Network and Forum Notes


Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Network Meeting, Wed 27th August 2008,

The Sessions House, Usk


Present:   Chair: John Ryder 

Debbi Steele (GAVO)

4 regular members

                   Notes: Jenny Pearce (GAVO)


1. Welcome and Introductions

John thanked everyone for attending and members introduced themselves around the table.


2.  Update on Williams Report Consultation

Jenny Pearce gave the group a brief outline of the Williams report. John and Jenny gave feedback from a consultation event they attended a month ago around this report. Many negative comments were given at this event. For example:

  • Concerns around one large organisation. How do small groups get their voices heard?
  • The separation of Mental Health from general health.


John handed out a document sent to him by Hafal. This outlines their opinions on the Williams report which are very positive. John said Hafal have not asked for their service users perspectives on this report.


Break – 2pm


3. Changes to Incapacity Benefits

The group said that they are getting very worried about the reports that there will be big changes to incapacity benefits. Debbi Steele explained that it does not look to be as bad as the media are making out. It will only apply to new claimants at first. If you are entitled to benefits then you should not be worried. Not everyone will be forced back to work.

Members raised concerns around how they would get back to work, whether they should try full or part time and how any changes in incapacity benefits can affect other benefits.


Discussion ensued around the stigma and discrimination people with mental health problems face when trying to get employment. Jenny asked the group whether they felt an event that looked at confidence building, CV and interview preparation techniques, interview skills etc would be useful. One group member said that ‘Pathways’ already offer this service but their awareness of mental health is limited. 


It was suggested that Tess Dawe (Abergavenny Mind, Welfare Rights Worker) should be invited to a future meeting to discuss concerns around benefits.

Action: Debbi will contact Tess to discuss attending a forum meeting around this issue.

4. Other concerns in Monmouthshire

a)     One group member raised some concerns around the treatment she has received from some staff at a Trust facility.

b)     Service users have not been receiving advise about other groups in the community that they could access for support after leaving Hywel Dda.

c)      Referrals from GP’s are often ignored for a long time.

d)     Unmet needs’ is a huge issue (e.g. a female service user asked for a female CPN to work with her and she was told she couldn’t have one).


Individuals in the group agreed that there are issues needing to be resolved.  Jenny advised the group that they could approach Martin Price (Senior Nurse for Monmouthshire) and ask him to attend the next Forum meeting. The group can then relay their concerns and perhaps reach a resolution.


5. Other Issues

One group member said they had concerns around out of hours services in Monmouthshire. Who do you ring if you are not well when it is gone 5pm? Some people felt that the out of hours doctor takes a long time to get to you. Some people just need someone to talk to them. Some people do not want to call the national helplines. The group said they find it hard to support a friend because they may get stressed themselves and don’t always know what to say.

Jenny advised the group of a new project that is starting called ‘Mental Health First Aid’. This is the same as physical first aid but for mental health. Jenny asked the group if they were trained up in MH first aid, would they feel more confident if they were going to make contact with someone who is unwell. Perhaps there is an opportunity to create some sort of ‘buddying system’ for Monmouthshire? The group agreed that they would like the training in MH first aid.

One member asked if Jennifer Berry would be willing to think about funding an out of hours service.


6. Newport Mental Health and Well-being Directory

John showed the group the Newport MH directory and advised them that there is now a similar leaflet for Monmouthshire. He is currently working on a Carers guide as well.


7. AOB

John informed the group about the Direct Payments Scheme. He said that it has been extremely useful for him and he advised anyone with a care package to do it. Debbi explained that there has not been a huge take up of this scheme in MH as not many people have care packages.  John suggested that someone should come and present details on direct payments to a forum meeting. Debbi will ask people in the drop-ins if they feel they would be interested in having an update on this scheme.


John thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 3:40pm


8.         Date and Time of Next Meeting – Forum.

Wed 24th Sept, 1:30-3:30pm, Sessions House, Usk

Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Network Meeting, Wed 25th June,  The Sessions House, Usk


Present:   Chair: Jen Pearce   (GAVO)

Debbi Steele (GAVO)

Terry Williams (Gwent NHS Trust)

5 regular members


Apologies: John Ryder, Tony Rigby


1.                The Michael Williams Report

Jen Pearce informed the group of a report that has been released which offers a vision for the future structure of Mental Health Services in Wales. Jen explained that the proposal is to create one statutory body responsible for mental health and well-being in Wales called ‘Iechyd Meddwl Cymru’ (IMC). IMC addresses issues relating to well-being at all stages through life.

