Hello all (Pauline, can you please forward this mail to Abraham).
This attached policy has just come to my notice (scanned front page image only):
The document came to me via the mental health trust Service User Council but, 0n the surface, it looks like it has been presented to the SU Council as a fait accompli. Nowhere does it say that their Service Users had been consulted in the planning and development of the policy. There is certainly no mention of service users in the `Key Inter-Agency Personnel` list inside the document.
More pertinently to us, nowhere in this document is there any reference to pan-disability or the Police, MH trust, or County Council Disability Equality Schemes, or to any consultation with pan-disability service users - particularly the Constabulary/Police Authority Disability Equality Duty Forum!!
Additionally, the document, dated February 2008 and to be reviewed February 2009 makes only one brief mention of the Mental Health Act 2007 which will be implemented (in most of its measures) in October 2008. Especially in the light of the government's recent decision to defer the advocacy measures, it is IMPERATIVE that service users are involved and consulted in ALL policies of this kind.
In the Interagency list, the police contacts are:
Inspector Brian Pincher, Norfolk Constabulary;
Paul Loveday, Criminal Services Unit Manager for Suffolk Constabulary.
In the Community Cohesion and Diversity External Group we have just started to discuss preparations for the implications of the disability aspects of the Mental Health Act 2007, yet there has been no mention of this document. It seems that is is not only the community that needs cohesion!!!
In my opinion, the document should be immediately withdrawn and consultations involving service users with pan-disability begun as soon as possible.
I suspect policies like this are still being made top-down in this way. The message nationally is - IT IS WRONG - YOU MUST, IN LINE WITH THE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 2005, ACTIVELY INVOLVE AND CONSULT SERVICE USERS.