Archive for the ‘Service improvement’ Category

Disability Wales Independent Living Campaign

June 7, 2010


 Disability Wales Independent Living NOW! Campaign

 Mid Wales Campaign Briefing – a free event  

Wednesday 7th July 12.30pm – 3.30pm,

 starting with lunch

Llandewi Village Hall, Llandewi Ystradenni, Powys LD1 6SF

‘Independent Living enables us as disabled people to achieve our own goals and live our own lives in the way that we choose for ourselves’ (DW 2009)

 Disability Wales in partnership with Disability Powys and Dewis Centre for Independent Living invite disabled people & local organisations to attend a half day event to find out more about the Independent Living NOW! Campaign and how you can get involved.

The campaign was launched in Cardiff Bay on 28 April 2010 and will run through to March 2011. The campaign provides an opportunity for all disabled people in Wales to make their voices heard ahead of the next National Assembly Elections in May 2011. The campaign is calling for  the introduction of a National Strategy on Independent Living. An online petition has been started to support this on the National Assembly for Wales website. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TODAY!!

 During the campaign we are gathering disabled people’s experiences of Independent Living – both good and bad. Do you have experiences that you would like to share? Whether it relates to housing, transport, personal assistance, community care, employment, aids & equipment, advocacy…we are keen to listen and utilise your experiences to influence change in Wales.

For further information and to book a place please contact:

Disability Wales, Bridge House, Caerphilly Business Park, Van Road, Caerphilly CF83 3GW  Tel: 02920 887325  Email:



Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Have Your Say events

June 3, 2010

Want to get your voice heard?
Have something to say on LGB issues?
Want service providers to listen to you?

Stonewall Cymru are holding evening regional LGB Have your Say events near you
Meet with service providers, including health, police, fire and rescue, county councils and more

FREE entry. FREE buffet.

Engagement sessions on: Health and social care, community safety, education, and workplace
Hear from Service providers on their work on LGB issues.

Email: to register for the event in your area, or for more information.

South West Wales – Hosted by
De Orllewin Cymru – Dan nawdd

Fire Authority Conference Room ,  Fire and Rescue,   Lime Grove Avenue, Carmarthen, SA31 1SP                  

Tuesday 22nd June,


Stronger in Partnership 2. WAG publication.

October 20, 2008

This document, issued by the Welsh Assembly Government in the past week, looks at key issues:

“Involving Service Users and Carers in the design, planning, delivery and evaluation of mental health services in Wales”.

If you are a service user experiencing difficulty in getting meaningful involvement, then there is some interesting stuff here.   Let’s hope that some people of influence in the service providers, including the statutory organisations, CVC’s and voluntary organisations also find some tine to read and digest the contents.

The document is available in full under Pages/Essential Reports on this blog.  Click on the document and be a little patient as it loads.   If you have any comments to make about the document, or about how involvement is presently being managed/mismanaged then please send them in to me by e-mail to or   We will be pleased to publish your views.

Survey shows steady improvements in community mental health services

September 11, 2008

Published: 11 September 2008

A Healthcare Commission survey of people using community mental health services, published today, has shown continued improvements in care.

A larger percentage of service users say that they have confidence in mental health professionals, receive copies of their care plan and have a number to contact out-of-hours when in a crisis situation.

Overall, most respondents continued to rate their care highly, with 78% describing it as “excellent”, “very good” or “good”, 13% as “fair” and 9% as “poor” or “very poor”. These figures remain consistent with previous surveys.

But the survey also shows there is still some way to go before community mental health services are accessible to all people who need them and include all service users in decisions about their care.

The Healthcare Commission coordinates an annual survey of service users in NHS trusts providing community mental health services in England.  In 2008, these included mental health trusts, as well as foundation trusts and primary care trusts providing community mental health services, and more than 14,000 people responded.

The survey invited feedback from people who were receiving care under the Care Programme Approach (CPA), which was established in 1991 for those who regularly access mental health services. The CPA sets out guidelines for how care should be coordinated and how service users should be involved in decisions.