IMC would provide care for individuals and communities through:-

§        A Public Mental Health Programme;

·        Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services;

·        Adult Psychiatry;

·        Mental Health Services for Older People.

·        Specialist Mental Health Services

·        Secure Services.

·        Provide and lead services for people with learning difficulties.

The group strongly felt that Learning Difficulties (LD) should be kept separate from Mental Health (MH) for a number of reasons:

         MH patients aim for recovery whereas people with LD have a lifelong problem. Therefore, the services have different aims.

         The general public is already confused about the difference between LD and MH.

         Staff need different training for MH and LD.

         People with LD need more protection.

There appears to be a grey area with Autism and nobody was sure where the services for this should be placed.

Jen explained that in this proposal, all money that should be going to MH services will be ring-fenced. This means that no money that should be spent on MH will be allowed to go to NHS deficits or be spent on other services. Everyone agreed that this would be a huge step forward. However, would MH monies be swallowed up in the LD budgets?


Chair and Board:

Jen explained that IMC will have 1 national, 3 regional boards and interest groups. Everyone agreed that service users and carers should be included on these boards. Involvement from the start will be important.

         How will local groups feed into these boards?

         Can Social Services and Health really merge? It has been going on for years in Monmouthshire and hasn’t worked.

         Will there be rivalry between the separate bodies to be top dog?



The report suggests there should be £11+ million a year extra allocated to MH services. The group asked:

         Where will this money come from?

         Will other services lose out?

         Will there be huge cost implications in changing the structures (e.g. personnel, office relocation etc)?

         Would there be savings once the new body is up and running?

         Does £11million include Dementia services and the extra for the aging population?

         How will the money be allocated to different areas? Monmouthshire is under-resourced already.

         Are any software systems compatible at the moment and how much would it cost to make them compatible?

         Would staff need training in the new systems?

         How large a change in working practices would this involve?


Provision of services:

The report says commissioning needs to be improved and more stability and resources needs to be offered to the voluntary sector. The group asked:

         How will the commissioning structures be aware of small groups?

         Need to ring-fence voluntary sector funding so it is not withdrawn.

         MH targets are not realistic unlike A&E or Ambulance response times.

         There is mention of the ‘profit’ sector in the report. Is there any profit in mental health? Some members found this idea totally wrong.


Public Health:

The report says that public health programmes should be included (e.g. health promotion, raising awareness, preventative work etc). The group agreed this is a very good idea. There should be more focus on self-harming. Terry explained that this work should already be happening but no-one is able to pull it all together.


Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) and Older People:

The report suggests that CAMH and older people services should be included in IMC. The group felt that there needs to be a separate team that works with people at the transitional stage e.g. 16-25 and 60-70. The group felt that it would be a good idea to cover all ages but were sceptical on whether this could ever work in reality.



Jen explained that there is another report out (Burrows/Greenwell) that outlines similar principles to the Williams Report. The major difference is that the Burrows/Greenwell report suggests MH services should remain in the general NHS Trusts. Some of the group felt that it could be very costly to set up a whole new organisation. Others felt that a separate body will help keep things dedicated, straightforward and simpler.

One group member said that if this is implemented, it has to be done properly or it is not worth it.


2:45pm – Break


2.      Care Programme Approach (CPA)

Jen introduced Terry Williams who agreed to discuss CPA in greater detail with the group. This was a follow up on the previous meeting with Debbie Robinson (Gwent NHS Trust).

Terry explained that CPA was created in order to help record the history of an individual and allow information to be passed from one agency to another. This is important when you work with someone with serious mental health problems who may disengage from services or move out of county.

