Solace Centre User Involvement Group 24th May 2018
Guest Attendee was Stephanie Linden, Service Manager at POhWER
POhWER stands for People of Hertfordshire Want Equal Rights, POhWER was set up in 1996 by service users in Hertfordshire who wanted to make their own decisions about their lives.
POhWER is an Advocacy, Information and Advice charity, it is funded through Ealing Council. POhWER is focused on working with service users, they take on volunteers who want to gain experience in advocacy. POhWER work alongside Healthwatch, CQC and MP’s to promote the rights of service users.
Advocates at POhWER are knowledgeable in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Mental Health Act 1983 (amended in 2007) and Care Act 2014.
POhWER have a helpline that runs from 9-5pm, if you call out of hours you are able to leave a voicemail and will be contacted by a an advocate as soon as possible.
POhWER advocates are able to write letters and support you to get explanations as to why an aspect of your care may have gone wrong
POhWER in London has a team of 14 advocates that work across 22 boroughs, these include:
- Barking and Dagenham
- City of London
- Hammersmith and Fulham
- Kensington and Chelsea
- Kingston Upon Thames
- Tower Hamlets
POhWER does not cover the borough of Hounslow for advocacy, Voiceability covers advocacy in Hounslow due to different funding streams. They are contactable on 0300 330 5471 – email@example.com
POhWER advocates are outcome driven, the way in which they operate is having 1 or 2 positive outcomes for each case to maintain consistency and have clear aims.
POhWER advocates can support clients with complaints from West London Mental Health Trust, Chelsea and Westminster, NHS GP’s, Pharmacists and London Ambulance Service. Any complaints about healthcare services to go straight to POhWER.
POhWER advocated have a background in Health and Social Care, they will be trained on the Human Rights Act 1998, Mental Health Act 1983 (amended in 2007), Mental Capacity Act 2005 and receive NHS Complaints training, this involved training on how to write a complaints letter
POhWER work to create opportunities for service users and receive feedback from clients. So far feedback from service users has indicated more (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) CBT and Talking Therapies should be available.
POhWER advocates ensure cases are kept at the forefront of their work as cases can go on for quite some time. Stephanie Linden reported “There is no time limit to complete cases, some can take a day others a year.”
Whether unhappy with the care you have received or wanting to make a complaint about services you should contact POhWER as early as possible.
If you would like any more information please contact Rasmeet Kundan (07702562908) firstname.lastname@example.org
Solace User Involvement Group – Thursday 29th March 2018
Our bi-weekly user involvement group saw the attendance of two disability employment advisors (DEA’s):
Maggie Carey – email@example.com
Paru Thakker – firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits/ Universal Credit:
- Both DEA’s are contactable regarding employment support and information on universal credit, they are based within Ealing Job Centre.
- Universal Credit is all benefits rolled into one lump sum payment, this includes: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.
- Universal Credit will be paid directly to your bank account
- Differing to Housing Benefit, Universal Credit will not be paid directly to your landlord, this is something you will have to set up yourself. However depending upon circumstance i.e. living in supported housing, a payment may be set up by universal credit to pay your landlord directly
- When changing over to Universal Credit you will have to wait 5 weeks for the first payment to reach your bank account, you are able to ask for an advance however this money will then be taken out of your payment the following month
- Advances will not be paid if you have savings or money in your bank account, this will be determined on an individual basis e.g. some people may be paying more for housing so an advance may be suitable even though they have money saved
- For anyone who needs extra support managing money you can be referred to budgeting and debt management services, this will be determined through your work coach at the job centre
- Applications can no longer be completed over the phone, everything has to be filled out digitally on a computer. If this is an area you need support with you are able to meet your work coach at the job centre for support with completing applications
- Ealing Council are offering basic I.T courses for understanding and managing universal credit
- Letters that are received and not understood can be brought into the job centre to be discussed in person or over the phone
- Ealing Centre for Independent Living (ECIL) have a representative at the job centre who can offer further information about benefits
- Alternatively Mind Ealing and Hounslow also have a pathways service where you can receive help filling out benefit and housing applications. This service is run by Ade Ojelade – email@example.com
- There are two types of ESA benefit: Work related activity group (Taking steps towards employment) and Support Group (Supported by benefits). At the moment the work related activity group can be called to be assessed.
- This assessment would be completed by a healthcare professional, such as your GP, CPN or Community Nurse. This assessment is also known as a “Work Capability Assessment.” If you fail this assessment your benefits will be changed over to Universal Credit, If this assessment is passed your benefits will remain the same.
- Work coaches at the job centre will provide in work support. For example, if you are not feeling well due to your mental health they can call your workplace on your behalf and explain the situation
- There is training available for employers to allow for flexibility within the workplace, this would be discussed within your contract meeting. This training can help to improve employers understanding of different conditions. E.g. medication may make an individual drowsy in the mornings, so the employer would only offer afternoon/ evening shifts
- There is a lot more mental health training happening within Ealing job centre to raise staff awareness
- A number of big companies are confident signed to abide by rules to support disabled service users within the workplace, however this is not often translated to the smaller branches.
