A number of our staff and representatives were able to attend the 10th Wandsworth Black Mental Health Conference back in October. As usual, the feedback was mixed with some positive stories but an overall feeling of work yet to be done and goals yet to be achieved.
This event coincided with the 70th anniversary year of the arrival in England of the Empire Windrush, bringing with it thousands of black caribbean immigrants, many of whom would later work for the NHS, also established that year. Their contribution to the success of the NHS, together with their experiences of discrimination and disappointment in this country was the focus of the first talk of the conference.
A discussion on institutional racism in mental health services highlighted some of the obstacles that will need to be removed before this can be overcome. There was also an update from David Bradley, CEO of SWLStG Mental Health Trust, on some of the good work that is being done in the community and why this work needs to be expanded to reach out to people with mental health issues earlier on, including in schools and colleges.
More from the event is available in the attached report.
Feedback from the Primary Care Quality Review Group - 24 October
Posted on 11/01/2019
The Primary Care Quality Review group - originally established to monitor the quality of local primary care services - reviewed a number of indicators of good and bad primary care including number of reported deaths, episodes of unfinished care and the effciency of the reports being generated by primary care services.
Our representative reported positively on the meeting stating that it "is a powerful tool for regulation and improvement". The full report is attached.
Highlights from this meeting include the discrimination sometimes faced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and the impact this can have on mental health. It was acknowledged that such discrimination can sometimes be cultural or age-related.
Also up for discussion were the statistics around the detention of a majority of black and minority ethnic (BME) members of the community under the Mental Health Act, versus the rest of the population (38.6% vs 10.6%), why this should be the case and how mental health issues can be detected earlier on to prevent detention under the Act.
Feedback from the meeting included an update on the CCG's commissioning intentions for 2019. You can find out what their plans for next year are here (page 41 onwards). Also featured on the agenda were the proposals to amalgamate the 5 south west London CCG finance & audit committees.
The CCG relocated offices from Putney to Wimbledon in October this year, however elements of its operation will continue to be based in Putney for the forseeable future.
This workshop focused on ‘Joined-up mental health within our community’. There were several interesting presentations from local organisations including the Recovery Café, Talk Wandsworth and a new Employment Support Service in Richmond & Wandsworth. The Trust also announced the imminent launch of a new Involvement and Co-production Plan.
Wandsworth CCG Joint Primary Care Quality Review Group
Posted on 05/12/2018
Discussion items included Make a Difference alerts - an initiative for GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals to give feedback about CCG services - medicines management and patient safety reports.
It was noted that the Patient Experience programme at St Geroge's Hospital has indeed improved the overall patient experience, including pre-op assessments, better communication with patients and providing dressing gowns to improve patient dignity.
Healthwatch will be focussing on the following issues at future meetings: progress on the proposed review of prison services, the function of the Patient Partnership & Experience Group (PPEG) and progress on the Unplanned Admissions Care programme.
St George's Clinical Quality Review Meeting - 25 April
Posted on 05/12/2018
An interesting highlight from this meeting was the fact that St George's Hospital has higher than average same-day cancellations of operations. The most common reasons for cancellations include over-subscribed theatre lists and emergency procedures taking priority.
The Trust is also not meeting national targets for cancer treatment waiting times at the moment. We plan to keep an eye on these important factors over the coming months.
Discussion items included the recommissioning of Homecare Services, a commissioning strategy for Violence against Women & Girls, quality assurance of Adult Social Care and updates on St George's Hospital and on Safeguarding.
SWL & St George’s Mental Health Trust Board Meeting Part A
Posted on 28/11/2018
A ‘Good’ CQC rating has been extended to community mental health teams, making the Trust the best rated provider in south west London. The focus is now on achieving an ‘Outstanding’ rating.
A service user shared how much she valued the perinatal mental health service, which is increasing its staff team. There was also discussion on patient flow and reducing the length of stay for inpatients.
The summary report below outlines all points of discussion.
As health care services at HM Prison Wandsworth are provided by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we decided to visit the prison to find out more about the quality of those services, particularly for more disadvantaged groups such as older prisoners or those with mental health problems.
Our visits to the prison were conducted over the course of a year and during that time we were able to speak to a variety of people at the prison including the General Manager, prison inmates (including prison Healthcare representatives) and visitors to the prison. We were also able to attend the Prisoner Forum - all these avenues contributed to us being able to gain a fairly accurate picture of both physical and mental healthcare provision at the prison.
