WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Friday, 20 July 2007

The Mental Health Act 2007

After nine years of strife and Government obduracy, the new Act has today received Royal Assent.

You can find a history of the Act's progress at http://www.ppeyes.org.uk/mentalhealth.html

But don't throw your pikestaffs and pitchforks into the river yet. The next stage is probably the most important one. It has been a strong argument from all those opposing the Bill (and that is a huge majority of service users, clinicians and mental health professionals in the UK) that all the detail which will go into the Code of Practice should have been on the face of the Bill and therefore enforceable in a court of law.

This hasn't happened though and the seperate Code of Practice is still to come. The Government have promised a lengthy consultation period starting in the Autumn. Please be sure to participate. We need legislation which focusses on a statutory provision of care and treatment to meet the real needs of service users - not an instrument of social control.

Not straying too far from the subject is Paul Tovey's work on exposing the wrongheadedness and inadequacies of the Government QUANGO called NIMHE (National Institute for Mental Health in England). We can't deny there has been some relatively small pockets of benefit to Users via NIMHE but it undoubtedly spends the majority of its funding on incestuous bureacracy and I can't help wondering just how much more use could be made of that funding if it was used to foster and develop user run organisations.

With Paul's permission, I've copied his excellent submission to HM Treasury here:


Making Mental Health better in a bottom up way Comprehensive Spending Review Survey

14th July 2007

Making better local solutions in Mental Health (MH) for Service Users in a bottom up way at almost neutral cost could well be possible if NIMHE ((National Institute For Mental Health in England) and some of its offshoots like CSIP and SHIFT are no longer funded . Their purpose will be superceded I suggest by empowering more people at local levels to create MH focus that are based on Govt grant funded small area and locality sensitive groups. In other words let MH Users speak for themselves and others they can properly represent and trust some democracy in this . Coupled with the use of the net and enabling that (which I will come to later at almost neutral cost) I can see a much more bottom up way of increasing Mental Health Service User engagements back into society .

From 2002 and by 2006 NIMHE had cost 65 million (DoH FOIA obtained figures) By 2008 it will over 100 million at the current spend rate . Its offshooot SHIFT is costing extra millions 2.4 million up to date .

Enablement into social inclusion (a big aim in MH) through supported and stepped ways within the context the Govt insistence on shrinking Day Services across the UK is best supported by small local area groups not corporate service delivery. Funding like Section 64 grants but smaller could help the use of community centre based initiatives. The Dept of Culture Media And Sport wasted 424k on the Community Channel backed mental health intitiative Mad For Arts. This web based intiative sadly duplicated what was already available on the web for Online Users at a far cheaper cost (photo uploading for free and forums like Flickr.com and Photobucket) and left its Users suddenly disengaged with no exit strategy or no education into how to use simple free Blogs ..

We do not need the State to use public money to back London careers and take away money which might have been used better in the localities to power up small groups that go on to spread the use of the emerging power of internet. Local and focal is the message of the future . Matching that at local levels with innovatory small group supported styles of using the web will create skills ... This means trusting the locality more and big bureacracies less ..

In mental health terms if NIMHE had never existed more people by now would have been able to supply-option talking therapies or out-of-crisis support treatments. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy C.B.T is a prefered roll out strategy but the public want more choice . Shelia Haugh in her e-petition this year to the Prime minister which exceeded 10000 proposed more choice . We could have had it and paid for it and seen more people recovering by now or being supported without the expensive NIMHE . Its DWP links and push for more work orientated recovery was not rocket science yet within the edict made by John Reid M.P. Sec of state in 2003 "Trust me I am a patient" it has left many in Mental Health feeling betrayed ....

If you are to create more local choice and more health in Mental Health outcomes stop stacking costly bureaucracy against local people's opportunities and their solutions which get divreted in paying for the extra-bureau-systems that are supposed to help them but have actually been costly and failed

Paul Brian Tovey


Experience as Service User and

Statutory Monitor PCT PPI (mental health specific)


1 comment:

Calixte said...

People should read this.


The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

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