Terry explained that CPA is one element of a larger recording system called ‘Unified Assessment’ (UA). Terry said that if a GP feels that an individual needs a short intervention to help deal with mild MH problems, they will not need a CPA assessment as they will remain in Primary Care. However, if an individual needs more intense, long-term interventions, they will be referred for CPA assessment in secondary services. A care plan is then put together for you and you are asked to ‘sign up’ to the care outlined in the plan. The care plans should be put together by the patient and all other relevant parties. This plan will include details on what symptoms you show if you are beginning to relapse and what actions will be taken if you do. If you are stable and your needs are being met then you may have a CPA review every 12 months. If you relapse or your needs are greater you may have an assessment every 2-3 months.

Terry showed the group examples of the forms that are filled in for CPA assessment. He also gave out a flow diagram which outlines the CPA process.

Each individual with a care plan will have a Care coordinator. This does not have to be the person you see every week. Not everyone always knows who their care coordinator is so there needs to be communication around this issue.

A discussion ensued around the recording of ‘unmet needs’ on the documents and what constitutes an unmet need. Unmet needs are not always recorded. Terry said that this may be due to the fact that clinicians can get complacent as they are always outlining certain needs that are never addressed. Terry suggested that if you have an unmet need that is not being addressed and you feel it should then send a letter to the Senior Nurse.

The group felt that service users need to be listened to more throughout the CPA process.


3.      Other Updates

– Jen informed the group that there may be an Arts and Photography project starting up soon. GAVO, Open Up, Art Therapists and service users are currently looking at developing this project. Jen asked the group to let her know if they were interested in getting involved.


– Jen advised the group that it has always be the aim to have user-led Network and Forum meetings. Therefore, she asked if anyone was interested in becoming the Chair or Secretary for the meetings to give her their details for inclusion in the elections. One person has already expressed an interest in the position of Chair.


– Jen told the group that there will be interviews for Support Workers for the Assertive Outreach team taking place on Friday 27th June. John Burgess (Team Leader) has asked for user representation on the panel. Jen is asking around for interested service users but no-one has yet been able to do it.


– Jen updated the group on the ‘Working Farms Monmouthshire’ Project.


– More service user representation is still needed on the Low Secure Services Project Board.


4.      Date and Time of Next Meeting

Wed 23rd July, 1:30-3:30pm, Sessions House, Usk


Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Network & Forum


Notes of the Meeting held at Usk on 28.5.08. 

In attendance:

14 members and         

Deborah Saunders (Mon Carers Proj)

Debbie Robinson (NHS)

Mike Collins (NHS)

Terry Williams (NHS)

                            Jen Pearce (GAVO)

                            Debbi Steele (GAVO)

                            Andrew Pugh (GAVO)


Apologies:         Tony Rigby (GAVO)



1. Discussion with Debbie Robinson around the Care Programme Approach


·        What is CPA?

·        What is it for?

·        Who is responsible for the Care Plan?

·        Simplify – joined-up information

·        Supposed to be implemented by 2004 (Peter Munn)

·        Implementation

         started 2002. deadline 2004.  Still partly in places.  IT problems – do not allow electronic transfers of info

·        People are bored with this!

·        Some people indicated they had care plans

·        Suggestions to run some awareness raising sessions around CPA?

·        Tip of the iceberg in terms of awareness?

·        Only need a care plan if people are in secondary services

·        Involving service users in audit process

·        Why isn’t  information shared with SU’s  (flexibility vs information sharing)

·        Mike explained that the statutory services are ‘Needs led not Wants led’

·        CPA written out before SU’s & carers attended 80-90% on plan did not happen

·        Client needs – being recorded?

·        Common unmet needs

·        No overall guidance given to NHS (counties) by WAG (Terry) also £ from WAG

·        Awareness raising needed and needs to be simple

·        What services are available?  Is this a leaflet?

·        Good, because it allows disagreement between SU’s/Carer and Providers

·        Confidence and difficulty in expressing need to service provider

·        Organise another meeting to discuss CPA more fully?


2. Monmouthshire Anti-stigma and Discrimination Event

·        Positive Feedback

·        Free Press report re the event

·        Pan Gwent Event


3. Any Other Business

·        Pan-Gwent Service User Involvement Strategy                 

·        Project board for low-score MH services                           

·        Alcohol service consultation event

·        Abergavenny MIND, TESS (benefits) being relocated despite members wishes.  Petition from members being ignored and a protest by members despite agreements between Commissioners and GAVO

·        Open-up to support project in Art and Photography.