Our findings and recommendations are included in the attached report. We received a response to our report from the prison's General Manager, also attached.
At our May Assembly we listened to a number of presentations from health care professionals in Wandsworth about health inequalities - what they are and what's being done to make sure that everyone in Wandsworth has equal access to health care facilities regardless of sex, ethnicity or where you live. We discussed the barriers different groups or individuals might face and how these challenges could be overcome.
We got some really useful feedback from those in attendance which we've already shared with our local CCG, and will continue to share with service providers and commissioners so that they are aware of the challenges and can do something about them.
Enter & View Visits to Intermediate Care Units in Wandsworth
Posted on 03/08/2018
Intermediate Care (IC) is intended to be a range of integrated services that promote faster recovery from illness; prevent unnecessary acute hospital admissions and premature admissions to long-term care; support timely discharge from hospital; and maximise independent living. IC services in Wandsworth are not yet fully integrated but include both home-based and nursing home care. IC largely serves the needs of older people experiencing difficulty regaining their independence after illness, falls or other injuries.
In line with our current interest in the care of older people and following our visits to senior health wards at St George’s Hospital in September 2017, we were invited by Wandsworth and Merton Clinical Commissioning Group to visit the IC facilities at Ronald Gibson House and other intermediate care facilities in the borough, such as the Brysson Whyte Centre and St John's Hill Therapy Centre.
Ronald Gibson House is a 16-bed unit in a care home on the Springfield Hospital site in Tooting. When we visited, there were thirteen patients in the unit. We interviewed eight of them along with three relatives and one paid home carer. We also spoke to the GP responsible for medical oversight of the unit, and three other members of staff.
The role identified for intermediate care is clearly an important one. The balance of the feedback we received from patients and their relatives about the standards of care at RGH was largely positive, although some of it led us to wonder about the optimum levels of rehabilitative therapy and also nursing staff levels.
For more details from our visit, a look at the recommendations we made to the unit and their response to those recommendations, please see the attached report.
Wandsworth BME (Black, Minority and Ethnic) Mental Health Forum - 17 May
Posted on 30/05/2018
A full agenda with focussed discussion on feedback from the well-attended BME Young People's Mental Health Conference held in April. A successful conference with value placed upon the importance of creative approaches such as drama and movement in overcoming barriers to conversation about mental health with young people.
Highlighted also was the need for more to be done in collaboration with the services to promote and support recruitment of local young people to jobs in mental health.
Talk Wandsworth's internship programme which is giving work experience to young people from local communities acknowledged that more effort needed to be made to increase the diversity of the clinical staff team in this area.
Healthwatch will continue to support the work of the Forum and contribute to its deliberations.
Please refer to the summary report outlining all points of discussion.
Co-production is now a key element of Talk Wandsworth's contract and a new governance framework has been developed involving the formal recognition of community co-facilitators. Workshops are seen as a great way of reaching some of the 13 "inequality" groups prioritised in the service contract ,and of those groups, four (BME, older people, refugees and victims of domestic violence) have been selected for initial focus.
The service's Step 1 team is being built up and a number of unpaid interns have been recruited with more being sort, particularly from the local community.
Healthwatch recognise the amount of work done and progress achieved with widespread enthusiasm and a range of ideas for more to follow.
Liaison Meeting with St George's Mental Health Trust
Posted on 02/05/2018
This was the third in a new series of liaison meetings under the Trust's Service Line organisation. A new national system, OPEL (Operational Pressure Escalation Levels) has been put in place to alleviate bed pressures. This will help organisations to identify where the pressure is and respond accordingly.
Healthwatch will ask to be involved in the review of the crisis cafes and the Lotus suite to assist service users and carers in having a voice. Along side an invitation to meetings being held in June on working across the community in Wandsworth and on a pilot scheme to embed police officers in to Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT’s) in Kingston and Richmond. We intend to keep the public informed on these issues.
Please refer to our full report for all the issues discussed.
Primary Care Plus (PCP) is a new mental health service being piloted in the Wandle locality. It involves stationing qualified support workers in GP practices to help them in supporting people with serious mental illnes.
The service has been running in the Wandle locality for a year and is now being evaluated before being rolled out on a more permanent basis throughout Wandsworth. This event was designed to feed service users, carers and GP practices views into the evaluation and redesign process.