Words from the Director
By Kate Holmes
We are just preparing an evaluation of the peer support project with Middlesex University after three months of operation. First signs are that the peer support workers are really appreciated by patients and staff. We will be presenting the report to the Mental Health Trust managers and to a seminar at Middlesex University with a view to securing long term funding from next year. WE intend to run another training programme for peer support workers so if you are interested in this work, having been on the ward, please come to the Lancaster Centre on Thursday 2nd May at 2.00pm to find out more.
Thank you to those of you who have taken part in focus groups to identify standards for service user involvement at the Mental Health Trust. We are now comparing your views with those of service users in Barnet and Haringey and a small group of Trust staff to articulate those standards. They are likely to include improvements to amenities on the wards and other measures to ensure care is exercised with compassion.
Our usual summer event with the other user groups in north London has been brought forward to Thursday 4th April from 1.00pm-4pm. If you would like to come with us to the Archway campus of Middlesex University, please contact the office.
Activity Co-Ordinator Project
We will be having an anniversary celebration for our Activity Co-ordinators at the Willows restaurant on Wednesday 29th May at 3pm. This will mark just over a year of having EMU Activity Co-ordinators on the wards at Chase Farm Hospital.
Our Activity Co-ordinators do a good job. Their groups are a welcome asset to the patients on the ward and range from a Pampering Group to, coming up soon, a Basketball Group.
We work in partnership with the Occupational Therapy Department and provide a much needed service.
Come along to our celebration to hear speakers and have some refreshments. Let’s show our support for our brilliant workers.
Service User Forums
It’s important that the service user voice is listened to by the Mental Health Services. Why?
Because your views are important and appreciated not only by EMU but also to give guidance to the professionals, making sure that they are working on your behalf. Representatives from EMU will also be attending. The meetings are for one hour and there is usually refreshments available. Please join us .
Enfield Complex Care Team Service User Forum
Anyone who is using the complex care team services is invited to pop along to the service user forum to have a chat and give feedback about the service they receive. - 1.00pm – 2.00pm
Friday 22nd May 2013 at the Ark, The Chase Building, Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield.
Psychosis Service Line (Sliver St) Service User Forum
Anyone who uses Silver St services is welcome to attend the service user forum to have a chat and give feedback about the service they receive. 2.00-3.00pm Friday 3rd May, 2013 at Silver Street, Enfield.
The Foodbank has moved its distribution centre to the Great Cambridge Road the Southbury Road side of Lincoln Road between Stephen James BMW dealer and Carpetright. You should be able to see the warehouse marked. Contact remains 0208 804 0990 or 07826542119
EMU Elders Project
The project continues to meet every Thursday between 1 and 4 at the Lancaster Centre Weekly numbers are between 12 and 15 which is very encouraging. For further details call 0208 366 6560
A recent survey of participating members indicated that the Elders sessions are enjoyed and that they are perceived to be of benefit. The opinion of our members is borne out by recent research (www.mentalhealth.org) which indicates that loneliness and isolation pose as big a health risk as lifelong smoking. Mental health risks associated with loneliness and isolation include dementia, depression and anxiety.
Each year The Mental Health foundation promotes Mental Health awareness Week when they campaign around a specific theme. In 2013 the campaigns runs from 13-19 May. The theme will be physical activity and exercise, highlighting the impact they have on mental health and wellbeing. The aim is to shift our motivation for physical activity to something we choose to do to increase our wellbeing. If you are interested in becoming involved please complete the online form at www.mentalhealth.org.
Last November Rethink’s Schizophrenia commission published a report, ‘The Abandoned Illness’ . Among other things it recommended Crisis Houses. Here is the report of a conversation between the chair of the commission, Sir Robin Murray, and one of our members.
Chief Executive of the hospital should spend 25 hours in an inpatient unit, as the partner of John Lewis spends time on the shop floor!
Medication for life? Not necessarily so.
There are published lists of best Trusts for prescribing, and less good.
Pharmacists should be given a much bigger role.
Rethink, the Schizophrenia Commission, to have 6 or 7 trusts as pilots, to show how recommendation can be implemented.
