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SALFORD MENTAL WELLBEING CUTS
 

Star date: 23rd May 2012

SALFORD PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS TO BE TOLD `SORT IT OUT YOURSELVES'!

"The Day Centres Campaign showed the passion and conviction of Salfordians when services for the most vulnerable are under threat" Steve North UNISON

Caring, sharing Salford Council is to make people with mental health problems sort themselves out, as it proposes to axe three community care workers who organise group activities and drop-ins.

The plan is part of a bid to save 80,000 a year. UNISON trade union and the Salford Service User Network have now written to Mayor Ian Stewart asking him to intervene. The Mayor is currently advertising for both a PR person and a Person Assistant at a cost of almost 60,000 a year.

Full story here


Salford Council and the NHS produced a weighty Mental Wellbeing Strategy for Salford last year, which talked about the Importance of Mental Wellbeing as `fundamental to a person's quality of life' and how `strong social networks, social support and social inclusion play a significant role both in preventing mental health problems and improving outcomes and increasing recovery'.

It's these very support networks that are at risk as Salford Council wants to axe three community care worker posts that currently facilitate group activities and drop-ins.

With mental health problems within the community set to increase due to Government cuts, recession, unemployment etc (see here), Salford Council, admirably, wants its care workers to reach more people. The care workers themselves agreed to reach 300 new service users a year but this was rejected by Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Trust as "not viable" because it did not "realise significant savings in the region of approximately 80,000". 

Instead, the Council proposed that only 246 new service users would be reached and"In order to deliver to the number of new service users in the proposed option, CCWs [Community Care Workers] will not be able to continue providing group work and staffing of the Ramsgate House and Cromwell House Drop-In". 

It proposed to axe three of these workers which, as a result, "may impact on the ability to provide groups activities and drop-ins". Indeed, the Council is exploring `user-led groups', ie do-it-yourself.

With typical tact, Salford Council was also proposing to consult with service users after the staff consultation ie present it as a fait accompli.

"We were told that workers will be doing only doing home visits so they will be taken away from doing the drop-ins and the groups too, so it will be up to the patients to keep them running" a service user told the Salford Star "But we can't run them ourselves. It is a lot of pressure and responsibility and I for one, am happy with things just the way they are right now.

"They already closed the drop-in at the centre two days each week and we weren't consulted about that at all, it just happened" the service user added "But when we ask if the drop-ins are closing, they never ever answer. It is just like what happened with Duchy House all over again."

The whole process has now got both service users and Salford City UNISON trade union really, really annoyed. Steven North, Branch Secretary of Salford City UNISON and Phil Hamer, Chair of the Salford Service User Network wrote to Mayor Ian Stewart to sort out the reduction of services for "some of the most vulnerable people in Salford".

Steve North told the Salford Star "Management are proposing a loss of three posts in Community Mental Health and accept that the loss of these posts will mean either a reduction or a removal of staffing support for groups and drop-ins for mental health service users. However there has been no consultation with service users, their carers or the wider public about this.

"Service users are angry and rightly so" he explained "UNISON represents the staff involved, but we feel that service users should be a given a chance to express their views before staff are even spoken to. These are vulnerable people, but they can and do speak up for themselves and they value their services dearly.

"Along with Service User Representative Phil Hamer, I have written to Ian Stewart to ask him to halt any consultation with staff until service users and carers have been properly consulted and he has responded to me to say that he will be looking into this further" he added "I have informed him that we have already got a meeting for staff and service users booked in and we will be fighting this together. The Day Centres Campaign showed the passion and conviction of Salfordians when services for the most vulnerable are under threat. The Council and Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust need to remember that."

Let's hope Mayor Ian Stewart can sort this plan to reduce services for the most vulnerable. In the multi-million scheme of things finding 80,000 shouldn't be that difficult. And, if they can't find the funding, it might look a tad embarrassing for Mr Stewart, whose Mayoral office is currently advertising for both a PR person and a Person Assistant at a cost of almost 60,000 a year

 

* The Salford Star also understands that, from June, Cromwell House is withdrawing the Citizens Advice Bureau service which is currently available all day on a Friday. This is a specialised service specifically for people with mental health problems and, again, we hear, there was no consultation with its users.