Under the CPA, all service users should know who their care coordinator is and should receive a copy of a care plan, which they should have been involved in developing and agreeing.  They should also have regular care reviews to discuss their care and treatment with health professionals.

In 2008, 74% of respondents say they know who their care coordinator is, up from 67% in 2004. Over the same period, the proportion of service users who say they received a copy of their care plan increased from 49% to 59%.  The proportion reporting not having had a care review in the last year has fallen from 51% in 2004 to 45% in 2008. 

However, the survey shows that more attention needs to be paid to involving people in their care. In 2008, almost a quarter (24%) of people say they were not involved in deciding what was in their care plan, suggesting no significant improvement over previous years.  Furthermore, 16% of service users say their diagnosis was not discussed with them.

The survey also showed room for improvement around access to counselling services such as talking therapies. Of the 62% of service users who did not receive any counselling almost a third of those (32%) would have liked to.

There was continued improvement in the number of people who say they have the number of someone from their local NHS mental health service to call out-of-hours, up from 49% in 2004 to 55% in 2008.  However, this still leaves 45% of service users without access to a crisis number to call out-of-hours.  

A greater share of service users report that they are definitely involved in decisions about their medication, up from 40% in 2004 to 44% in 2008. But almost a third (32%) of those who had been given new prescriptions over the previous year say that they were not told about possible side effects – although this has fallen from 35% in 2004.

The survey also showed continued improvement in service users’ relationships with healthcare professionals.  A greater proportion report that they have confidence in their psychiatrist, up from 59% in 2004 to 63% in 2008, and that their psychiatrist “definitely” listens carefully, from 68% in 2004 to 72% this year.  Likewise, 75% report that they “definitely” had trust and confidence in their community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), up from 73% in 2004.

Since the survey, the Care Programme Approach has been revised by the Department of Health. As of October, a new system will be introduced whereby only those with more complex mental health needs will be part of the programme. While many of those currently on standard CPA will no longer be part of this formal approach, an assessment of their needs, the development of a care plan and a review of that care by a professional involved, will continue to be good practice for all.

Commenting on the survey results, Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said:

“The survey shows steady improvement in how service users rate key aspects of their care. This is good news for trusts and good news for the people who access community mental health services. But more must be done to improve access to care, in particular to talking therapies and out-of-hours crisis care, and to involve people in decisions about their treatment.”

Speaking about the changes to the Care Programme Approach, she said:

“People may need to access a range of community mental health services from a number of healthcare professionals, so it’s critical that the care is coordinated and accessible. We also know that treatment is more effective when people are involved in their care and are supported to make decisions about their treatment.

“While the improvements are to be commended, the survey shows that there remains a significant number of service users who say that their care is not coordinated and that they aren’t involved in decisions about their treatment.

“When the new system comes into effect, trusts should ensure that the principles of the CPA should continue to apply to every service user and that the improvements made over the last few years are sustained and built upon. Service users’ care should be co-ordinated by one person, they should be involved in decisions about their care and they should have access to a range of therapies and services.”

The Commission welcomed the government’s announcement last year of an extra £170 million to improve access to talking therapies for people with a wide range of mental health problems.

The Healthcare Commission will use the survey results to assess mental health trusts in the 2007/2008 annual health check performance rating. In 2008/2009, the annual health check will use a broader set of indicators to assess the performance of mental health trusts, looking at many of the issues identified in this survey. The indicators include a focus on coordinated care in mental health, access to crisis resolution services, mental health data quality, and will continue to incorporate the views of service users.

The survey was co-ordinated on behalf of the Commission by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

Survey of users of mental health services 2008

Information provided by the Healthcare Commission: Link below:

Iechyd Meddwl Cymru

June 18, 2008



 Iechyd Meddwl Cymru


A Well Being and Mental Health Service

Fit For Wales



Michael AH Williams


April 2008


The following is an extract from the opening page of the Michael Williams Report.

