By Geoff Brennan, Executive Director, Star Wards
Unless you have been on a trip to Mars, you will know there is a major review of the mental health act going on. If you follow us on twitter you will have seen us tweet about the survey for patients and their carers. We have also posted a wonderful blog by disability rights activist, Liz Sayce, that says:
“Reviews of mental health law do not come along every day. This is the moment to address a major power imbalance that people living with mental distress experience.”
While we at Star Wards feel we should also address questions about resources and parity of esteem, as Liz rightly says, the review could be a major step in getting the voice of patients’ and carers heard in the corridors of power.
So we are now making one last push to get patients’ and carers presently on wards up and down the country to complete the survey. We don’t have much time as it closes on 28th February 2018 – and this is where you wonderful people come in!
PLEASE make completing the survey a reality on your wards. Here are some suggestions as to how you could go about making that happen:
- Print copies of the survey for patients and carers and make a post box to collect them for returning to the review.
- If you are lucky enough to have peer workers or experts by experiences, or carer coordinators/leads, ask their advice and help.
- Make helping patients and carers complete the survey a project for any students or volunteers presently on the ward.
- Set up the ward or hospitals computers to access the survey easily or, if patients have access to smart phones, show them how to complete on line.
- Make it an agenda item in community meetings, mutual help meetings, start the day groups, coffee mornings, news or newspaper groups, occupational therapy sessions, carer groups or ward rounds.
- Print out Liz’s blog for patients and carers to read.
- Make a poster for the ward/corridors/ hospital reception telling people about the survey and offering help to complete if needed.
- Alert your independent advocates and use their fantastic skills and experience to get the message out there.
We are sure you can think of much better ways to engage your patients’ – you know them better than we do!
Thank you, lovely people, for all you do and helping us all to make a difference.
(Liz’s blog can be found in the wonderful National Service User Network’s (NSUN) website – https://www.nsun.org.uk/its-time-for-full-legal-equality
Information and links on the survey from the Government website:
Service user and carer survey
We want to listen to views from people with experience of being sectioned or of caring for someone who has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act as part of the review.
Our survey will enable us to take account of their views when we make recommendations for change.
You can complete the survey online or you can download the survey relevant to you and post it to the following address by Wednesday, 28 February 2018:
Independent Review of the Mental Health Act
39 Victoria Street