Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Have we a new Messiah amongst us?

Thanks to a friend, was sent link to article about Andrew (Single Rooms R Us) Lansley.

The warm and furry face of the Tory party is proclaiming single rooms for all, in hospital, who want them as the way forward. Or is that just a rallying hypey type cry for attention?

The chosen ones for first pickings on single rooms are expectant mothers and mental health patients. Although, unless I have been in extra special acute units, I thought all mental health patients already had single rooms whilst in acute care. Would appreciate some clarification on that. It is the lack of single sex wards that disgruntle alot of people and he does go on to talk about the inappropriateness of mixed sex wards in his speech.

His plan for 45,000 single rooms at a cost of £1.5bn is part of a plan (should the Tories win an election) to ensure patient dignity whilst they receive care in NHS hospitals. With all this hullabaloo about credit crunches, gotta wonder where this extra 1 and half billion is going to come from. Is not like tax payers are going to be thrilled after having to fork out amounts beyond my capacity to register in order to save Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley from themselves!!!

Seems we have some stark choices (that will be made on our behalf) whether or not to spend our taxes on saving banks or the NHS service. Hmmm..tricky one eh?

Full story of this new Messiah (or at least budding prophet) and his ideals are here:

Patients' Forum - London Ambulance Service

Monday, 29 September 2008

Saint Maxine on Monday slot

I feel I have wandered from the path of righteousness these past few days.

I have me rosary and me little metal chain that I can tighten around my leg, to pull me back into line. Although Ruth Kelly doesn't seem to be helped in her search for moral correctness by using hers. She obviously hasn't got the technique quite right, yet!

Anyway, I think a Monday slot needs to be allocated to those of higher states of enlightenment and they don't come much more enlightened than this one

There is something to be said for having Simple Minds

So here they are:

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Lawyers are queuing up to defend the rights of the mentally ill..Where?

According to a story in The Independant on line, "Lawyers are lining up to challenge the legality of the new Mental Health Act as fears about the imminent new powers grow among patients"

This follows legislation passed in July which "introduces a much wider definition of mental disorder which could see people with an "untreatable" personality disorder sectioned and brought into hospital". (That is in addition to those people with untreatable (medication intolerant/non responsive) other disorders that have been bought into hospital year after year).

Hell, it seems, anyone with a badge can have a plethera of powers (previously confined to the Big Chief Shrinks). Not that that is necessarily a bad thing...a crap shrink having alot of power equals danger. Now alot of people having some of the power is more likely to lead to hissy fits amongst the Indians and even more confusion from patients trying to get something useful from MH services.

The newspaper (it claims) led a campaign to ensure certain safeguards were in the act, although it declined to mention what they were. However, it fears that human rights will still be breached...although it's fears disappear into insignificance when it comes to those who will be on the receiving end of this ACT.

I haven't seen a copy of the latest MH Act, the last one I saw went on and on and on but one of my biggest concerns is the power of the state to detain people and force drugs on them, even if the drugs are of no benefit. I have to ask WHY? (for some bizarre reason I have Billie Piper singing back to me "Because we want to").

The Government stance "It is part of our strategy to REFORM and improve (HA!) mental health care. We do not believe it contravenes human rights legislation."

More a case of they don't care if it contravenes human rights legislation.

So bring on these lawyers that are chomping at the bit. Has anyone actually come across one yet?

Is it a Human Right to take your own life?

A few years back, when I was on the NIMHE Eastern network, a debate took place about suicide. One person had very strong views that if, and when, they chose to take their own life that would be their decision and they would not wish the MH services to intervene.

Before I write about why I have been asking myself this question again, at the time of the previous debate I said that if it was in my power to prevent someone killing themselves or getting them to a safe place, I would, although I would be beating myself up whilst doing it. Lesser of the two evils in my eyes.

However, having read a posting on Mental Nurse about people with anorexia who are 'controlled' and, if necessary, force fed whilst in psychiatric care and also, oddly enough, having watched Star Trek Voyager opinion is rather different.

For information the Star Trek episode was about an immortal being who wished to end their life (out of boredom).

I still believe that people should be given support to continue to live (and asylum if they need it) and that suicidal feelings do not always equate to a definate wish/need to end one's life. I am just much less inclined to believe it is my right, any more than it is the state's right, to force people to live.

