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USERMCARER atters October 2010 Issue 23

Including news for service user and family carer foundation trust members

Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Month: Get the feel good factor this October October 2010 celebrates the launch of Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Month, a month long campaign that brings together anti-stigma events from across the county. There are events happening throughout the month in

locations across Suffolk. There is a timetable of events from pages 3-5 of this edition of User Carer Matters. For more information on the events taking place during October please visit The month is being coordinated by VASP (Voluntary and Statutory Partnership), a group of over 60 mental health organisations including Suffolk Family Carers, ESAN, Suffolk Libraries and teams from around Suffolk Mental Health

Partnership NHS Trust. Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Month is about working together to raise awareness of good mental wellbeing and the benefits of physical health. The events are based around having a healthy mind and a healthy body. The events expand on VASP’s usual celebrations of World Mental Health Day (October 10th), an international awareness event originally started by the World Federation for Mental Health. The month also incorporates Time to Change “Get moving” events. Time to Change is a national anti-stigma campaign which aims inspire the country to put an end mental health discrimination.

‘Helping people make the most of their lives’

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Courses aim to give new skills and overcome barriers Workwise Suffolk has set up a project to deliver training and employment courses, including taster sessions, aimed at people who are: • Lone parents, • People returning to the job market aged 50+, • Economically inactive or • Unemployed. The aim of the training is to help overcome barriers to employment and access new skills and qualifications. The taster course includes a skills analysis of each participant to ascertain their strengths, matching job avenues with their training requirements, and forming an action plan for progression. This taster includes 10hours of sessions over a period of one to two months. Worklink says no matter what job you apply for, a good standard of computer literacy with a qualification is very important. Learners have the option of working with Microsoft Office packages Word, Excel, Access or Internet to assess their skills levels. Those wishing to continue can work towards an iTQ qualification with the full 2

Worklink has free training to help get you back into work training and employment course. This programme lasts 80 hours delivered in group sessions over the course of a year. It provides instruction and support to work with Microsoft Office and gain credits towards the iTQ qualification by integrating and using the skills learnt in the workshops. Included in this part of the course would be: • Skills analysis of each participant, ascertaining skills for training and job match avenues • CV development workshops

• Skills analysis • Letter writing • Work placement/volunteer with real employers • One to one mentoring • Employability and motivation workshops • Job goals/job hunting • Work options/employer research • Application forms • Interview techniques • Analysing adverts • Communication skills If you are interested in finding out more contact Neil or Natasha at Workwise on 01284 755261 for an initial meeting.

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Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Month Local wellbeing events taking place during October 2010 4 Oct to 7 Oct Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich “Representing self” art exhibition An art exhibition coordinated between Colchester and Ipswich Museums and ‘Inside Out’, a local arts group. Work involves the creative, personal exploration of Christchurch Mansion’s collections. 5 Oct, 12.30pm-1.15pm Beccles Library “Consequences of child abuse” talk This week deals with the difficult and emotive subject of child hood abuse with talks and information from agencies that can offer further support.

5 Oct, 10.30am-3.30pm Navigator Suite, Lowestoft Library Family carers networking event A networking event for family carers and users of learning disability services to find out about mental health services in Waveney. 6 Oct 2pm-3.30pm Endeavour House, Ipswich “Drugs in the community” seminar This seminar is part of Minds Matters a series of friendly, informative and free public mental health seminars. Book on 01473 329148. 7 Oct, from 9am Sudbury Marketplace “Time to get moving” event with smoothie bike! Feel great and cycle your way to a free smoothie, with our fantastic smoothie bike! The event aims to raise awareness of the services provided by local mental health organisations and show the link between good physical and mental wellbeing.

7 Oct, 10am-4pm Beccles Library Information stands and “Find yourself” talk This week deals with the difficult and emotive subject of child hood abuse with talks and information from agencies that can offer further support. 8 Oct, 10am-4pm Haverhill Library “Time to get moving” event with art and live music! Day will include an art and photography competition (judged by the Haverhill Echo’s photographer and the Haverhill Mayor), acoustic music performance, exhibition, leaflets and more. 8 Oct, 10am-4pm Thoroughfare, Woodbridge “Mental health and wellbeing for older people” information stand This event will have advice on general mental health, fitness and wellbeing issues in older people, information leaflets, fun games and discussion on life changes following retirement.