Most patients do not want e.g. HTT. Crisis Unit, triage Unit. They just want a good doctor and nurse, and to keep them, Sir Robin says.
Do all schizophrenics experience psychosis?
You can improve the quality of Enfield Adult Social care services.
Do you use or care for someone who is supported by adult social care services?
Volunteer to become a quality checker and give us your views on the quality of the adult social care services we provide.
To find our more please contact our Quality Assurance Team on 0208 379 4686 or 0208 379 3966.
EMU are looking for volunteers who enjoy and are good at setting quizzes to run a quiz night once a month please contact Julie at EMU – 0208 360 6560
The Linkworker Project
The Linkworker Project has been in seven practices in each borough. Linkworkers will also offer to see patients who have been referred for Common Mental Health Problems, but who are not eligible for IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) in the practices (this would be people with major drug or alcohol problems or with significant issues of risk). IAPT is a service offering evidence-biased interventions on *Common Mental Health Problems with low levels of risk.
*Common Mental Health Problems are those that:
• Occur most frequently and are most prevalent;
• Are mostly successfully treated in primary rather than secondary care settings (i.e. at the GPS rather than in a Community Mental Health team;
• Are least disabling in terms of stigmatizing attitudes and discriminatory behavior.
These problems include anxiety, depression, or a combination of the two, as well as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD and other mental health problems that affect people’s ability to function. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) categorises these by severity, duration and functional impairment into
• Mild - relatively few core symptoms, of limited duration and little impact on day to day functioning.
• Moderate – all core symptoms present plus several other related symptoms, duration beyond that required by minimum diagnostic criteria, and a clear impact on functioning.
• Severe – most of all of the symptoms of the disorder, often of long duration and with very marked impact on functioning.
Who are the linkworkers?
The pilot linkworkers are qualified, experienced workers from the Trust’s mental health primary care teams who are also trained in partnership working and shared care and have a good working knowledge of local services.
What will the Linkworkers do?
Linkworkers will attend review meetings with GP teams to talk about the progress of people who have been referred to them: help GPs to access Trust services where necessary; inform GPs on the Community Support services that could help some of their patients, and also provide general support to the GPs in dealing with mental health problems.
• Also find out whether a person needs more specialist care. They will also treat people with common Mental Health Problems who need referral, but are not ready or able to go to IAPT. These patients will be offered time-limited psychological interventions (in practices if GPs agree) such as motivational interviewing, CBT techniques or support with computerised cognitive behavioural therapy.
• Be involved with signposting of patients to community support services and resources to benefit their health and wellbeing, directly for referred patients and through information and support to GPs for other patients.
• Facilitate communication between GPs and the Trust’s services about patients with more serious but stable mental health problems providing advice and onward referral if necessary.
Linkworkers will be able to call on senior clinical advice from the Primary Care Mental Health Team including Consultant Psychiatrists, who will also provide their regular structured clinical supervision.
What are the visiting arrangements for the Linkworkers?
Linkworkers will visit practices up to once a week to see patients referred to them, subject to GP agreement.
Which patients will the linkworker see and what will be offered to them?
Linkworkers will triage and assess patients with Common Mental Health Problems who
• Have not responded after identification and active monitoring by the GP and
• Are not eligible for IAPT (see below).
They will offer short-term interventions for patients in the practice, to promote their recovery and self-management. Patients’ progress will be tracked, and shared with the GP.
What are the benefits to patients?
Patients will receive timely support for their self-management and recovery in a familiar and non-stigmatising environment. Patients will be signposted to non-medical sources of community support to help them manage their condition (e.g. learning new skills, volunteering, and befriending) as well as to support with employment, benefits, housing, debt, legal advice.
What are the benefits to GPs and Primary Care?
GPs will receive more timely access to assessment for referred patients and support from experienced mental health staff in navigating the Trust’s services. They will contribute to building clinical capacity and confidence in primary care.
Linkworkers aim to be problem solvers – offering general clinical advice and progress updates on referred patients, as well as direct interventions for those referred with Common Mental Health Problems but who are not eligible for IAPT, promoting their recovery and self-management.
So, at last, after all the feedback we have received about the often (not always) inadequate care in GP surgeries, this pilot may at last, be going some way to make the situation better.