I do understand why MH services believe that force feeding is the right course of action for those people who will not eat, whilst in psychiatric care. Their role, ultimately is to save life and also to do the country's bidding. However, there are loads of grey areas for me. For example, if a person understands that not eating will lead to their death but still chooses not to that not their right? I summise if someone is going voluntarily into a unit, then they are made aware of the rules and, again I assume, those rules include being force fed when they won't eat. Then again if someone is going in voluntarily, they can walk out at any time (although often people are threatened with a section, or have one slapped on them when they threaten or try to leave).

There is something very chilling and rather extreme about force feeding. My mother was the one who told me about the Womens' suffragette movement and how they were force fed. I understand the difference between fighting for rights and someone who has an illness however the reasons equate to what those with the power believe are in other people's best interests.

The individual is lost..possibly because the system believes it has to be lost to be found but it is a case of dicating what is in somebody else's best interest.

Would I stop the force feeding if I had the power to make that decision? I'd like to think I would but I would also need to know what the success rate of force feeding people with anorexia is before I did. I would also need to consult with those who have anorexia and those who have recovered (or whatever the proper term is) from the illness on their views of what is the best way to treat their illness...what helps and what doesn't and if they believe that force feeding is appropriate and necessary.

In regards to the original question...yes it is a human right to take your own life just like it is a human right to have a decent quality of life. Ironically, it is the lack of the latter that often leads to the former.

For Lareve and all those who feel the need to purge their souls

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Still waiting for Godot

It has been nearly 3 weeks (this Monday coming) since the Director for something or other accompanied by the Manager of The Emergency Duty Team, visited me to discuss my complaints.

Those being about the unhelpfulness of the Emergency Duty Team on the 2 occasions they were contacted and the case of the missing blood test results.

It was an official as much as she said she would send me the Minutes (and within the week).

So, what has happened since that meeting?

Well, I got an e:mail from The Trust Complaints Manager asking whether or not I wanted to drop the complaint about the blood test results...since the Director assured me that the fault was with my GP practice.

I wrote back saying that I wanted to think about that and also that I needed confirmation of the dates when the blood tests were sent through from the Trust to my GP practice, in order to make a formal complaint with my GP practice.

Needless to say I have had nothing. No dates of when the blood test results were sent through and no minutes of meetings.

I assume, therefore, that there are discrepancies between what the Director assured me had taken place and what actually happened and that, as is ususally the case with the Trust, there is another break down in communications on their front.

I will be writing to The Complaints Manager to confirm that I wish both the original complaints to stand and I am dissatisfied that I have still not received the minutes of the meeting (although I never cease to be UNDERwhelmed by Trust responses).

Friday, 26 September 2008

Scouting for trouble

According to the Daily Mail... I know I don't like the paper but this story is too good not to repeat...all hell broke loose after a Scouting Jamboree event in Devon.

When the parents went to pick up their offspring, they were told they had to pay a £10 health and safety fee before they could go through the camp gates. When they refused their children were forced to haul their camping gear up the half mile driveway.

The scout leader said that it was chaos with heated arguments and was quite ugly!!! Someone might have got kicked in their ging gang goolies (okay, I confess, I am colouring the landscape with my own imagery here)but from the accounts given it was a thoroughly bad end to a weekend's fun.

On a personal note, I can't quite see what relevance there is to charging a health and safety fee, when all parents were doing was going to pick up their kids...but the wonders of bureaucracy (or relevance of it) often pass me by.

Perhaps The Royal College of Psychiatrists should issue a statement saying Scouts should only be allowed to go on camping trips if their parents are counselled about the dangers to their mental health when they go and pick them up.

Appropriate places for rants - If The Messiah of all Messiahs says "Panic" then panic will be the order of the day

I posted a comment on Sis's blog and then thought "Okay, it is fair comment but it is more appropriate if I am going to rant to rant on my own blog" so here it is:

And even more bollox to George Bush and those pillocks in Washington.

Thrashing out a 700 billion dollar (tax payers coshed and hocked up to the eyeballs) bail out to cover their own ineptitude and greed amidst the ineptitude and greed of Wall Street.

The meek might well inherit the Earth but not before that lot (with Team GB loitering around waiting for the baton to be chucked across the pond) have bled it dry.