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Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Month Local wellbeing events taking place during October 2010 9 Oct, 10am-4pm Long Shop Museum, Leiston “Art on the move” touring art exhibition An amazing powerful and colourful art display and interactive workshop inspired by emotionally inspired art. Come and have a go! Mobile library on site and information about local mental health support services available. 10 Oct St Clement’s Hospital, Ipswich Awareness day A fabric textile display with individual squares designed by clients attending unit aims to show creativity and the learning new skills to


build confidence and social interaction. 11 Oct to 18 Oct St Lawrence Centre Café, Dial Lane, Ipswich Information stands Find out more about the community projects and health and wellbeing support services in the Ipswich area whilst enjoying the lovely surroundings and refreshments at the café in the St Lawrence Centre. 11 Oct to 15 Oct, 9am onwards Lowestoft Library Art and photography exhibition 14 Oct, 2pm-3.30pm West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds “Coping with depression” seminar This seminar is part of Minds Matters a series of friendly, informative and free public mental health seminars. Book on 01473 329148.

20 Oct Wedgwood House, West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds Presentation and information display To launch the proposed new model of care to be used at Wedgwood House. To inform other agencies and the public of changes underway at Wedgwood House and of proposed changes and how these will have a positive impact on the provision of acute inpatient care. 22 Oct, 2pm-3.30pm United Reformed Church, Stowmarket “Building a better future” seminar A presentation about the new build and refurbishment projects of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, including new wards on the Ipswich Hospital and St Clement’s Hospital sites in Ipswich and refurbishment works at Wedgwood House on the West Suffolk Hospital site in Bury St Edmunds. This seminar is part of the Minds Matters free public mental health seminars. Book on 01473 329148.

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Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Month Local wellbeing events taking place during October 2010 26 Oct, 11am-3pm The Apex, Bury St Edmunds “Fun Feeling Fabulous” An interactive day to encourage awareness and action on keeping good health and wellbeing. Jimmy Doherty from ‘Jimmy’s Farm’ will be opening the event

and there will be demonstrations and stalls with information: • Dance • Walking • Chair based exercise • Yoga • Tai chi • Courses to increase mental health and wellbeing • Talking library • Stop smoking advice • Healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Free healthy soup and fruit available all day.

Have your say on NHS reforms The NHS White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, sets out the Government’s longterm vision for the NHS. The vision builds on the NHS values and principles – a comprehensive service, available to all, free at the point of use and based on need, not the ability to pay. There are four consultation papers on which the Department of Health is seeking your views. Commissioning for patients. The White Paper sets out proposals for putting local consortia of GP practices in charge of

commissioning services supported by an independent national NHS Commissioning Board. Local democratic legitimacy in health. This consultation builds on the proposals to increase local involvement in decisionmaking in health.

further outlines proposals on foundation trusts and the establishment of Monitor as an independent economic regulator. There is also a Review of the Arm’s Length Bodies which is also open for consultation.

Transparency in outcomes: a framework for the NHS. How the Secretary of State for Health will hold the NHS Commissioning Board to account.

The White Paper was published in July and the deadline for responses is October 5 2010. The supporting consultation papers have a deadline for responses of 11 October 2010.