·        Chepstow & Caldicot Support Group are thinking about getting the Art Therapist in for it’s members




Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Forum


Notes of the meeting held at Sessions House, Usk on the 20th Feb 2008


Present: Tony Rigby, Jen Pearce, Peggy Van-de-vyver, Terry Williams, David Nicholson, Tarek Rehmatulla, Agi Tyson, Sue Mullins, Rachel Whitton, Sue Wooding and 16 regular members.


Apologies: Ian Owen, Debbi Steele


Peggy thanked everyone for attending and informed the group that this was the first separate Forum; therefore, there were no previous minutes. Peggy advised the group that she was being observed by her social work placement assessor.


1       Introduction from Jennifer Berry (Joint Commissioner for Mental Health and Substance Misuse)

Jennifer explained to the group that she is replacing Bernard Boniface as the new Joint Commissioner. She has worked in the Mental Health field for 16 years. She has been in this post for 4 weeks and is visiting different groups to build up an idea of what provisions there are in Monmouthshire. In her previous job she was a Mental Health Development Manager and was the link between the Trust and service user and carer groups. One group member gave Jennifer Berry some flowers and explained to her that there is a strong user/carer voice in Mons who are passionate and enthusiastic about getting involved in service planning and delivery. The ‘Us and Them’ culture is diminishing in Mons and he thanked Tony, Jenny and GAVO for their support in promoting involvement. There are a number of issues around unmet needs that the group member would like more focus on in Mons (e.g. the treatment of people who self-harm in hospital).


Peggy then handed the chair to Tony Rigby as she would be partaking in the next agenda discussion.


2   Discussion around the changes to the Welfare Rights Service with Abergavenny Mind Association

          Peggy updated the group on the situation with the Welfare Rights Service in Abergavenny Mind. She explained that no-one from Mind was able to attend this meeting although they were invited. The Welfare Rights Officer  has been told that she will be moving from 3C’s (Mind drop-in), her current base, to Abergavenny Mind headquarters. This decision was made without consultation with service users and a number of people expressed great concern about this change for the following reasons:

·        There will be a change in the amount of hours that users will be able to access the service. Currently, WRO provides 2 mornings a week on a one-to-one basis with clients. This will reduce to one morning.

·        The new venue is less accessible and has no access to disabled toilets.

·        There was no consultation or communication with users around this change.


Peggy organised a meeting with Jonathan Pearce (Deputy Director) as Elain Hogan (Director) is off. Peggy took with her a petition signed by 49 people expressing concerns about this service change. Mind’s response to this change was as follows:

·        There are issues of confidentiality in the room that WRO is currently in. The manager in the room next door can overhear conversations.

·        The service is meant to be accessed by the whole community and not just mind users and some people may be intimidated by walking into 3C’s.

·        Users of 3C’s may become dependent on the service. It will promote independence if it was away from the centre.


The provision of the service to Chepstow and Caldicot will not change but may impact on users there indirectly. Users of the service have written letters to Mind but have had no response.

Comments from today’s meeting included:

·        ‘I can’t walk down to the other end of Abergavenny because of my disability’

·        ‘One morning a week will not be enough’

·        ‘Management have decided without any input from us. It’s like what happened with Orchid’

·        ‘It will be hard for me to remember a new location’

·        ‘The management have ignored us and not listened’

·        ‘This needs to be referred to the Strategic Planning Group. It wasn’t discussed with the trustees’

·        ‘Confidentiality hasn’t been a problem before’

·        ‘I don’t mind going into the current building even though I don’t use 3C’s. You don’t have to go into the drop-in’

·        ‘The dependency argument is just silly’

·        ‘We haven’t been allowed a voice’

·        ‘WRO helped me when I really needed it. No-one else could help’

·        ‘There is no access to disabled toilets and you can be with WRO for over 2 hours sometimes’

·        ‘It’s stressful to go somewhere new’

·        ‘It will be less accessible and if less people access it, we may lose it all together’


Jennifer Berry queried how this service was funded and explainned the reasons. Peggy has not been able to obtain details on funders.  Peggy explained to the group that Mind’s awareness week this year is concentrating on debt. Tony has emailed Jonathan Pearce questions to answer around this issue but has not yet received a response.