Accident and Emergency Services not yet on the road to recovery

The Healthcare Commission, not historically known for sticking it's neck out, states that patients are facing unneccesary delays when waiting for emergency and out-of-hours treatment.

The reason for this, says the Commission, is that people are confused over where to seek help.

None, in my view, more so than those people with mental illness!

In the review, the Commission claims "More than one (that means 2) in three out-of-hours services cannot demonstrate that they meet national requirements". Well, I am sure people with mental illness would be pleased/amazed if they were given the option of an out-of-hours service - As in if one actually existed that responded to their needs.

I am not sure if the Commission's review looked at people with mental illness who require emergency treatment but it damn well should have because right now the only option is to sit in an A&E department (for hours on end), along with other people with physical injuries and life threatenening illnesses and that, for people in mental melt down, ain't helpful.

Sure I have gone off at a tangent but a relevant one.

At a recent meeting with a Director at Beds and Luton Partnership Trust, I was assured that the role of the Crisis Team was being reviewed. I think that should take place along with a review of all emergency response teams for people with MH problems. In fact a combined review of Mental Health Trust and Social Services emergency teams wouldn't go amiss but I have yet to see these 2 entities working in any kind of harmony.

Blue Ribbons for Bloggers

As requested by Debacle, on their blog -, I have put up the Freedom For Bloggers logo on the side of this blog.

I know I had to cut loose from the Lifeboat. Well, I didn't have to..I chose to but still believe in freedom of speech.

Only this time the buck stops with me here. I write what I write and will defend what I write (if I think it warrants that). People can comment (even anonymously) what the hell they like here but any feelings of needing to be in control will have to take place on their own blogs. This is my baby!

The New Disciple In Town

Dr Patrick Geoghegan OBE, New Acting CEO of Bedfordshire and Luton Partnership Trust

Snaffled from the website of his previous MH Trust, the following expands on his many attributes:

Patrick has a wealth of experience both working within the private and public sector. Patrick has worked at national level within the NHS and has been instrumental in helping develop national policies which have had a major positive impact within the UK.

His strength is in delivering change management and he describes himself as a ‘transformational leader who keeps his feet firmly planted on the ground’.

Lots of other 'bigging up' stuff was written about how the Essex Trust is all singing and dancing with successful mergers and acquisitions. I wonder if that Trust has a surplus and of how much????

I think Rollercoaster will be pleased to read that one of Patrick’s many passions is GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. He believes that in a regulated market where clinical standards are comprehensively monitored (ha! ha!) customer service/patient experience become the key differentiator.

One of Patrick’s acid tests for quality is whether the experience of using a service is one he or his family would want.

Can't wait to see his take on the Service User Survey results and what he intends to do to successfully merge the services provided by Beds and Luton PT with the experiences of the people who use them.

The Messiahs are fighting amongst themselves

Needed to update this as got the research bases wrong, first time.

That media font of wisdom, 'The Times', set the swastikas amongst the pigeons when it printed an article claiming that having an abortion did not lead to mental health problems.

The article followed on from research carried out in the USA which stated that psychiatric problems do not arise after women have abortions. This research is in contrast to claims made in March of this year by The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Their view was that women should not be allowed to have abortions unless they have counselling on the possible risks to their mental health.

Now, almost saintly as I am aiming to be, I am still a woman and a woman who fell pregnant whilst taking what I thought were adequate precautions. At that time I thought about having an abortion. My daughter now nearly 20 years old and just about to start her second year at uni is proof that I didn't seek to abhort the pregnancy. It was a personal choice which I took fully aware of the fact that I had mental illness. I did not feel that I could terminate the life within me. I also made that choice thinking that I would remain with the father of my child and in spite of my problems, we would muddle through, somehow, together.

I do not believe that my decision should affect decisions other women make but it was a decision that didn't come without realising that my illness might well (and in fact) did impact on my ability to cope as a mother (as well as being the daughter of a terminally ill woman and member of the workforce at that time).

yes, it has all gone a bit serious around here. But my reason for this is that life is not static. Whilst the Messiahs demand clarity on whether abortion does affect mental health or not(and I am assuming it is about the woman's mental health), what they seem not to be getting is that not only does the act of getting rid of a life impact on the woman but the circumstances of her life play their part...and what might be circumstances that are maintainable and stable one day can very quickly change.