Regulating healthcare providers. This document

For details see www.dh. 5

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Kevin Byford from Suffolk User Forum has recently been representing service users on a panel to review the system of providing supported housing for people with mental health problems in Suffolk. Sheltered housing contracts, which are commissioned by Suffolk County Council (SCC), are renewed every three to five years. To encourage services to become more efficient SCC have decided to introduce a system of ‘clusters’. The cluster system means that rather than an area having several different providers, one organisation will now bid for all the services in a particular area (or cluster). Kevin said: “The idea behind the change is to drive down costs without affecting quality of service, and I am really positive about the changes to the system. “At the moment one

Service users have sheltered housing input organisation might be running services in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Ipswich, meaning staff must travel between these locations. “Clusters however mean that services will become more localised resulting in less time on the road and more time on care making sheltered housing in Suffolk more efficient.” To ensure that all the bidding organisations are competent in terms of finance and service provision, a panel, including Kevin, assessed all of the written bids in two phases. The first phase was reviewing the 16 bids for good and bad points over a four day period. The

second phase then involved more scrutiny such as reviewing user/carer involvement. Kevin added: “The panel also came up with additional questions for the bids, which I found one of the most interesting and enjoyable parts of the process”. The information gathered by this panel was then added to financial data about the organisations and converted into a percentage score. At the end of this process there were 11 organisations left who are now being asked to bid on the clusters, starting with Waveney. Thanks to Kevin Byford from Suffolk User Forum for getting in touch!

Age Concern domestic helpline Age Concern Suffolk is a charity that works for older people in the county by campaigning on their behalf and providing services. One service that the 6

charity provides is a ‘domestic information helpline’ that collects and provides information on ways to help people in their own homes. If you would like advice on

how to access support or assistance with cleaning, shopping, odd jobs etc, then the helpline is open 9.30am - 12.30pm Monday – Thursday on 0845 330 0470 (local rate call).

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Trust endorses Being Open The board of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has endorsed a policy to communicate effectively with patients if things go wrong. The aim is to ensure sensitive, empathetic, honest, timely and open communication with patients involved in serious incidents such as a death or serious harm to a patient. Central to the policy is acknowledgement of distress caused and the principle that both verbal

and written apologies should be made as soon as possible. Research has shown that this type of policy improves patient satisfaction and reduces the number of formal complaints and litigation, saving thousands or even millions of pounds of public money. Patients must be offered advocates to support them, including the Trust’s own Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). See

Asking staff to cover up

If you have worries or issues about the Trust then the Patient Advice and Liaison Service can help you get the information you need. PALS is a confidential service to help sort problems quickly rather than service users having to make a formal complaint. PALS officer James Woolnough can liaise on your behalf with staff and will listen to all your concerns, suggestions and queries about the Trust. Call James on 0800 585544 or email

Some of the explicit tattoos worn by Trust staff are rather worrying for patients when they are very unwell. We do appreciate the need people have for self expression but we are concerned that pictures of dragons, knifes, skulls, etc, can be observed by patients that are unwell as frightening and symbolic. We have asked staff at the Trust to adhere to the dress policy and keep these tattoos covered up while on duty. If you are a service user or family carer who have found tattoos worrying Suffolk User Forum would like to hear from you. Larry Nicholas Suffolk User Forum

Feedback form Please send ideas, thoughts, stories and queries using this form. You may cut out this section of the newsletter and send it to the freepost address on the next page. NAME (optional:) CONTACT DETAILS (optional:)


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SIGNPOST This page contains contacts relevant to the stories and articles in the issue. If you have any organisations you think we should be signposting people to then let us know using the feedback form! Age Concern domestic information helpline (Mon-Thur, 9:30pm 12:30pm) 0845 330 0470 www.age PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service Open Mondays and Tuesdays 10am to 4pm and Wednesdays 10am to 12noon 0800 585544 or Suffolk Family Carers helpline (Mon-Fri, 9am4pm) 01473 232679


Suffolk User Forum East: 01473 329316 West: 01284 713000, ext 2316 Voluntary and Statutory Partnership (VASP) Julia Carr 01284 764808. Hosted by White Paper consultation liberatingthenhs Workwise 01284 755261www.

If you would like further information on any of the news stories in this issue we will be happy to help. Contributions are welcomed, but may be edited. The Editorial Team Foundation Trust Office St Clement’s Hospital Freepost RRKY-AAKL-UEUS PO Box 170 IP3 8LS (No stamp needed.) Tel: 0800 585544 Email address: Have a look at our websites to find out more about our services and campaigns:

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