Patients council (proposal)

Manchester Users’ Network & South Manchester Users’ Group. (Proposal).

Manchester Patients’ Council.

The Author Alan Hartman. I’ve used secondary mental health services for 38 years and had great achievements in User Involvement. I’m a life long campaigner for authentic empowerment of Mental Health Users, Advocacy and democracy. I’m passionately against “Positive Illusions” (Portraying services, users centred, or user led as great when they are not)

The Patient’s Council is a way of empowering mental health users and accurately finding the needs of patients; also it limits Mental Health providers selecting mental health users to suit services instead of patients needs.

The Patients’ Council must be independent and autonomous to function fairly, authentically and obtain accurate views and needs from patients.

The Council aims to have a strong workable and amicable relationship with service providers, commissioners and politicians.

The Patients’ Council will voice services of high quality and good practice, but also voice shoddy poor services.

The Council will endeavour that Mental Health Users Groups and individuals will be involved and consulted by NHS Statutory Services, the Voluntary Sector, Job Centre Plus, Services for Ethnic Minorities and any other service that mental health services users receive or have an interest.

The Council will also urge that information from the above services is given within a reasonable time limit and is understandable and made attentive, especially for people with disabilities.

The “Manchester Patients’ Council” will adopt as much as possible a system of Direct Democracy rather then Representative Democracy. (Representative Democracy is when a few people make decisions for all of us. Direct Democracy is when we all participate in making decisions.)

The participation of Patients’ Council Representatives is completely voluntary and no working contract will be made, (No payment for work). Expenses can be paid but, must be in line with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Minimum Wage and Therapeutic Work Guidance.

Representatives must have or had a Severe Mental Health Problem or use or used Secondary Mental Health Services. Representatives must be a resident in Manchester.

An elected member of the Patients’ Council will be called a Patients’ Council Representative (PCR) or Representative.

They will serve a term of 3 years in office.

Representatives will be elected by recognised Mental Health User Groups.

Persons unelectable through conflict of interest to the Patients’ Council.

Persons providing a mental health service to Manchester residents.

Members of Parliament.

Local Authority Manchester City Councillors.


A constitution of the Manchester Patients’ Council will be developed in the first year of its existence and completed no later then one year.

Individuals may have the opportunity to be nominated as a Representative via mental health user groups. (Democratic Vote).

A minimum of 5 Representatives for the Council to be operational and a maximum of 21 Representatives.

Pathways of Views, and Decisions.

Patients’ Council Representatives will collect views and decisions from:-

1] The group they were elected by.

2] Wards, Day Centres, Drop-ins, and other services that patients use.

3] Representatives surgery every 3 Months also advice.

Individuals by contacting Representatives by Telephone.

5] Online.

6] Informal Pathways if Practicable and possible, EG (Tea Bars, Launderettes etc).

Views by individuals where practicable will be collected by Representatives and brought up at the Patients’ Council. They will then be disseminated to mental health users groups of the council.

Proposals will be voted by referendum, on serious and major issues provided it is practicable and possible. A Mental Health Users Group may call for a referendum via the Patients’ Council.


The need for administration support (minute takers) etc should be financed by the PCT (Primary Care Trust) via the Mental Health Joint Commissioning team.

Perhaps an independent organisation can help with this.

Important Points.

a] The Patients’ Council is non- partisan (Does not support any Political Party).

b] Mental Health Users Groups of the Council are still independent in their own right.

c] Groups are under no obligation to be a member of the Council.

d] Its important that Mental Health Users elect their representatives to empower patients. This gives accurate needs and information to service providers.

e] If services providers select Users Representatives it will inadvertently meet the services needs and not the patients needs (People will not use services).

f] Patients over 65 will be included (Based on capacity).

Patients’ Council Representatives



Other Groups

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