Members Meeting – 11th March 2015

Members Meeting – 11th March 2015

Our first Lanarkshire Links Members’ Meeting of the year was held on the 11th March 2015 at the Alona Hotel, Strathclyde Country Park.

Francis Fallan, MBE Chairperson extended a warm welcomed to everyone and introduced the speakers for the first part of the morning which was centred on the progress of the Integration of Health & Social Care. Janice Hewitt North Lanarkshire Council, Craig Cunningham NHS Lanarkshire, John Pentland, Labour MSP for Motherwell & Wishaw, & Linda Fabiani, Scottish National Party MSP for East Kilbride, all gave presentations explaining how the new integration would work and what it would mean for our members.

The members’ heard that at its heart integration is about designing service around a person’s circumstances and their personal outcomes, ensuring that they experience the right care and support whatever their needs , at any point of their care journey.

By April 2015 Health Boards and Local Authorities must develop and submit their Integration Scheme to the Scottish Government. A consultation plan must also be put in place to ensure service users, carers are involved in the preparation, implementation and monitoring or strategic and designed to meet the needs of the local population.

The Members then had the opportunity to ask questions to the four speakers in a panel Q & A session.

“What assurances can you give me that the needs of mental health service users groups will be met under integration?”

“What do Community Health Partnerships do?”

Mary Hattie Commission Officer Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland then took to the stage and provided a presentation on the work of the Mental Welfare Commission.

Mary explained that at the commission we believe individuals with mental illness, learning disability, dementia and related conditions should be treated with the same respect for their equality and human rights as all other citizens.

We ensure that individuals with mental health difficulties are treated, not just in line with the law, but in line with the principles of the act, whether it’s the Mental Health Act or the Adults with Incapacity act.

The commission is a small organisation, about 18 practitioners from nursing, social work and medical backgrounds and we will shortly have some user and carer representation within the staff group as well.

We visit services and report on what we find. We write good practice guidance, undertake investigations, provide our telephone advice line which takes around 4,000 calls a year and has an accuracy rating of in excess of 98%. We follow up on casework where individuals have contacted us about concerns or difficulties they are experiencing with care and treatment and we monitor the use of the acts.

Mary also conducted a table top discussion and members were able to feedback their views on their experiences of services and some of their concerns.

The members’’ then participated in discussions around the tables

Addressing the following questions.

  1. Rights and Participation
  • How do services inform people about their rights?
  • How are your views sought?
  • What would they like to see done differently?
  1. For Carers
  • Have you been offered a carers assessment?
  • What is your experience of access to services and supports (statutory and voluntary) for the person you care for?
  1. Integration
  • What are your concerns about the integration agenda?
  • What has been your experience of SDS?
  1. How can the Commission best influence services on your behalf
  • What issues would the like the MWC to give guidance on or investigate?
  • Where do you think our priorities for visiting should be?

It was suggested that it would be good to develop a process of regular engagement through a rolling programme, attending each of the smaller local issues groups which are held in the 11 localities within Lanarkshire health Board area and Mary agreed to pass this over to Margo Fyfe who will be taking over as co-ordinator for Lanarkshire.

All presentations were warmly received by everyone in attendance. and  Francis  Fallan, MBE, thanked everyone for attending and announcing that lunch was now served!

Pictures from the day are also available at  https://www.flickr.com/photos/124037566@N07/sets/72157651536606929/