Early August 2013 mental health and health & social care news, views,opinions,info etc

August. Already? Why we’ve only just been getting to first-name terms with July.Somehow, though between the back-end of July and your last mail-out, and this toddling phase of August, quite a number of items of news, articles of note, newsletters etc have come light, and all are deserving of your attention in one way or another. Possibly a bit light on comedy this time though, although as everyone’s taste is different*, your mileage may vary in this regard.
So, in a rather random order, principally because…well, just because, okay. It’s a (non-)structure that metaphorically echoes the vagaries and quiddities of our human existence. That’s the alibi, at least. Oh, right,yes, back to the actual content. Here goes.

First up, by way of attachment (with a self-explanatory filename) is news of the latest service user and carer leadership course, for those in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear or thereabouts, starting with a taster session on the 27th of September. The previous iterations of the course have been successful and enjoyed by participants (“I enjoyed it” A. Participant). Actually good stuff so if you know users or carers who might be interested, point them in the direction of Julia or Sandra (julia.minto@ntw.nhs.uk or Sandra.hutton@ntw.nhs.uk) to find out more and sign up.

Still with the old attachments, please find stapled to this email the latest from MHNE . Also from them is a wee survey, which it’d be a very nice,generous,decent thing of you to fill in. That way, they might progress with a Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund bid.

For organisations the survey of is found at:

For service users and carers there’s a slightly different survey at:

Also, please find attached the latest Service User in Research Bulletin (SUiR bulletin, in case you hadn’t twigged).
Then we have a biggish read, a pdf (filename DR ID 03) from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, namely the report People with learning disability and mental health, behavioural or forensic problems: the role of in-patient services No points for poetry, but full marks for plain titling (thought not with the filename).
Now it’s the turn of the NEMHDU newsletter (newsletter 19), with news in there of the upcoming North East/Time to Change mental health day to be in Newcastle on October the 5th. That news is also attached separately, because that way you get the (first) event poster…(blurb is entitled 5th October 2013, poster is TtC Newcastle Poster).
And last, but not least on the attachment front, (before we get to the blood-pressure-raising linkage section) is news of a new walking group. It’s a group that meets. And walks. On a Sunday. Look at the info, and spread the news. The eagle-eyed among those of you who’ve lasted this far through the email (and there’s some way to go yet, I’m sorry to say, but possibly not as sorry as you are on reading that) might even see a rejigged/revamped logo on there (one of several colour combos). Comments welcome. But not if they’re derogatory. Unless they’re funny.

Now the realm of the links, typically to thought-provoking, ire-inducing bits of news/views etc.
Why I blew the whistle on Atos fitness-for-work test Oh, yes, it’s back to the vexed issue of the WDA, Atos testing, and the apparent inabilitry of the system to accommodate and recognise mental health problems…Related is this radio interview with an ex-Atos nurse, telling her story, and it’s not comfortable listening. And it’s not even as if Atos offer value for money, so it seems. Still broadly on the same subject, there’s a wee meeting for South Tyneside folk on the 13th of August:The Bedroom Tax + Welfare Benefits Advice in South Tyneside, 1.30 – 3:30pm at 8 Derby Terrace, South Shields, NE33 4PN, refreshments provided. Oh, and watch this space for a revived, renewed collaborative campaign on welfare “reform” and mental health, to which all and everyone will be cordially invited. Did we say “reform”? maybe chaos is a better term (though it doesn’t quite convey the hardship caused…): Universal Credit staff describe chaos behind scenes of flagship Tory reform
On related lines we have the news that Amnesty International has condemned the erosion of the human rights of disabled people in the UK
Don’t worry, though, because in the brave new world of NHS and social care reform, there will be lots of shiny,sparkly new providers of services, some very large and a bit shadowy.. Like,er, G4S, whose reputation isn’t spotless, but are moving in to mental health. Even some of those working already in the field would appear to be jettisoning principle.
I’ll leave you with a slightly idiosyncratic take on mental health and psychiatry by Will Self, but it’s not actually saying much that hasn’t been said before (including in these mailouts) but with possibly greater linguistic panache in his coverage of some of the debates. It does have an asinine title (presumably by a sub-editor) but is quite okay as these things go.

Until the next time,

*If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced.That’s why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
Alisdair Cameron
LAUNCHPAD Team Leader,

NTWSU&C n/wk co-chair (with Mish Loraine)
(for network business: ntwsuc@gmail.com)

Offices 210 and 211,
Holy Jesus Hospital,
City Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne,

Tel 0191 2330382 (personal mobile 07736074213)
E-mail launchpadncl@aol.com

or alisdairscameron@gmail.com

NTW Service User and Carer Leadership Course.doc

MHNE Bulletin 25 July 2013.pdf


FR ID 03 for website.pdf

Newsletter 19.pdf

5th October 2013.doc

TtC Newcastle Poster.pdf

Launchpad walking group.doc

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