Wednesday 13 June 2012

Innocent Activity

On Monday we are all down early to the Pierhead Building in Cardiff for the joint launch by Health and Social Services Minister Lesley Griffiths AM of the Government's Code of Practice to Parts 2 and 3 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure along with Hafal’s new guide, Care and Treatment Planning: a step-by-step guide for secondary mental health service users.

The purpose of the Code is to give clear guidance to mental health service providers in Wales so that they meet their obligations under Part 2 of the Measure (Coordination of and Care Planning for Secondary Mental Health Service Users) and Part 3 (Assessments of Former Users of Secondary Mental Health Services).

Hafal’s new guide is designed to help service users get the most from the new Care and Treatment Plans which were introduced on June 6th. The 16-page guide is based on the experiences of over 1,500 people with serious mental illness and their families and carers.

Minister for Health and Social Services Lesley Griffiths said: "Both the Code of Practice and Hafal’s Guide aim to ensure service users receive the right care, when they need it, and are actively involved in planning their care. Both documents will continue the development of mental health services in Wales truly responsive to the needs of service users, their families and carers, and which are fit for the 21st century."

The experience of Hafal Members is that everyone can make significant steps to regain or improve mental health and achieve a better way of living. We have found that people have the best chance of achieving recovery from a mental illness if they take control of their own recovery, take all areas of life into consideration in planning recovery and act on a step-by-step plan towards recovery. The new Care and Treatment Plans give service users the opportunity to do this.

Hafal Recovery Practitioner Lee McCabe (pictured below with Lesley) also spoke at the event. Lee has been involved in the development of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure from the beginning. He gave evidence at the Assembly and at Parliament; when he proposed the new mental health legislation, Jonathan Morgan – then an Assembly Member – said the most convincing evidence for reform came from listening to Lee’s story.

Lee said: "For me today's event symbolises a new approach to mental health services, one in which there is a real co-operation between those responsible for delivering services and those people like me on the receiving end. All credit to the Welsh Government for respecting the views of patients. We won't always agree, and we at Hafal won't always get our way, but that's OK so long as there is a real dialogue of equals." Amen to that.


We are told last minute - in spite of our explicit booking having been accepted - that we can't park our campaign campervan and mobile mountain right outside the Pierhead "because of the Olympics". I would be interested to hear if anybody has heard of any more baffling use of the Olympics by bureaucracies to thwart innocent activity, in this case in a different country from the Olympics and several weeks before they even start. Fortunately the Minister and the rest of the large audience sportingly (excuse the pun) walk around to the exhibition repositioned a hundred yards away next to the Senedd (evidently not a target).