- Once you have received a job offer your work coach will speak to the organisation regarding any extra provisions you may need to support you within the workplace
- For Non-English speakers there are translators within the job centre
- It is the role of DEA’s to build relationships with local organisations
If you would like more information you can contact Maggie Carey or Paru Thakker. Alternatively you can send a message to Headsupealing@mind-eh.org.uk.
Olivia Martins (OT from Claybrook Centre) attended our Secondary Care Forum to speak about the “Moving Forward Group.” The basis of group is supporting clients who have or in the process of being discharged from Secondary Care Community Mental Health Services to Primary Care Mental Health Services.
Olivia attended the group to gain feedback about what service users have experienced already during discharge and how this group can aid people going through this process. Some points raised were: Ensuring service users are in touch with community services, such as third sector organisations. The group all agreed having other services to join and meet more individuals upon discharge can make you feel supported rather than alone.
Olivia presented the idea of having co-facilitators, a professional from the primary care team and a service user who has been through the discharge process. The group thought this sounded like a good idea as someone who has been through the process would have a good insight/ be able to answer questions and share their own experiences.
This group would take place at the Claybrook Centre, if you would like more information or to be referred please contact Olivia.firstname.lastname@example.org. The group is currently in the referral stages and not running as of yet.
Megan is our new HeadsUp Project Worker who will be working with us part time in Hammersmith and Fulham. Before joining the team, she trained as a mental health social worker and she has volunteered in the charity sector for a number of years. She is very passionate about user involvement and is excited to be a member of the HeadsUp team!
The Mental Health Police Liaison Officers from Hammersmith and Fulham and Ealing, Simon and Phil came to speak to the HeadsUp Committee in H&F
Here are some of the main points:
- 46% of calls to the police are mental health related. That means that when someone calls 999/101, the call will be logged as mental health related which could mean the combination of a mental health condition or crime or that someone with a mental health condition needs help
- Mental Health Police Liaison Officers liaise between the police and the mental health trusts and private hospitals. They work hard to improve things going forward. They also provide training and give advice and guidance to police officers dealing with a mental health related case and how best to deal with that individual e.g. by using de-escalation techniques including turning down the radio, taking the hat off and getting to that person’s level and speaking to them
- They are the experts for the police in mental health, identify the most vulnerable people and try to put a care plan for them in place if possible for example if someone is often detained under Section 136 then they would arrange a multi-disciplinary team meeting around the individual and ensure they are properly cared for to try and prevent it from happening again
- You do not get a criminal record for having been detained under Section 136
- Section 136 (S136) is part of the Mental Health Act. The Mental Health Act is the law. S136 means that the police have the power to remove you from a public place.
- There have been recent changes to Section 136 which have not yet been implemented. Importantly, the changes mean that someone can no longer be detained for up to 72 hours but needs to be assessed by a mental health professional within 24 hours. The onus is on the health professionals to get the assessment done
- The police have three core purposes: Prevent crime, uphold the peace, save life and prevent injury if possible
- Concerns have been raised in the past about the heavy-handedness of police officers and police being a bit violent in order to getting control of situation. Training is being provided for police officers in how to deal with mental health cases. However, the police must ensure their own safety also.
- The culture change has been that the police don’t want to be seen as an authoritarian figure that is going to get people into trouble. The police is there to help people and want people to come to the police for help
- In a non-emergency call 101
HeadsUp network members said that they felt left behind in social media, and that knowing more about it would be helpful to do more user involvement opportunities and expand their networks. In response, we co-produced a half day training session in partnership with the Recovery Hub.
It was a very successful session, with the room packed to capacity, and many useful and insightful questions asked. There was interactive activities, resources to take home, and video tutorials provided. The unanimous response was that attendees wanted another session, and to learn even more! So watch this space!
The HeadsUp project launched in Ealing in July 2016, and since then a huge amount has been achieved!
We have started monthly patient forums in St Bernard’s Mental Health Unit, and all of the feedback gathered in these forums is fed-back to the unit managers. We have also completed a report on care plans to promote the use of them, increase patient’s involvement in developing and updating them, and increasing patient awareness about why they should have one.
In the community we have set up forums across the borough to provide more accessible involvement opportunities. This includes monthly forums at the Lotus Centre in Southall, Amadeus House, a secondary care forum at the Recovery College, and a soon to be launched Primary care forum (location to be announced). If you would like to know more about these forums, check out the Ealing page.
We have continued the weekly user involvement group at The Solace Centre, which has been invaluable in helping us to set up and expand the HeadsUp Network, mostly due to a number of very skilled and enthusiastic network members who have shown us the way!
We have facilitated placing service users on many paid opportunities including on-going interview panels, a range of meetings and committees within the WLMHT, and our Newsletter writing group (check out the winter edition). We are looking to soon set up the Ealing HeadsUp Committee, which will act as a working group to advise, and provide direction on what HeadsUp will be working on in the coming months, if this could be you, get in touch!
Its been a busy 7 months for HeadsUp Ealing, and we are very excited to keep expanding involvement and co-production opportunities in the borough. Watch this space for what’s to come!