I learned this morning that Claire Greaves, a mental health blogger and campaigner who has worked with Mind, Fixers and eating disorder charity Beatuntil she was moved to a secure unit in 2016, and who tweeted under the handle @mentalbattle, has died in an eating disorders unit run by the private company Cygnet, owned by Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services, in Coventry. Although she suffered from anorexia which nearly killed her in early 2017, sources on Twitter say she took her own life. She had been moved to that unit in May 2017 after five months in a mainstream hospital receiving tube-feeding after the crisis brought on by the anorexia in the Partnerships in ‘Care’/Priory-run secure unit, Ty Catrin, in south Wales, the conditions of which were the subject of this interview and which she wrote about on her blog here.
Too many patients are locked into mental health rehabilitation wards far from home, a review of England’s psychiatric services suggests. The Care Quality Commission said there were 3,500 beds in locked facilities across the country, but it believes more people could and should get care in residential settings close to home. The report said safety on mental health wards was another major concern. NHS England said progress was being made with higher funding for care. ‘Kept in for 341 days’ Claire Murdoch, head of mental health for NHS England, added that while there were reasons for optimism, improvements – in line with the priorities set out by the NHS five-year plan – were needed. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) looked at all specialist mental health services across England – inspecting NHS care and services provided by the independent sector. It said almost all services were rated as good or outstanding for having caring and compassionate staff and that there were many examples of
Mental health services in England risk being overwhelmed by a combination of rising demand and staff shortages, a survey of NHS trusts suggests. The poll by NHS Providers, which represents trusts, found seven in 10 mental health leaders expected demand to increase this year. But fewer than one in three was confident they had enough staff to deliver services. Ministers said extra money being invested would help improve care. It comes as an investigation by BBC Radio 5 live Daily found the growing demand for mental health support was being felt in the ambulance service too. Responses obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed there was a growing number of ambulance call-outs to people suffering from suspected mental health problems. In 2015-16, there were nearly 279,000 call-outs, up from 240,000 the previous year, according to the 13 out of 14 UK services that responded. Louise Rubin, of the charity Mind, said part of the rise was likely to be down to an increasing trend for
The majority of specialist nurses say mental health care for young people isn’t good enough. According to a survey of 631 workers in children and adolescent services, 43% said things were getting worse. Only 13% thought services for young people were good. Understaffing and delays are seen as some of the main problems. The poll was carried out by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) for the Guardian newspaper. Mental health care nurses say they’re worried that the rationing of access to care and shortage of beds are so bad that young people risk harming, or even killing themselves. Other findings in the survey included… 73% of the workers said there were too few nurses. 72% said there were delays in patients getting appointments. 69% pointed to young people being sent “out of area” to get inpatient care, because of bed shortages in their area. 59% pointed to the inability of staff to give patients as many appointments or as much care as they needed. Stacey, which isn’t her real name,
*The promotion of better mental health, particularly for children and young people, continues to be a priority for the government – and for our new Minister for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt.
The Minister demonstrated his commitment to children and young people’s mental health with a recent visit to the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). Here he witnessed first-hand how effective person-centred mental health care is being delivered to young people in south east London – and beyond.
SLaM provides the widest range of NHS mental health services inthe UK. It offers comprehensive care for children and young people presenting with mental health problems. Body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive compulsive behaviour, panic and eating disorders are just some of the conditions treated.
As well as providing local services for children and adolescents who live in Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, SLaM also provides specialist services to young people from across the country.
Specialist staff and multi-disciplinary teams work together to help patients and families work towards recovery together. Crucially, SLaM staff work with children and their families and always seek their views on treatment.
The Minister met with SLaM’s Chief Executive, Doctor Matthew Patrick, and Roger Paffard, SLaM’s Chairman, to discuss the Trust’s vision and achievements.
Jo Fletcher, Service Director for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinical Academic Group and Doctor Mimi Simic, joint head of the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Service gave an informative presentation about the services offered to young people and their families – and introduced the Minister to young people using SLaM’s services.
He also met parents taking part in the Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities programme which trains local parents to run parenting groups in schools and children’s centres. These groups serve as support networks for families experiencing mental health issues, providing parents with helpful tools to support their children and look after their own health and wellbeing.
The minister was also intrigued by CUES-Ed, a schools programme created by SLaM clinical psychologists and CBT therapists to improve the emotional wellbeing and resilience of primary school children. The programme provides an innovative approach to engaging children and encouraging them to discuss mental health and wellbeing in a fun and non-stigmatised environment.
Reflecting on the visit, Alistair Burt said: “I’ve been impressed, not just by the excellent personalised services here, but also the emphasis on community based support for young people and their families. Add to that the great work of the Empowering Parents and CUES-Ed programmes and you have a positive template for mental health education within schools and the communities around them. Any initiative which seeks to raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote early intervention for those who need it must be encouraged.”
You can find out more about the work of SLaM here and a storify of the visit – including reactions and images – here. ……..’