Monday 19 April 2010

The Measure

Key meeting today with Sue Barnes (see picture) to discuss her evidence session at the National Assembly this coming Thursday. Sue and Lee McCabe will be trying to persuade the Stalinist-sounding (but I am sure really quite friendly) Legislation Committee No 3 to beef up the Proposed Mental Health (Wales) Measure, including putting in timelimits for patients to get an assessment and holistic care plan. You can see our written submission here.

Sue has experienced serious mental illness herself and has worked with Hafal delivering services to clients and more recently teaching social workers in our Learning Centre – she’s a qualified Social Work Practice Teacher and was previously a senior practitioner in Child and Adolescent Social Services. Lee likewise has experience of serious mental illness, works at Hafal Merthyr Tydfil, and has a great record of delivering evidence on this legislative process to both Parliament and the Assembly: Jonathan Morgan AM said of his Legislative Competence Order (which brought the power to legislate on mental health from Westminster to Cardiff) "For me, the most compelling piece of evidence for why reform is so long overdue came from a service user from Hafal, Lee McCabe". Nothing ambiguous about that.

It must be right for Hafal’s 1,000 Members to be represented by the likes of Sue and Lee. This also illustrates one of the reasons for this blog: people with experience of serious mental illness should speak for us where it matters while I can have my say in the side-show of Bill’s Blog.