Tony thanked everyone for attending and airing their views and asked if everyone would be happy for Peggy to organise a meeting with Abergavenny Mind and service users to discuss this issue further? Everyone agreed that the meeting should go ahead with service users and Mind management. It was agreed that the meeting should be held in 3C’s.


Break 2:45pm


3   Discussion with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Peggy welcomed everyone back. David Nicholson and Tarek Rehmatulla introduced themselves. David is involved in press work and raising awareness in the IPCC. The IPCC has a legal duty to oversee the whole of the police complaints system and to make change happen. The IPCC makes its decisions independently of the police and government. Complaints initially go to the police then to IPCC if there is an appeal or a client is dissatisfied with the outcome. David is visiting groups to get feedback and hear direct experiences.

There have been a number of deaths in police custody recently. It was found that these people often suffered from Mental illnesses or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The IPCC are now looking at how they can work with the health services to provide alternatives to a police cell for a place of safety. Often the police are not best equipped to deal with people in a crisis. They are looking at how advocacy services can help with police complaints. Tarek will specifically be looking into the place of safety issue.

Discussion ensued around the Mental Health Act, places of safety and crises houses as an alternative to police cells. It was recommended that the police should have a mental health professional on duty to help in these situations. David and Tarek left leaflets on the IPCC and how to complain. IPCC will continue to work with Mind and other organisations to help look at training for police officers.

Peggy thanked David and Tarek for coming. David advised the group that he would like to come back in a year’s time to feed back on progress and the group agreed.


Peggy thanked everyone for coming. Tony advised the group that there are a few updates but time had run out so we would provide updates in the next meeting.


Date and Time of the next meeting:

Wednesday 19th March 2008, 1:00 – 3:30pm in Sessions House, Usk











Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User Network 

Notes of the meeting held at Sessions House, Usk on the 24th Jan 2008.

 Present: Debbi Steele, Tony Rigby, Jen Pearce, Terry Williams, Mike Collins, Peggy Van-de-vyver, and 4 regular members. 

Apologies:  three members. 

Tony thanked everyone for attending and informed the group that this network was an opportunity to discuss service provisions in Monmouthshire with Mike Collins (Senior Nurse for Adult and Older Adult Mental Health services) and Terry Williams (Community Psychiatric Nurse).  

Issues discussed in this meeting included the following: a)    When in hospital, forced treatment can cause resentment. Will this situation become worse with the new Mental Health Act 2007? 

Response: It is unsure how the Mental Health Act 2007 will affect future service provision. However, if you feel you have not been treated fairly, you have the right to query why such actions were taken. Mental Health services have moved on a long way and there are a number of services more widely available that can help (e.g. Advocacy, psychological therapies etc). The new Assertive Outreach Team and Home Treatment Team may help to prevent people having to be admitted to hospital. 

b)    A number of people have expressed concerns around the way in which some Hywel Dda groups stopped running. People are falling through the net. Members of groups in Hywel Dda will receive support for 6-12 weeks and will then be moved on. Is this enough? 

Response: We need more joint working across Mons to help move people on to other activities and we need better signposting. Hywel Dda is a Mental Health team base, not a day hospital. Statutory services do not always know what the voluntary sector can offer. We need to improve joint working and have joint responsibilities. 

c)    People have expressed concerns over unmet needs (e.g. there are no psychologists in Mons).  

Response: Mike advised the group that they have had to re-advertise the Psychologists post as there were no applicants. Mental Health nursing has moved on. Now nurses and other professionals can deliver psychological therapies. Within Monmouthshire, people can be seen within days if they are at risk and on the same day if it is an urgent assessment. The first access team will help to stop people entering secondary services who may not need that type of support. The Assertive Outreach Team will also help to alleviate the pressure on the generic Community Mental Health Teams so that they can provide a more holistic service and address more unmet needs. 

d)    Some people feel that there is too much emphasis on drug treatments. 

Response: Many people suffering with a mental illness will need some sort of medication in order to alleviate symptoms, especially during a crisis. Drugs also help stabilise behaviour. Drug treatment has come on a long way and there are not so many side effects with modern drugs. 

e)    Discussion ensued around stigma and discrimination. Some members felt that some people ‘live up’ to their illness and feel defined by their illness.  

