for each other in London areas.

The truth is fraud was never that high but overblown with the media 's old/new workless class prejudice. The dreamy newspapers - fanning flames about and other media just bolstered the ridiculous growth of the middle classes on the back of New Labour bureau-land for 13 years - after quite a few years of the Tories kidding everyone you could magically earn enough for the country by making up the GDP gap with "financial services" .... Oh dear ... Not to worry David Freud ex-banker is here and his plans started in the Tony & Gord Labour years . So is it dark and collectively unconscious therapy for everyone and death for quite a few - who will finally not cope ? Britain loves to re-invent its victorian cruelty doesn't it ?

Well a bunch of Mental Health "hacktivists" in London have put a letter out to the Guardian ... You know the Guardian that did so much to seriously criticise the years when the Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health was heroically leading the charge on "Work for all" in mental health and "Inclusion" ..... Oh dear .... Its all inclusion on the plank now in the Coalition sea of cuts and choppy policies ... But over to some MH Users who feel its worth writing to the Guardian and its networks of socially manipulating classes .

"March 2011


Dear Editor,

We believe that the manner in which long term benefit claimants with mental health problems are being reassessed for work will result in suicides. As Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) for existing claimants are being rolled out nationally, the system is already in a state of chaos, particularly in relation to mental health claims. Amidst this chaos, the Mental Health Resistance Network has been formed by people who live with the reality of mental health problems, to demand an immediate end to this cruel and unfair method of assessing fitness for work. WCAs are no more than a smokescreen to conceal drastic cuts to benefits for people in mental distress. We are compelled to speak up as we hear friends talk of suicide as they face the loss of their only realistic source of income.

The previous government allowed the press to prepare the public for this onslaught against the disabled by remaining silent for several years as endless stories about benefit cheats appeared in the tabloids and right wing press. Rumours emerged suggesting that they were behind the press having access to individual benefit cheat stories. The same press now cites the high number of people being found fit for work as proof that we were cheats all along, easing the way for the Coalition to return the UK to pre Welfare State conditions, thus fulfilling a long standing Tory ambition. This will remove a hard won safety net from many ordinary people should they become too ill to work.

We want to set the record straight. The reason the huge, international IT company, Atos Origin, is finding so many people fit for work is that the criteria to qualify for disability benefits has changed to a point where it excludes a huge number of sick and disabled people. Furthermore, the assessments don’t take enough account of existing evidence in support of a claim, especially where a fluctuating condition requires a longer view. This process has nothing to do with benefit fraud: these changes are about reducing the welfare bill in a country that has, over the past thirty years, been dominated by an ethos of ‘self interest and damn the rest’. If only as much effort could be put into assessing the tax liabilities of the rich!

At a time when unemployment has passed 2.5 million and competition for jobs is fierce, we worry that we will be consigned to the poverty of long term dependence on Job Seekers Allowance, working for meagre benefits and constant pressure to prove we are looking for work we will never find or be able to sustain if we do find it.

We are keen to see any initiative that would enable people with mental health problems enter into, and maintain, meaningful employment: subjecting us to defamation, indignity, fear, disengagement from services and poverty is not such an initiative.

Professor Harrington, appointed to carry out annual reviews of the WCA, will focus on how it deals with mental health conditions this year as he acknowledges that this is currently inadequate. So how many claimants with mental health problems will be assessed before it becomes adequate?

The high rates of successful appeals are evidence that Atos is failing, no doubt at huge cost to the country. Frantic efforts are now taking place to reduce the number of appeals, ranging from DWP employees making phone calls to explain to unsuccessful claimants why the decision was right, to decision makers and Atos doctors scouring through live appeals to carry out reassessments, i.e. mini tribunals minus the appellant. Later this year, advice and Legal Aid will be withdrawn from claimants.

The whole process can take the best part of a year for a distressed claimant who is placed on a lower rate of benefit while they wait. No sooner has someone won their appeal than they are recalled for another WCA in a matter of a few months to start the whole process again. The distress for claimants going through this process cannot be overstated and this is happening at a time when mental health services, which provide vital support, are being slashed.

Subjecting vulnerable people to such an ordeal constitutes abuse. Please bring this to an end now.

It's Your Survey Voice Says Joe Health Wish








At last a Health Watch survey for Birmingham ! Following some reports of a lack of public and councilor confidence in the health and social care monitoring Local Involvment Network in Birmingham. Its time to consult you isn't it ?

The Birmingham LINK has high costs for its elections of its Core Group running at £3000 a time and with very low turnout of little more than a maximum of 240 it has to be time to think again - not waste money on a "democratic base" that actually isn't there compared to the 1 million population of Birmingham . Let the Councillors represent Birmingham - let the Health and Social Care Birmingham LINK or Health Watch Monitors liaise with them better ?

Time to concentrate on health monitoring and doing that first and foremost ? What are the options ? Take a look :