Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

More Modernisation in Beds and Luton Partnership Trust

Have been informed that the team I am under has now merged with the team my father is under. Both teams' offices are about 10 miles away from each other and will be covered by 1 Consultant Psychiatrist and 1 Team Manager. Either these two professionals are going to be working twice as hard or more people (those that aren't already) will be falling through nets.

This is not progress, this is saving money in another desperate attempt to gain Foundation Status. Well, if that is what it takes to gain Foundation Status, it can't be worth having...not for the person who is waiting to get a service.

Sadly, for me, my trusted psychiatrist has been moved to acute care. He will be based full-time at the local shrinky unit. That, I think, will be better for in-mates but I am not keen to see the 'new' psychiatrist, particularly as he is the one who has been responsible for MH care provided (well, when he has made a decision and acted on it) for my father.

In this world, you fight for some progress and then a money motivated senior management bureaucrat comes along and is back to square one again.

Still, haven't had any response to my email and I think I would get good odds if I put a bet on that nothing will be forthcoming in regards to additional care for Dad.

Perhaps it is better to be a suck arse if you think being bezzie mates with MH Trusts gets you better care but that is not my way. I don't want to be friends with Trust staff, I want them to provide a decent service and if they can't or aren't the right people to do it then to refer on to the ones who can/are.

I remember going to a meeting with a Senior Trust Manager once (with my SU rep hat on) and he said he wanted the group I was in to act as critical friends. I said I thought that term was "weird". I didn't want to be a critical friend. I wanted to turn up and put service user views across. Simple as. Well in practise they didn't really want the truth.

and anyway is not like I am going to sit there and say "I really like you but your tie sucks". That is my view of a critical friend. HA!


  1. I've always felt the 'critical friend' approach to patient and public involvment within the NHS pretty sinister. We dont need to be inside the tent pissing out we need to be outside of it pissing in if that's what's required without the distraction of worrying about soaking our 'friends'.

  2. Oh dear...

    Same happened in my part of Bedfordshire - three teams "merged" into two, and my trusted psychiatrist shunted off to the inpatient unit. You have my huge huge sympathies - and I fully agree with our comments re it being a money saving exercise. Interesting that it comes hot on the heels of the "cleansing" of the list of outpatients - ie, getting rid of as many as possible, it seems. Ugh.

  3. It's criminal, few people are getting a decent service and if I come across as unsympathetic to other users personal experiences its not because I dont care, I do , I'm simply worn out myself as Foundation Trust status has become all and everyone is struggling with the consequences.

    My Trust SLaM was one of the first MH Trusts to get Foundation Trust status and I attended a few board meetings around that time and it was all the board talked about . The CEO Stuart Bell morphed into smug Powerpoint Man.

    The outcome?

    The Maudsley Emergency Clinic and everything else that wasnt bolted to the floor was modernised away, SLaM uploaded an horrifically expensive video about its services being driven by cutting edge 21st century science to YouTube to show how cool its vain executives were and the real crowning glory, the Healthcare Commission publicly stating last month that SLaM's community services are the worst in the country.

    That's quite a record of achievement isnt it?

    In response to the South London Press running a story on the Healthcare Commission fingering SLaM's community services as the worst in the country SLaM's Medical Director Dr Martin Baggaley dashed off the following letter to the newspaper.Notice how Baggaley , directly responsible for the systemic failure , manages to avoid directly addressing what the Healthcare Commissione slammed his Trust for and implies the original press story was about the survey process itself.

    "Help us to help you

    Friday, 16 January 2009

    I WOULD like to thank you for bringing the annual national mental health patient survey, run by the Healthcare Commission, to the attention of your readers (“Health trust slammed in survey”, South London Press, January 6).

    We value the feedback that people give us and we do respond to it.

    The next patient survey will be sent to a random sample of service users this spring and we want to encourage as many people as possible to complete it.

    This is why we have made a pledge to plant a tree in South London for every copy of the survey completed.

    Knowing what people think is vital to the way we run our services and shape their future, we have also introduced 50 portable devices that allow patients to give us anonymised feedback, which is analysed on a weekly basis.

    While we are pleased that the commission rated our clinical services as excellent, we know there are still areas where we can improve, and are working hard to make the necessary changes.

    Dr Martin Baggaley

    Medical director

    South London and Maudsley NHS Trust"

    Here's how you can help us Martin, resign before your bungling incompetence and bulshit does any more harm to the people of South London.

  4. Hi Norm

    I think that friends are people we choose to have in our lives because we like them as individuals and vice versa. Relationships with MH Trusts are different because they run services... although I have come across individuals who work in this Trust that I have liked (as much as I have known them), I think it is wrong to assume friendship (crtical or otherwise) in the sort of discussions etc that go on in 'professional' relationships or when seeking a service.

    I have been advised by people, on occasion, in the past to join things or use my being part of a group to improve my own care. Well intentioned people, I assume, but that is so WRONG. It encourages more discrimination and disparity in the care that is given..which should actually be a case of fair access to all who need care. Hmmm

  5. Hi C

    It is pretty grot, isn't it?

    I know you hoped that Dr Geohegan would come in with a more insightful view of what people with mental illness need and I was putting hope above experience that he might...Sadly my fears seem to have become realities in that he has come in and butchered things.

    It is all about the money and as my friend said to me the other day, it is about the Trust making decisions to underspend in order to look fit for purpose to whoever is going to award them Foundation Status....Sod the patients where's our status?