If you wish to read the entire report then it is saved in the Pages section under Essential Reports.   This a seriously important Consultation and if you would like to make a response to the recommendations, or to receive help in making a response, please contact Jen, Debbi or Tony on 01291-673728

1.                This paper was requested by, Edwina Hart MBE AM, the Minister of Health and Social Services.[i] Its principle recommendation is that a statutory body responsible for mental health and well being in Wales is established. For the purpose of this discussion I have called it, “Iechyd Meddwl Cymru[ii] – a mental health and well being service for Wales.” [IMC].The organisation will include teaching and research as part of its remit.


2.                IMC’s proposed structure will be unique to Wales but in line with the Government of Wales’ health policies and strategies.[iii] [iv] [v] [vi]


3.                IMC is not an attempt to copy other UK models of health care, although it will benefit from good practice wherever it originates from. A recent WIHSC survey of health leaders indicated that a majority of them felt that Wales’ mental health services were not as good as those provided in England.[vii] The WIHSC survey also noted that there is no robust evidence base to commend any particular structural arrangements for the delivery of mental health and social care services. The evidence is largely anecdotal.


4.                IMC will emphasise the positive benefits of addressing issues relating to a person’s well being at all stages through life. This is of benefit not only to the individual but also to communities and is of national importance. The service needs to unite primary care, community mental health services, social services, and acute services in a common code and purpose to provide service users with care that is seamless. Care should not be adversely affected by organisation boundaries, age or budgetary controls.


5.                IMC will involve the voluntary sector and the private sector in the best interests of the service user. The funding of both the voluntary and private sector needs to be addressed in commissioning terms and the wide span of funding sources for the voluntary sector needs to be simplified.

[i]        The author has reviewed available literature and research. However, this is not presented as an academic paper. It is intended as guidance to the Minister and to act as a catalyst for a discussion of the mental health and well being service in Wales.

[ii]         Mental Health Wales

[iii]        One Wales 2007 WAG.

[iv]        Designed for Life 2005 WAG.

[v]         Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities 2007.

[vi]        Making the Connections Beyond Boundaries.

Langley Beddow Magill. 2007 WISHC “NHS Barometer 2007 Report of the 2007 Confidential Survey of Leadership Opinion in Wales” -University of Glamorgan.





Shelter Cymru

June 12, 2008

Shelter Cymru has a new and local rate Advice line:-  0845 075 5005.   Open 9.30 – 4.30 weekdays, and redirection to an emergency number at other times.

Wallich – Young Person’s Handbook and Useful Contacts

February 16, 2008

The Handbook and Useful Contact list supplied by the Wallich Trust have been placed in the 16 – 21’s ( and a bit older) page of this blog.   Open the page, click on the YPH link – and be a bit patient while it loads as it is a large file!  The Support link is below the handbook link.

Mental Health Services in Gwent.

February 15, 2008

The meeting being held on 11th March (see below) is important and was originally requested by the service users and carers in the Monmouthshire Mental Health Forum.   At a Forum meeting held in the Autumn of 2007, during which members held an open discussion with Rhian Lewis, Patient’s Panel Co-ordinator and the Chair of the Panel, seven Forum members volunteered to become panel members in order to represent mental health interests.   Following that meeting this one (11th March) has been arranged and will be attended by senior members of the Gwent NHS Trust.  All mental health carers and service users are strongly encouraged to try to find time to attend.  Places are limited (25) and if you are a carer or service user who has been, or still are receiving services, and who has a view on what needs to be done to improve these services, then you need to attend.  If you pass up this chance then you may well be ‘kicking’ yourself in the months ahead as new changes take place.  Is a member of your family about to move from children’s mental health services to adult services, or an adult member about to move to older adult services – and do you have worries about this?  What do you feel about mixed wards and facilities?  About services for Eating Disorders?   Do you self harm – and how have you been received and treated in A&E?    There are many issues for discussion – go along and have your say.   Phone Rhian for help with transport or anything else that you need, and you can also phone or speak to Jen Pearce or Tony Rigby if you prefer.  01291-673728   What is important is to fill those 25 seats and take the chance to talk with those who make the decisions.           

Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust

February 15, 2008

Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust wants to hear your views on

‘Mental Health Services in Gwent’ 

f you are a service user, carer or advocate the Patients’ Panel would like you to join them at a special meeting to discuss mental health services.   

Date:               Tuesday 11th March 2008

Time:              10am – 3.15pm

Venue:           YMCA, Mendalgief Road, Newport 

Numbers are limited, so if you would like to book a place, please contact Rhian Lewis, Patients’ Panel Co-ordinator by 4th March:     01633 623812 or 01633 623465Or e-mail to: 

What is the Patients’ Panel?    The Patients Panel is a very active group of about 60 patients, carers and members of the public whose aim is to work with the Trust to improve health services for all patients in Gwent.  There are four main meetings a year and panel members also contribute to many committees and working groups within the Trust and further afield.   In the four years since it was set up, the panel has become a very valued resource for the Trust and has gained a reputation for the positive contribution its members make. 

What is the purpose of this special panel meeting?  This panel meeting has been arranged to provide an opportunity for you to get your voices heard.  Senior members of the Trust will be there to listen and respond to the views expressed.   The Patients’ Panel is also keen to recruit more members who have direct experience of mental health services.  Information will be provided about how to join the panel. 

Format of the day… 

10.00 am       Tea/Coffee 

10.30 am       Welcome & introductions                                                                             

10.40 am       Presentation on the history of Psychiatry in Gwent                                    

11.10 am       What are your burning issues?                                                                         

11.40 am       Tea / Coffee                                                                                                   

12.10 am       Small group discussions (based on the hottest ‘burning issues’)                  

1.15 pm          Lunch                                                                                                                

2.00 pm          Feedback and questions from small groups to staff panel                             

3.00 pm          Closing comments 

3.15 pm          Tea / Coffee 

Please inform us of any support / access requirements that we can assist you with, e.g. ·        Dietary requirements·        Disabled parking·        Assistance in the car park·        Assistance with transport·        Hearing loop·        Information in large font·        Interpreter (please let us know which type)·        Wish to attend with a friend/carer?

Any other support required?

How good is the NHS in Wales? Health Inspectorate Wales Report

February 12, 2008

Review raises concerns over NHS in Wales  A MAJOR review of NHS Wales has raised serious concerns about the way patients are treated while in hospital and the system for commissioning health services.

The report, published this week, has highlighted issues of dignity and respect shown to patients and has found instances where patients have been forced to remain in their beds because “it is easier for staff”.

Many patients are still treated on mixed sex wards, particularly in mental health facilities, despite pledges made over a decade ago to end the practice.

The Health Inspectorate Wales report, How Good is the NHS in Wales?, measures the performance of 37 organisations – NHS trusts, local health boards and Health Commission Wales – against a set of standards introduced in 2005 to improve patient care.

Dr Peter Higson, HIW’s chief executive, said the NHS’s performance against the 32 standards was average.

He said, “NHS Wales is clearly very seriously committed to delivering a safe, high quality service and it does that well in many instances, but it also knows that it could do that better.”

The HIW report also raised concerns about Wales’ 22 local health boards’ ability to commission health services from the larger trusts.

It said there are “inherent problems” with the current structure and said within boards there is “considerable variation in terms of knowledge, experience and understanding.”

Health Minister Edwina Hart said, “The report does highlight the need for effective communication with the public and staff on changes to the health service – an issue I am fully aware of and addressing.

“In relation to the size and role of LHBs, I have already confirmed that the establishment of three regional commissioning units across Wales will continue – they will be operational from April.

“The issue of federated LHBs had been raised with me by the LHBs themselves, and I have asked them to present me with ideas on how they see themselves fitting into the reconfiguration process. I will be meeting with them in the new year in order to discuss this further.

“I expect LHBs and NHS trusts to carefully study the report in coming up with their action plans on improving services.”

To read How Good is the NHS in Wales?, click here

All above information provided by Mental Health Wales – thank you.