See previous Salford Star feature on Salford Council Mental Health Service cuts - click here 

 

Tahira Chakotai wrote
at 21:07:24 on 30 May 2012
I think this is the most dangerous cut yet. Salford/Greater Manchester, is one of the worst areas, for drink and drug abuse, within Britain. People tend to take drugs to self medicate, and try to alleviate some of the emotional problems, within their life. Unfortunately the individual becomes tolerant to the drugs they are taking, causing the individual to be dependant. So they end up committing crimes to feed the ever growing habit. In conclusion, if we do not have the sufficient Mental Health Service in place, then more and more mentally ill people will turn to drugs, to escape the emotional problems they encounter, while living in Salford. This will cause crime to hit an all time high, causing the ever diminishing police force, to be pushed to the maximum. I think the Salford Council need to re-evaluate the budget cuts to the Mental Health sector, before the City Of Salford, becomes known as "The Capital City Of Riots".

caroline wrote
at 19:09:01 on 27 May 2012
Thanks Sue ..That is not eought.. We have to petition to the chief of police asking into ronge doing..It is the only way ..I can see.They complain to change homes ..destroy plus land and win ...so we complain ..fight fire with fire.

Sue wrote
at 18:40:53 on 27 May 2012
Caroline, Lucy and Brownie, join Salford against the Cuts. Check out the Salford against the cuts facebook page.

caroline wrote
at 18:40:37 on 27 May 2012
Thanks lucy barber and browie.We need to jion together..Demand the Chief police to cheak into ronge doing..Fight fire with fire...HELP CHANGE...

Lucy Barber wrote
at 10:21:42 on 27 May 2012
Yes, good point Caroline, we all need to take some collective action, a bit of healthy debate is all well and good, but what's needed for positive change is group campaigning - I will see what I can do hehehe!! xx

Brownie wrote
at 10:21:29 on 27 May 2012
Well said , Caroline . What's happened to the Fightback Against the Cuts ? Everything these council parasites inflict on the residents of this city must be challenged , fought , opposed , resisted and smashed . The sole interest the council parasites have is what they can stuff in their pockets . They don't give a damn about the people .

caroline wrote
at 07:18:10 on 27 May 2012
You do not get it..all areas need to join together..there is no why forward,,they are not stupid..thats clear,we are.maybe we play them at there own game section what ever..or maybe chief of police.To ask about rong doings reguarding the council.Talk we can all do action now ..consider what said.

Margaret Fletcher wrote
at 06:50:53 on 26 May 2012
It just makes me feel sad and hopeless.

Beam me up , Scotty wrote
at 06:50:49 on 26 May 2012
Well said Ivan . The problem is that the arrogant council wasters up at the Madhouse are so used to treating Salford residents with contempt , and assuming we are all stupid , that they over-zealously cut everything apart from their own salaries and expenses . They refuse to acknowledge the anger , hatred and bitterness many of us feel . Spicer loots over 200,000.00 p.a. from us taxpayers . She should be booted out , as Stewart is now responsible for this city . That amount of money saved could maintain essential services that people depend on .

Ivan from Pendleton wrote
at 20:20:46 on 25 May 2012
How can this be justified??? Surely the service users need to be consulted FIRST before any changes take place (if any are needed at all). It's like ..... "this is what we've decided ... .what do you think? oh you don't agree, you're unhappy, well tough shit!!" What kind of way is this to run a service to support people with mental health problems ffs. It all about saving money .... the top bosses should take a wage cut, before ANY reductions in services are even considered!! I am so angry!!

nicky wrote
at 07:42:20 on 25 May 2012
it is so sad that the council/nhs does not prioritise the needs of vulnerable people in our city. I though that promoting health in Salford was one of the pledges of the council? maybe that pledge is just for the priveleged and not for the disadvantaged. it is difficult enough to get by day to day when you experience mental health problems, but when the existing support is cut back more and more it makes me wonder whether there will be any mental health services left at all, apart from the meadowbrook unit. Oh well, as long as the Mayor and his assistants have nice comfy salaries, who cares? clearly no one :-(

caroline wrote
at 22:05:26 on 23 May 2012
I cannot read all this it is to upseting,one thing for sure familys need to be familys an neighours need to be neigbours..win or lose..we will have to pull together..it happens to all.Health has nothing to do with money other than the help for surport,,to hell with them ..lets surport each other.I am aware of waste by counciles,So are we all.All areas are going throw the same...so unite..join together..Only then can you win...A lone voice in the wind cannot be heard..Just as my trashed home Bindloss and the lost houses for devoplement. Clearly there new are rubbish.So to you fight for help...But all isthe same

Sick of this lot wrote
at 19:29:37 on 23 May 2012
What happened to Mayor Greedy's promise of 'OPEN GOVERNANCE' ? Only one thing is certain in this rotton city - keep funding the imbeciles at he Madhouse through the rip-off council tax extortion , and they promise to waste it . NOTHING CHANGES .

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