Granted my having mental illness prior to becoming pregnant was going to have a major impact on my child and myself but I wasn't a complete mong...I was intelligent enough to know that this child was for life and whatever decisions I made were going to be mega ones.

Some people, and I wouldn't blame them if they did, might think that I should have had an abortion rather than take the risk and hope for the best when actually I couldn't sustain the sort of environment condusive to my daughter's constant well being and stability. But those people also need to be aware of the realities of life. It isn't just about one is about the key people in their life and what support mechanisms are around.

As ever, Messiahs love the absolutes but lesser mortals have to rattle around in flux...making difficult decisions and, on reflection, I think if the father had not been around (or showing slight signs of interest) at the time, I might well have had an abortion but it would have cost me dearly. Not only would I not have my daughter but I think it would have emotionally screwed me over.

Based on confidential discussions I have had with other women (who have had abortions) over the years, I don't think women make that decision lightly and they do (if not have mental health problems) feel very deeply (and suffer pain) about the choice they made.

There's black and white but mostly loads of grey.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Lesson of the The Day - What Not To Do If You Want To Be Holy

And what you shouldn't do is use one of these, in court!

Justice Donald Thompson, An Oklahoma Judge, has been convicted on several counts (four of which included the said pump). His behaviour was seen as quote - socially unacceptable - unquote.

For his sins, and they are very naughty indeed, Mr Thompson serves 20 months in prison and has been suspended from law practice (I am sure he has been suspended from some other things too but we won't go into that here).

So beloveds, if you ever feel the need to use a penis keep it at home eh?

Revelational Stuff

The Guardian online has posted an article claiming that research has been carried out that proves art activities are good for mental health. I wonder how much that research cost?

So, beloveds, shall we have a Cutty Outy Bits Thursday?

If that isn't your bag, you can always try some Stand Up Comedy - or, for those who are feeling too tired or depressed, some sit down comedy instead. Everyone knows laughing helps (although I can't quite put my hand on the research that proves that yet) and Jude Redmond has turned a failed suicide attempt into a work of art. His book, 'Bounce', is all about his fall and rise. For those living in the Kemptown area, his story is being serialised in the local rag. Copies of the book (£7 a throw) are available at

I confess to now being in a quandry. I don't know whether to do a painting or write a book so I am going off to seek some guidance (via a chocolate gattox) on this.

Have decided, I prefer the 'Art of Noise' here's something to do the cutting out to:

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

If you are thinking of trying to escape from an acute unit


My friend's brother is, at present, being detained but not at her majesty's pleasure. He is on a 6 month section in a Bedfordshire psychiatric unit.

Seems he had had enough of the place the other night (like you do) and decided to do a runner. He didn't even make it out the door. Was grabbed (and that was the least of his problems) by staff and incurred heavy bruising and a broken rib.

I don't know about you but when it comes to acute units, I prefer care in the community. Even though that can equate to no care at all.

The Ritalin is OFF!

Yes, this staple diet of the British household now looks set to be chucked out with the contents of yesterday's lunchbox.

The rather vague reason, given by those budding Messiahs who would rather hide their shining light under their duvet ,is that "It is prescribed far too freely". Cyphers, working flat out to find a translation, have come up with "It is fekkin' dangerous", "It doesn't do it for me", "This is wicked shit, maaaan".

Hows about some of that good all-rounder CBT instead? If it is helpful(cheap) enough for other members of the 'bewildered' classes why not those with ADHD?

Meanhwile, with children bouncing off walls all over the country, I hear some Doubting Thomas in the background asking, rather sheepishly, "Whatever happened to research and evidence bases?". Tut tut! You gotta have faith!!!

No Cervical Cancer Vaccines Necessary!!!

A Roman Catholic school, in Manchester, has banned it's pupils from having the life saving vaccine. Well, we all know that Catholics don't get 'those sorts' of cancers anyway... Do they?????

I need to seek further guidance from the Pope on that one!

For those heathens who don't believe in divine intervention, the full story is here:

Dearly Beloveds

We are gathered here today to witness the dawn of a new era. Actually, it is more a re-hash of an old one based around taking the mickey.

