By: Paul Reed.
Yesterday, Wednesday 09th December, 2009 at a meeting held at Mainway. Occupational Therapy, Park House Jessica Williams Project Director for the Foundation Trust addressed members of Manchester Users Network.
She invited patients to become members of the proposed new Foundation Trust, and spoke of the benefits of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust achieving the status of becoming a foundation Trust. However,
many patients did not feel assured that becoming a Foundation Trust would make any different to the very poor services that Manchester now offers anyone suffering from secondary mental health Illness. One patient who asked us not to publish their name said “We have become the forgotten patients, in the run up to all the talk of this Trust gaining Foundation status, I have not had a visit from my nurse for over eighteen weeks and I, if it were not for my fellow friends here today, I know I’d be back in hospital.” He went on to say, “Does it matter who is in charge of the Trust?” – “If we receive the services we had ten years ago, then I for one would be thankful. All I have seen is all the services I had, have now been taken away and what really does matter, the care of people in this City just disappear. “
Experts say cutting mental health programs could drive some patients into homeless shelters and hospital emergency departments, thus placing additional strain on NHS. At yesterday’s meeting Manchester Users Network members voted to send out a press release. (The content are published below)
Manchester Users’ Network.
The cuts stick out a mile in Mental health!! This will lead to risk and risk will lead to inevitable death.
Angry sufferers of severe and enduring mental illness in Manchester, say that the risk of becoming ill without any support or help is so obvious, it sticks out a mile! The Patients know It, but their views and what they say are totally ignored. The nurses and other Mental Health professionals know it, but are rigorously gagged. Sadly tragedies are certain to happen involving suicide and premature death, which include ordinary members of the public. Already suicides are extremely high in Manchester. People should not only blame the Government, but Manchester City Council and Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust, who are also directly responsible. The three main reasons for the savage cuts in the services are (i) The complicated bureaucratic “red tape”, since patients are unable to have access to mental health services, which causes the number of patients to be greatly reduced. (ii) Manchester City Council are greedily charging for mental health services, which many patient won’t use and they are unable to pay for, causing them to be in debt, resulting in them to go back into hospital due to severe illness. (iii) Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust are drastically diminishing therapeutic treatment services, because they are desperate to become a Foundation Trust status and need to be financially viable, if they couldn’t the Directors and Seniors managers would lose their jobs, and the Trust would cease to exist. The care of the patients would actually be transferred to another neighbouring Foundation Trust. Some of the typical examples of the severe diminution to services, are such as, the therapeutic activities in day centres being cut, acupuncture remedies cut, “Mainway”(Industrial therapy) cut , stopping the horticultural Centre Drop-in (for the mentally ill without any help at all), the withdrawing of lunches, teas etc for day patients and closing wards in hospitals, and particularly discharging ill patients prematurely from the community mental health teams, when they still need active support and supervision.
Cllr John Grant, Health Representative for the Lib Dems is vociferously angered by Manchester City Council not consulting Users of the Mental Health Services over charging patients, and is very concerned that they become seriously ill – see his letter attached!
MANCHESTER USERS’ NETWORK.
Alan Hartman, Tel Mob 07719102380, Home (0161) 492 0790, Office (0161) 918 4343.
Alan Valentine (0161) 205 0118.
Paul Reed Mob 07748115989.
Les Swain, (SMUG)07921995479.
Helen Dunlop 0161 947 0541, Mob 07947232177.
Press Release :- Coun John Grant.
Manchester Liberal Democrats
Council ignores what mental health day service users say
An urgent review did not happen and charging was not suspended. All that has happened is that the committee has received the council’s annual review of its charging for services at last week’s health scrutiny committee. The report makes its clear the council has not attempted to assess the impact of charging on users of mental health day services in any way.
Press Release From M.U.N.:-