Philosophy of The Big Society

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Thursday, 1 October 2009

Not merging but drowning

Actually, the title is not as close to what is happening as could be but is more relevant to what I think is happening to patients whilst the merger/take-over/whatever people choose to call it of Beds and Luton MH Partnerships goes ahead.

I have, as commented in response to Lareve, heard murmurs of massive savings (double figure millions of pounds) needed to be done by my local MH Trust in order to be fit for purpose of merger and gaining Foundation Status.

I had also heard that the merger was imminent but haven't been informed of anything definate, as yet. I am a bit out of touch so it could have already happened.

Makes lastest communication back from MP more poignant to me. He has written to Director of local Social Services asking what can be done for me in regards to my particular needs. That was good of him (and not a hint of sarcasm) because he has been the only person (in postion to do much of anything) that has stuck by me.

With STR worker on extended sick leave and my gut feeling is they are not going to return (and if they don't, they won't be replaced)...and the change-overs of care co-ordinators... and missing (never actually arrived) care support worker, I have no faith that my care needs will be met (with much consistency) by MH services. It would be nice to think that they could but you gotta live in the real world.

So an assessment (by Social Services) for a Direct Payment..and more so if it provides me with someone to escort me to such things as swimming... could fill the gap that the unmet care plan has left. The Direct Payment could provide the person and a set amount of their time and I could pay for transport. Sounds like a fair deal to me. Not sure Social Services will see it that way but I have a dream. Ha! ha!

In spite of the fact that there is minimul support going on here, I think I am doing well not to have lost plot entirely. I have walked to town and back, by myself, a couple of times, and had lunch in a cafe, by myself, and it felt okay. The problem is the blips in between. Like I have a good day and mission accomplished and then go wobbly again (where I am fighting demons alone and losing). Such is the nature of the beast...but no one could, justifiably, accuse me of not trying.

Am keeping away from the co-dependancy relationship that had another violent eruption a few weeks back. Am clocking that habit and that type of co-dependancy break down any chances of having healthier relationships with others as well as myself (not that I am looking for romance nor want it right now)..and is not like I didn't know better or don't. Is just so hard, when you are on your own, not to cave in and that is down to my own weakness as well as others.

As an only child, I should be used to loneliness but the events of my life (personal and illness related) have left me feeling lonelier than ever. I acknowledge pragmatically as I can....but it still hurts.

And I certainly don't need or want a network of people running around doing for me...just some consistency from those whose job it is to provide help me to branch out and maybe gain some confidence in doing things that are good for me. I like the idea of being part of a swimming club but there is no way I could go in cold...particularly as I am going to come out cold (literally not in from the water). Hmmm...I am certainly prepared to meet services half way. After all, at present, it is me doing all the work. Just can't help visualising it all going tits akimbo again.

Still, I am alive and not crawling around the floor, wailing. I consider that a plus.

For now, doing me the best to hold on to what ground I have and make the best of the good days.


  1. hi manders,

    "I have no faith that my care needs will be met (with much consistency) by MH services."

    This is the view most other MH service users i know have of services as well and i recently saw an email from a psychologist who i think works for your Trust saying how the organisational priority had become the saving of £20 million and that service contracts handed out to charities like Rethink were leading to further deterioration of services as the charities were simply using service users to fund themselves.

    It is a terrible situation.

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