10th January 2019

Attending: Dick & Hazel L, John & Margaret I, Terry G, Ann R, Tim W, Ian & Carolyn G, Brian

Apologies: Angela D, Sue C, Francis W, Rod C,

(Dick reported that he had spoken to Rod who was in Hospital and had suffered from 38 fits which required CPR) NB at the time of writing this he is now home.

Minutes of last meeting1st November2018

Matters arisingThere were none

Guest speakerFran Deschampsneufs (Chair Herts Mind Network HMN)

Julie Nicholson, our expected speaker, was unwell and Fran stepped in at the last minute.  Fran started her presentation with brief history with HMN and the MH area. 

She said that she first volunteered for Mind in 1997 and has worked for them ever since in various capacities including recent years as Chair.  She continues to work for The Samaritans, is a Trust Governor and currently chairs their Quality Group.

Fran was pleased to say that HMN has gone from strength to strength its funding has stayed about the same until March 2020.

Recent initiatives include:

  • The Crisis Service (Nighlight) Fri – Mon with beds in Hemel, Watford and Ware.  Recognising the weekend is not the best time to go into crisis they are hoping to run a pilot opening up the facility for 7 days a week.
  • Partnership working eg with Dacorum who have allocated some local monies (Herts County Council have much reduced income) to help support hoarders which is an increasing issue in the locality.
  • Working to reduce Domestic Abuse in the 3 Rivers area.

HMN has a reputation for delivering quality services and their strategy for the next few years is to include

  • Additional support for youngsters less than 16
  • Early onset dementia
  • Working with GPs to reduce the number of referrals of people who do not need to be ( This is similar to the HPFT pilot that Jess Lievesley reported on in 2018)

In response to the question about how they achieve funding for projects/initiatives – is it first to identify the need (because they have knowledge of what is happening on the ground) then hope get support funding for it? Or is it to first find out that there is funding available then to arrive at a project that meets a local need and bid for the money.

Discussion identified that both approaches could apply. During this discussion Fran stated that Jess Lievesley is going to leave (March 2019) to go to St Andrews MH Charity.  Members of the group expressed their surprise and disappointment and praised his commitment to our cause.

General Discussion

Dianne welcomed the help with hoarding and identified her concerns about one of her sons in this area.

Dick raised the point that the CQC asked only three organisations to make their comments about the Trust including Mind and our Group.

Dick also asked whether it was significant that the CIH were not asked?  Suggestions were made that CIH as a whole prefer to take the lead on most issues and as a consequence, seem not to be good at truly partnership working.

Fran asked if the group was impressed by the new hub in the Marlowes?  Dick reminded Fran and the group that we were involved with the selection of its location and for that we were pleased.  General comments were that we getting used to it

Fran Stated that HMN now employ some 80 people including both an Income raiser and a Fund raiser and that HMN services can be accessed via self-referral or just pop in to their meeting place.

The HMN training services will include help to organisations and individual carers. The Stress Management Course for individuals was mentioned and that it could be booked by just phoning up.

Discussion about Trust staff and accountability included

  • it was too easy for Trust to say we have no money
  • Trust is more fearful of being sued for H&S shortfalls being blamed as a concern
  • Lack of Care Co-ordinators remain a key issue in delivering Trust services
  • Accountability is not about apportioning blame.  Blame is different.
  • Personal budgets continue to cause concern as some service users cannot cope
  • PIP forms – to fill them oneself or seek help eg (The money advice unit HCC).  To seek help was the agreed way forward

Fran agreed to provide her email address should anyone with to contact her further it is fran.deschampsneufs@hertsmindnetwork.org

Upcoming speakers (April and beyond)

February       Shannon and Elaina from Mind

Ann R. (New Leaf College)

March           Chris Lawrence (Chair HPFT)

Emma Paisley (for Spot the Signs) will be at a later date

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

Dick reported that for the first time we were able to make comments about the Trust directly to the CQC.  Prior to their inspection visit. This we did in December and our presentation went off in time to meet their deadline.

Any Other Business

Tim spoke briefly and happily about the recent improvement the support and treatment of his brother-in-law.  Tim reported that he was diagnosed as schizophrenic in 2003 and basically just left taking his medication continuously prescribed by his GP.

Recently he has been reintroduced to the service, has Care Plan and has had his meds reviewed and adjusted. Tim and Francis have had Carer’s Assessment and produced a contingency plan.  Tim was further impressed with the Trust’s new Welcome Pack and leaflets contained therein.

Tim also raised the issue of promotion of our recent award from the Skipton BS South East area.  Brief discussion raised the points that it be carefully considered and adjusted for emphasis on:

  • Including a brief blog on our website
  • The intended leaflet and poster for GP surgeries
  • Publication as an article in the CIH Carewaves,
  • Articles in the HPFT magazines and or others.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 7th February 3 speakers are planned

Shannon and Elaina from Mind

Ann Raines ( New Leaf College)