Our friends Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) have published their own wide-ranging list of demands by people with mental distress, “We Demand”, ahead of tomorrow’s conference of high-up NHS professionals, Care Quality Commission and Mind, on: “Next steps for mental health services in England – funding, care quality and efficiencies” (20 November 2018). MHRN are calling a protest outside from 8am-11am (early so as to be seen by people going in):
The booklet “We Demand” tackles what is wrong with mental health services, how someone’s mental distress is treated out of context of their experiences (including rape or racism), and opposes the government’s back-to-work agenda, accepted by the NHS and charities as part of “support” services. It calls for a stop to cuts in funding and to closure of day centres where people can socialise.
MHRN has written an Open Letter to Claire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director, NHS England:
“… calling for a change in the culture of mental health provision, with the focus on long-term user led support and a stop to the ‘work-outcome or be sanctioned’ approach which is set to drive benefits provision for mental health service users … an investigation into psychiatric abuse and neglect, and an immediate end to the ‘conscious cruelty’ which is the Work Capability Assessment.
Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN), and many others, claim that care and financial support for those in mental distress for as long as it is needed should not be dependent on one’s ability to go to work, which for many service users is simply unfeasible and constitutes a dangerous level of pressure and coercion.”
Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar
Next steps for mental health services in England – funding, care quality and efficiencies
Venue: Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR
Claire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director, NHS England and Chief Executive, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Professional Adviser, Mental Health Team, CQC; Non Executive Director, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and former National Clinical Director, Mental Health, NHS England (2013-2016)
Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan, Associate National Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Mental Health, NHS England
Andy Bell, Centre for Mental Health; Dr Mike Hunter, Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust; Adrian James, Royal College of Psychiatrists; Vicki Nash, Mind; Dr Emma Tiffin, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group and Mark Trewin, NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care (seconded from Bradford Metropolitan District Council)
Rehman Chishti MP, Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health