I am writing to you to highlight some areas of great concern that have come to the attention of the Manchester users network, although aware of the imminent implementation of “change in minds” the vast majority of our members have little or no relevant knowledge or information of the implementation process or what these changes mean in relevance to individual cases.
Many users have expressed both anger and very real concerns about the quality of care and services they are now receiving. A major concern is the total disarray the C.P.A has found it’s self in.
We are receiving alarming reports of inadequate, incomplete and in many cases a total lack of C.P.A’S being in place. This is no way a reflection of the dedication of our wonderful C.P.N network it is down to inadequate time and recourses available to complete these essential legal requirements in line with this trusts policy.
As I am sure you are aware a patients care and in some cases their entitlement to benefits can be severely affected by this and this in turn brings untold hardship and unacceptable levels of stress to people who find even simple daily activities difficult at the best of times.
I am sure you will agree this issue is in urgent need of address by the relevant officials.
Others areas of concern are access to relevant professional support systems such as C.P.N’s social workers and O.T’s.
At present many members have found that while the roll out is ongoing services they previously had have been withdrawn.
The loss of a C.P.N. can become in some cases a life threatening issue.
Many of our users have had no contact with a C.P.N. for many weeks and in some cases many months after their C.P.N was displaced.
I am sure you would agree that this is most alarming when you consider the distressing and stressful nature of mental impairment on the individual sufferer and the fact these people are now suffering alone.
A frequently asked question is with regard to the help and assistance social workers and O.T’s will be able to offer.
As individual needs vary we as users need to have clear and concise information of the parameters covered by social workers and O.T’s.
We also need clarification on how it will de decided who’s aid we be able to access and if a mixture of services can be used if needed. There is also a real concern that we receive continuity of care.
Having seen the number of activities and day services diminish in recent years we as users welcome the revision and regeneration of these much needed facilities.
Unfortunately problems have arisen when users have tried to access available services.
Many users are not aware of what is out there or how they can get involved.
Another worry for users is the cost to them when services are provided by the private and public sectors.
If has been officially stated over 4 million pounds is available to improve the service to users why are these essential services not provided free of charge to the vulnerable people who desperately need them.
In this climate of change and revision all interested parties must now have clear and open lines of communication to ensure we avoid the pitfalls of the past in the future.
An equal voice for all and a concerted effort to listen and co-operate using a democratic system of give and take and willingness to compromise without devaluing or exclusion is the only realistic way forward.
I would appreciate your views with regard to the afore mentioned comments and look forward to receiving a reply form you in the near future.
All comments received from health care professionals will be treated with the strictest confidence and gratefully received.
HELEN DUNLOP, M.U.N.