Response: We need to try and normalise mental illness. People live fulfilling lives when they are diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease etc. This needs to happen with mental illness.  

f)      Members discussed the problems groups have faced moving from Hywel Dda into Boverton House and the issues the Mind groups are experiencing with Boverton House.  

Response: This is an issue for the Strategic Planning Group (SPG). Perhaps the SPG can write to Boverton House and ask for clarification around the issue? Mike will speak to staff around some of the issues with the groups that were running at Hywel Dda. 

Terry Williams and Mike Collins were asked if they could provide a brief description of all of the new services that are starting in Mons so that service users and carers know what is changing. A number of people have heard the terms ‘Assertive Outreach Team’, ‘first access’ etc but not everyone knows exactly what they do.  

Tony thanked everyone for coming and suggested that this type of meeting become a regular, quarterly slot in the Network. This was agreed. 

Date and Time of the next meeting:

Wednesday 20th February 2008, 1:00 – 4:00pm in Sessions House, Usk.                                            


NO meeting held in December.


Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User Forum and Network Notes of the meeting held at Sessions House, Usk on the 28th Nov 2007 

Present: Tony Rigby, Jen Pearce, Bernard Boniface, Mandy Langdon and 9 regular members. 

Apologies: Terry Williams 

























Forum Introductions were made around the table and Tony thanked everyone for attending. 




 Network and Forum – Future meetings.  As there were a number of new members, Tony explained the functions of the Network and Forum. Tony suggested that it may be beneficial to split up the Network and Forum in the future. Currently, the Network and Forum are on the same day. Tony suggested to the group that one month should be dedicated to the Network and then the following month will be the Forum and so on. This will make the two meetings more distinct and allow more time per meeting. 

SpeakEasy in Mons Tony showed the group the SpeakEasy in Mons blog. He showed the group how to navigate around the site and there were discussions around some of the posted articles including domestic abuse. 

Generic vs Community/In-patient Advocacy: There will be a number of changes occurring in Advocacy over the next year due to the Mental Health Act. Tony wanted to know what the group felt about Advocacy. He asked the group whether they prefer an Advocate to be generic or split. Generic Advocacy means that you may have the same Advocate in hospital and in the community. The alternative is to have a different advocate in the community than you do in hospital. The reason for this is that some people have said they felt embarrassed about their behaviour in hospital. Each member was asked their opinion and all members felt that they would prefer generic advocacy as there would be more continuity.             Discussion ensued around St Cadocs and the current provision of in-patient beds for Monmouthshire patients. Bernard clarified that there are still beds in St Cadoc’s but people from South Monmouthshire will go to Talygarn in Pontypool if they need a bed and North Monmouthshire residents will go to Maindiff Court. Torfaen Advocates helped some Monmouthshire patients when they were in Talygarn.Bernard said that his vision for Monmouthshire is to have one central location for emergency admissions but a crisis house in north and south mons to keep people out of hospital.            A couple of people in the meeting expressed their concerns over the treatment they have had in the Mental Health system in Monmouthshire. This is an important subject and it was decided that Mike Collins (Senior Nurse for Mental Health) would be invited to a meeting in the New Year to discuss these issues and answer questions. 

Events:Tony informed the group about 2 upcoming events:

  • Carers Rights Day –  Monday 3rd December in Glen-yr-afon Hotel.
  • What difference does it make? Service User Involvement Day on 7th Dec in Bridges centre, Monmouth.

 Spring Event: Tony, Jen and others are looking to set-up an anti-stigma and discrimination event in Monmouthshire in the New Year. Tony asked the group if this is an event that people would be interested in attending. Most members agreed that this would be interesting. Peter Munn said that he would like to get involved in the event as Open-Up co-ordinator for Wales. He has a small budget. Mental Capacity Act DVD            A video around the impact of the Mental Capacity Act on families was shown and briefly discussed. 

Break: 2:45pm 

Network  WAG ConsultationsThere is an upcoming event co-ordinated by Mind Cymru and WAG around the Mental Health Act. This event will be held in Merthyr Tydfil and Tony advised the group to ask the drop-in managers for more information if they are interested in attending. This is an opportunity to influence legislation.  