From this day forth, and once a week, I shall place the image of a real life MH Messiah up on the blog. I wouldn't want to be greedy and keep these treasures for myself....and I shall call this precious space 'Messiah of The Week' spot. Perhaps, 'Messiah of the Weak Spot' would be even more appropriate. Hmmm

You can pray to this icon in whatever form you choose. I will be doing so by practising an old ritual of raspberry blowing and alternating 2 finger signs on each being ambidextrous a sign of slight divinity? I do hope so.

If I can achieve half of this week's chosen one's fortune (fekk the fame...just give me the money), I will feel that I am on the road to blessed recovery.


And now let us sing his praises:

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Another disciple falls by the way side

Mr Paul Mullin, soon to be ex Chief Executive Officer of the Bedfordshire and Luton Partnership Trust.

Perhaps I should have sent the Lifeboat out to him before I sunk it. Ha!

The higher echilons of power are claiming that he is seeking further enlightenment elsewhere.

Did he fall or was he being pushed by that Judas of a Deputy of his? Another one who bears false witness, that one. All shiny smiles and zilch intention to do anything to benefit service users. I met him about 3 years ago...spoke about the appalling results BLPT got in the Service User Survey. What he offered was like the prize conveyor belt on The Generation Game. What we got was fekk all (not even a cuddly toy). Year on year the feedback to BLPT was that they were doing pretty grim..and every year nothing improved.

And now that the Service User Survey actually impacts on the grades they are given by The Healtchcare Commission, I have to wonder what tricks he will have up his sleeve next year to try and flannel a better result. Hows about only sending questionnaires out to the compliant? I am sure 'Impact' (the service user involvement forum funded by MIND) would oblige!!!

So off goes Mr Mullin....a man who appeared to try for a while and over the last year lost the plot completely..particularly when responding to service users and their requests.

I wonder if Judas will get the job now? Bet he is gagging for it!!!

When can you tell your psychiatrist is clueless?

Lesson one

When you have been through as many tablets as Victoria Beckham has had facial treatments and you are wary of trying another medication...and the only reassurance that the psychiatrist can offer you is that if you were a cancer patient, the treatment for that would also give you bad side effects.

Still waiting for the right MH Messiah for you...

I know the choices seem baffling. I am going to provide as many pictures and biogs as poss. A bit like

For now, a rallying cry for those who had a long night and find the wait frustrating:

Monday, 22 September 2008

The New Wonder Drug

It's back to basics time.

Whilst all those awfully moral, in a capitalistic context, but totally deluded pharma companies carry out mixing their toxins.

It is clear to me that we need to look at what makes people happy. Chocolate makes people happy. All those feely good ingrediants that do something uplifting with yer seratonin et al.

I am sure with a bit of tweeking we can bring the smile back to the faces of the morbidly depressed.

Whilst I type, my insider at the Royal College of Shrinks with Time on Their Hands reckons it will get backing (as long as someone with a posh title and more letters after their name than a postman could deliver in one day, backs it). Raj Persaud recently spoke out at the Nestle AGM about the healing powers of the blue smartie and how it could cure 99% of all known mental illnesses by the year 3022. And if Raj Persaud says something then we all know how true it is..His word is almost gospell but not quite as gospell as the person he stole it from.

Initial trials of the improved Smartie (to be called Smartiroxataprone) will take place on some frogs and if successful will be ready for general circulation in time for the Christmas rush.

Those Nice people at NICE have said that as long as the drug can be produced for less than 50peach. It will get their approval.

Dead cert!

this man might be a prophet...he's certainly made his stash of cash

But I don't think God is going to count this as one of his finest moments.

Then again God loves a repentant sinner. As a sinner who hopes to repent close enough to death to get on his good side...I concurr that is a fair stance!

Beware false prophets

Watch out for this woman. She has the ears of the media (and several other parts of their bodies that she uses to make her potions with).

She preaches incarcertation whilst all the time smiling sweetly on the faces of the stricken and promising them better care.

If she walks up to you, throw holy water in her face and run as fast as you can in the other direction.

Welcome to the all new Its All About The Prophets (£'s) site

At the start of this new venture, I am looking for budding sons and, in this age of equality, daughters of God. Transgenders and Transexuals always welcome. As is anyone who has ever experienced advanced state of stigma.

This is the place where those with divine rights should be spreading the word to lesser lunatics and showing the true way to reach Paranirvana. I would be happy if I could reach Kurt Cobain. The rest of you can take the sharabang to the next level.

So roll up you clever swines and give it to us straight!