7th Feb 2019

AttendingDick & Hazel L, Brian L, John & Margaret I, Terry G, Angela D, Carolyn G, Zib L, Tim & Francis W

Apologies: Rod C, Norma Ann R, Sue C, Dianne W.

Minutes of last meeting10th January 2019

Matters arising-There were none

Guest speakersShannon Douglas & Julie Nichols of Mind

Shannon has been 13 months in organisation and Carer’s lead since October based at the Hemel Hempstead Office.  She introduced their new emphasis on a Carer’s Service but began by reminding the group about HMN’s organisational aims as follows.

Herts Mind Network’s (HMN) mission is to create opportunities for individuals to make choices, find their own solutions, build resilience and manage their whole life and wellbeing.

  • Be accessible to everyone irrespective of where they live in Hertfordshire
  • Provide safe and effective care
  • Promote social inclusion
  • Encourage active involvement from service users and carers
  • Promote early intervention

From her research and talking to people, Shannon stated that it is the promotion of the person first and not the diagnosis that is important.  HMN findings of her research have not yet been fed back to HPFT.

The Carer’s Service Provision aims

  • Educate, empower and equip carers and the people they care for
  • Provide carers and the people they care for control and choice in regards to how they are supported
  • Provide a preventative service for carers and the people they care for

Referrals can come from

  • HertsHelp
  • Carers in Herts
  • Crossroads care
  • Acute services
  • Mental Health Team
  • Complex needs Service
  • GPs
  • Self-referral
  • Wellbeing Team

Future of the service

  • Website development (a new section for carers to come)
  • Monthly carers group at each of the seven Mind centres
  • Education and training programmes for carers only (a wide range including: spot the signs, dementia awareness, confidence building, anxiety)
  • Annual open days – (to keep in touch with changing needs)
  • Future development of increased support for Young carers (83% currently are older carers)

Questions and discussion

Dick hoped that there could be a project that would remove/prevent the need for there to be Young Carers.  Discussion led by Julie in expansion of the need, included the devastating effects on the education, development, health and wellbeing of the Young Carer and that the risk is that they in turn become MH sufferers also.

Julie mentioned a preventative project ongoing in Broxbourne that is based on working with the family (Where the parents can be the cause of issues for their children) and working to stop the children in turn becoming a service user.

The Nightlight service was briefly discussed and it was confirmed that

  • there are beds in Hemel Hempstead, Ware and Watford
  • HMN is seeking funding for service to be open 7 nights a week (currently only 4 nights)

WorkShop in Mind was introduced by Shannon as a paid for service of support based on the type of support the client’s needs.  Supporters are trained and skilled as support assistants.  Some discussion followed about support assistant’s safety and that they followed a lone working policy with safeguards inbuilt.

Julie agreed that Dual Diagnosis remains an issue that allows Service Users to slip through the net despite the recent publication of the “Dual Diagnosis Protocol”.  There is pressure on the Trust to deal with Community Support workers.  Claims have been made that Psychiatrists would not come out for a MH Assessment because of drink.  Julie reported that the CEO of the trust wants actual examples.

Waiting list for therapies such as DBT are long (12 months or more) and group sessions are generally not available unless the service user is at risk and self-harming.  The notion of how deep is the cutting was becoming relevant to admission to the waiting list. In response to the question “ is DBT something that Mind could offer Julie responded that if funding was forthcoming, Mind would consider providing DBT courses.

Dick suggested that the Trust  was determined to improve their service and gave examples of working groups set up to do this ie the Stress Group, Safety of Carers Committee, Spot the signs Group. Additionally, it was reported that an upcoming area of work under James Holland is currently termed the “after death programme.

Dick further reflected that MH is not rocket science yet, we are still not able to tackle it early enough. Monitoring those Service Users after discharge would have beneficial effects in maintaining their health and wellbeing over time. Nobody is providing this type of monitoring services and it was generally agreed that there remains a huge gap between services and support to individuals. Mind might be the only organisation who could provide this support.

Zib asked if Dementia is covered by Mind services as she supports a friend with it.  She stated that she was unclear about how to go about finding out what other support her friend might be receiving or can be put in place.  Raising a query with her GP that the friend might be at risk was suggested as one approach.

Shannon distributed to members a useful pack of HMN information leaflets, with Quick Tip Sheets on a range of subjects, plus a list of upcoming courses with venues.