Gwent Patients Panel            Members of the Gwent Patients Panel came to a Forum a couple of months ago to ask for interested mental health representatives to attend the panel meetings. A number of people expressed interest in attending the meetings. Rhian Lewis has asked for the details of interested volunteers so Tony circulated a form for people to fill in their details if they are interested in attending the Patients Panel meetings. 

US Network.  Peter Munn informed the group about the WAG stopping the funding for the US Network. The US Network aimed to co-ordinate a user voice across Wales. Peter Munn is going to meet with Peter Lawler to discuss the re-allocation of the funding and present alternatives (e.g. NSUN – National Service User Network in England). 

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).            Tony attended a workshop around police training and mental health in the Mind Cymru conference last week. The IPCC would like to make recommendations around the training of police officers, especially around mental health issues. The group discussed issues around the treatment of people with mental health problems by police officers. Tony asked the group whether they would be interested in getting involved in this project. Many members felt that this would be a good idea. Tony will look at arranging a meeting in the New Year. 

Updates in Monmouthshire:  Bernard will be leaving the Monmouthshire Joint Commissioning Team on 30th Nov to take up a secondment with Newport LHB commissioning Low Secure Mental Health Services in the South East Region. Bernard updated the group on current issues and changes in Mons:

a)     There are currently a number of Mental Health Act consultations taking place across Wales. There are copies of the MHA code of practice, secondary legislation and deprivation of liberty safeguards documents available. Closing date for consultation is 28th Jan.

b)      The Assertive Outreach Team Leader for Monmouthshire has been appointed and the team should be operational by January. This team will work with people who are hard to reach and do not often engage with services.

c)      Crisis Resolution/ Home Treatment Team – There will be one unified team across Mons. Mike Collins will be reviewing the service after a year and will look to the Forum for feedback.

d)     Exercise Referral scheme – This scheme will be starting in the New Year. GP’s can refer patient’s to local leisure centres where they will receive a structured, supported exercise programme. This is a free service.

 e)     Primary Care pilot project – a pilot will be run to look at improving the access to psychological therapies for people who have mild-moderate mental health problems.

f)        Mental Health Act Advocacy will be commissioned on a regional basis similar to the IMCA. This will need to be set-up by next Oct. We will know more in Mar/Apr.

g)     Monmouthshire Mental Health Voluntary Sector Forum has started up again. The next meeting will be in January.

h)      The Monmouthshire Race Equality Action Plan has been signed off and sent in to WAG. 

 i)        NHS and commissioners are currently looking to set-up an Early Intervention Service in each borough of Gwent. They will redevelop the current Lodges service in St Cadoc’s to provide a good rehabilitation service and fund an EIS. This should be starting next April.

j)        There is a secure services and a commissioning structures review currently taking place which are hoped to be finished early next year.

k)      A pilot project around perinatal services will soon be starting in 3 boroughs of Gwent (Monmouthshire, Caerphilly and Newport). This will look at women who have mental health problems and become pregnant not women who have mental health problems after pregnancy. As Bernard is leaving, Mandy will be the point of contact for information. Mike Collins will be chairing the Strategic Planning Group meetings. Bernard said that his ambition would be to have a service user chairing the SPG meetings. 

Mental Health Leaflet. Jen Pearce informed the group that there will soon be a mental health leaflet for Monmouthshire going to print. Jen asked the group their opinions on the designs of the front covers. It was a unanimous vote for the green cover.

Jen handed out copies of the draft leaflet and asked people to get back to her with any amendments or comments within a week. Tony handed Bernard a card from the Network and Forum members and thanked him for all his support. One member of the Network and Forum said some words and thanked Bernard.       Meeting ended: 4:00pm

 Date and Time of the next meeting: Wednesday 23rd January, 1:00 – 3:45pm in Sessions House, Usk    This meeting will be a Network meeting only, for service users and carers.   The Forum will now meet in February on a date to be circulated.  


3 Responses to “Network and Forum Notes”

  1. clever clogs Says:

    Looks like you are still having troubles with the formatting!

  2. clever clogs Says:



  3. arcadsunrelsHyday Says:

    Q. How are men like noodles? – A. They’re always in hot water, they lack taste, and they need dough.

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