18 people met last week for our first Conversation Event in York. This was in response to a number of people wanting to get more involved in developing services in York and North Yorkshire.
Using a relaxed café style we held three facilitated conversations:
1) Should we attempt to establish a service user/carer drop-in meeting in Y&NY and should we host a more formal Service User Network? Are people aware of the peer-led service user forum hosted by the Retreat and York Mind?
2) Do people know about CPA and would they like to be involved in the CPA network?
3) What levels and format of information are people keen to receive? Can we do away with some of our old fashioned leaflets or do we need to re-design?
The atmosphere was very good and many views were freely expressed.
Here’s some feedback:-
A group for York and North York?
The outcome of the network meetings was overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a group, and this of course we shall do. Probably alternating between a meeting in an afternoon and one in the early evening so that people who work are able to attend.
There will be future meetings of the Conversation Place, happening in York, so watch out for more information.
Care Programme Approach & LYPFT Planning Care Network
These were discussed as general topics; some folk had heard of Care Programme Approach (CPA) but not all, no one was aware of the Planning Care Network (PCN = this blog).
Care Programme Approach
The feedback told us that people were not always aware of the ways that care, support and treatment is organised within Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation trust (LYPFT) through either CPA or Standard Care Plan. Information about CPA and what should be happening was not readily available and people did not know how to access the information. There was concern that information was Leeds focused and that people in York were not getting the information they needed.
People said that they were not always sure if they were on CPA or not; that there was inconsistency in reviews, they did not always happen and were not always conducted in a person centred way.
People were concerned that there should be ‘quality checks’ of CPA; to make sure that staff were doing as they should and that people were receiving the right support.
LYPFT Planning Care Network
The feedback told us that some people are concerned that the Planning Care Network (PCN) excludes some people as not everyone has access to the internet; and that their preference is for face to face contact and the benefits that it brings in engaging with people. There was concern expressed that the PCN was targeting the younger generation as they are more able to get involved with online.
Some people said that there was a benefit to PCN – it was a good way of connecting professionals, service users and carers – but that it should be remembered that it’s for service users benefit and should keep that focus.
People were concerned that there was not a Service User Network for York. People highlighted that they did not know about PCN and thought that it was focused on Leeds; they felt that they should have been told about PCN before now.
Information: What information about mental health services would you find helpful?
Here are some of the points that people made:
1. The right information, at the right time, in the right place
- Listening, information and support early on, or when waiting for an appointment, can lessen the distress and worry – problems may not then escalate; a stitch in time saves nine
- Information needs to be where people are in the community not in MH service eg GP surgeries, schools, cafes, church etc. and shouldn’t be diagnosis focussed. Should also include support and information for carers/parents (including young carers)
- Need better knowledge in schools – about mental health, able to pick up the signs, information in schools eg posters. Links to websites about mental health problems designed for teenagers , information about how to access services,
- Better response from Social services when young people are struggling; GP’s need to have good mental health knowledge and not wait until a crisis
- People need information about what they have a right to ask for and expect from services, and what to do if not getting this eg advocacy
- Information that helps people have some understanding of what might be going on without having a diagnosis; diagnosis not always needed
2. Information and help on websites
- Set up single directory for York in a way that when people search for mental health information this will be one of first to pop up ie when people search using plain English questions – website would need to be kept up to date (York MH and Learning Disability Partnership board are making progress with this).
- People able to “shop for support”, clear the people have choices eg access to personal budgets, promote recovery
- Information on service websites needs to be well designed, up to date, answer the questions people are likely to ask (what does service do, how to access etc). Have links to other useful information – eg LYPFT website has very little about York services
- Information needs to be joined up not just each service having its own or lots of different directories; to include NHS/statutory and voluntary/3rd sector services
- Help service users to set up groups (eg Yahoo) to connect with each other – currently using or after discharge from services
- Websites can’t be the only solution not everyone uses the internet to look for help – needed printed directories and information about where to get help to navigate all the different information out there.
3. Crisis Information
- Information about what to do when there is not services/in crisis (eg late at night) – ways of not ending up going to A&E in desperation; information should be given to people early on
- Information for carers about how to get help – especially when the person they care for is not wanting help or wanting their involvement
- Information about support and help for young carers – picking them up early on eg through schools or adult MH services
- Support after discharge – information, links to post groups/support forums
4. Ask service users
- To design information
- Advice on language – dropping the jargon, don’t overwhelm with info/details
- Invite service users directly to be involved (eg letter at discharge)
- Advise services on how and where people try to access information – so we put it where people look
Here are some useful links that were mentioned during the conversations:-
Healthwatch York – this is the new way to influence local health and social care services; Healthwatch York will help you and your family get the best out of your local health and social care services. You can be involved in shaping these services according to what your community wants or needs. We want to put you at the heart of health and social care services in York. http://www.healthwatchyork.co.uk/
CPA in York – click here to see an information booklet about CPA in York
Independent Service User Forum – this group meets monthly in Library Square, York; contact firstname.lastname@example.org @SUVoiceNYN for more information
York Carers Forum is a user-led group of unpaid Carers & Former Carers who live, work or care for someone who lives in the York area. Visit the website www.yorkcarersforum.org , email email@example.com or call 01904 422437 for more information.
York Mind – York Mind is an independent provider of high quality mental health services in York and its surrounding area http://www.yorkmind.org.uk/
Do these comments represent your views on what’s happening in York and North Yorks? Feel free to join in the conversation too – you can respond by leaving a comment below.