Julie concluded by reminding the group that Mind’s AGM was 2:00 pm March 22nd in Hemel Hempstead

Upcoming speakers

7th March & AGM, Ann Raines New Leaf College

4th April – Chris Lawrence Chair HPFT

2nd May – Maria Meehan PohWER

Feed-back from member’s representatives attending external meetings.

Terry & Dick: CIH meeting, Carers Council and All Councils meetings

Dick: Spot the signs group, Stress group, Safety group

Terry: Contingency Planning Group

Any Other Business

The Swinton Award as an opportunity to promote the group.

Terry started the discussion by suggesting that we should first revisit the purpose of any promotional campaign. Dick stated that it was simply to obtain new members – but not too many. Terry pointed out that the website had not helped to recruit a new member and it is primarily a source of information. Accordingly, we should focus on sources of new members that our website doesn’t reach.

Discussion ranged widely without a firm decision. However, it was acknowledged that the promotional purpose should also inform/educate, signpost and become a reliable source of local information.  To expand on this we should answer the questions –

  • What does the group get out of having more members?
  • What would the new member get from of the group? (some would perhaps want presentations on other items of interest and less on MH campaigning)

Items discussed included – Who could be a member with our current Target membership being Carers in Mental Health only. Other considerations that restrict possible member’s attendance are

  • Living outside easy traveling distance of Dacorum and/or not having transport
  • not being able to attend in the evenings

This discussion opened up consideration for a better understanding of membership which is wider than attendance ie including those who:

  • attend regularly and might become officers
  • attend only for special occasions or interest
  • don’t attend but read the emails of minutes to keep up to date
  • only visit the website to keep in touch (minutes plus blog if so moved to communicate)

What action do we require of prospective members after they have read our message tailored to each type where those who:

  • visit regularly (we provide information, respite, friendship and socialising)
  • visit occasionally (we provide selected speakers or a “jolly night of quizzing”(should we widen the attraction by more social events less business to increase attendance or is campaigning what they might want to see more of)
  • join the group mainly to stay on our list for distribution of new information that they would be interested in eg forwarding on from HPFT or CIH or a special meeting to attend
  • visit the website only for items of interest (many will live too far away to attend and we may not ever know who they are)

What actions do we say we will provide to each of the type of member (a,b & c) beginning with gaining their permission to keep their name and contact details on our membership list

We could also tailor our message to Carers for each type of MH condition to interest Carers to take the selected action

The vehicles for our message to our targeted MH Carers to include:

Leaflets – to drop off at numerous locations like GP offices, Wellbeing Centre include in the HPFT welcome pack (but only in offices near Dacorum)

Poster – with visual impact for centres where our targeted recipients congregate

Blogs on our website – (mostly promoting our award , not often used)

Articles – for the CIH magazine Carewaves and the HPFT magazine are distributed across the county. NB many will not travel to attend our meetings. Message to include advantages of visiting our website for minutes of speaker presentations of interest

Local Church newsletters, local newspapers (taking more of a giving than receiving approach)

Radio slot – A 10 min slot on local radio (also county wide what message here?)

Points to include in our offer to join us are the benefits of membership (each type).  We have asked before the question “why we each attend the group and keep on coming” but have received with minimal response.  We need to work on this

There were suggestions as to which words individual’s preferred to be used in our promotion and eventual agreement that none of us are professional writers. Nevertheless we agreed that it would help us tailor our message if each of us were to have a go at answering again the same question (above).

Terry to obtain and provide some guidance (included here in the form of a journalistic approach called the “Inverted triangle of news”)

The inverted triangle of news

The Lead: the most important information – May contain some or all of Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Approximately 30 words –in 1 to 2 thin paragraphs. It may include a “hook” or “provocative quote” or “question”.

The Body: the crucial information – Argument, Controversy, Story, Issue, Evidence, Background, Details, Logic etc. Quotes, (photos, video and audio) that will support, dispute and expand the topic

The Tail: extra information- Interesting /related items. may include extra context in blogs, columns, and other editorials and the assessment of the writer.

This exercise in self-reflection to be in time to discuss the subject again at our next meeting.  Tim suggested that we include a slot at our next meeting to discuss and give clear guidance to the production of the material of promotion. This  was agreed.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 7th March 2019  & AGM speaker Ann Raines