Embracing Neverland

Mental health……………………………………………………………………………..the journey is our own

UK Policy

Policy – To March 8 2007

Health Minister slams Lords over Mental Health Bill amendments   Managing New Realities 2007

Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health: Clinical management and service guidance

Home Office Statistical Bulletin 05-07: Statistics for mentally disordered offenders 2005

Positive steps: supporting race equality in mental healthcare   Loneliness and dementia

Guidance on ‘dual diagnosis’ of mental health and drug problems 

Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983, England 2006   New Insight Into Brain Disorders

Calls for mental health emphasis in primary care  Commissioning Toolkit for Long-term Conditions

SCMH – Download our response to the CPA consultation (Word, 143 KB)

Public health interventions to promote positive mental health and prevent mental health disorders

Reducing Dependency, Increasing Opportunity: Options for the future of welfare to work

Disabled People, Personal Security and the Criminal Justice System 

Equal Opportunities Commission: Newsletter   The hedonic treadmill 

Service Improvement: Quality assurance of major changes to service provision

Landlord and Tenant Act 1954: Section 57 – Consultation paper  

Communities for Health: Learning from the pilots    Strong Families, Strong Society

Launching Resourcing Personalised Learning   NICE: Current consultations

Cleaner Safer Greener Communities: How to engage young people

Office of Public Sector Information: New legislation   NICE: e-Newsletter

Review of NHS service improvement published  Persistent Employment Disadvantage

Tackling Drugs, Changing Lives: Turning strategy into reality   DirectgovKids

Ethnic Minority Employment in Britain: Recognising women’s potential

Emergency Care Bulletin  New network widens access to cutting-edge clinical studies

Improved legal aid for victims of domestic violence   Statements of Intent: Statutory guidance

CSCI responds to consultation on new social care and health super-regulator

Diversity and Inclusiveness in Public Procurement  Healthcare Commission: Newsletter

The support older people want and the services they need

Guidance to improve information for disabled people   Implementing Care Matters: Getting it right first time

Community Care Statistics 2005-06: Referrals, Assessments…

Mike Cooke on mental health

It feels like you have to cling on to the wreckage, breathe deep and keep your value base intact as NHS system reform is upped a notch and diagnostic and fitness-for-purpose exercises hit home.There don’t seem to be any ‘islands of tranquility’, even in established foundation trusts or relatively large PCTs. The ‘double jeopardy’ of regulation on quality through Healthcare Commission ratings and financial and governance regulation from Monitor is also concerning some. We are hearing of good people heading into PCTs to lead commissioning development and ambitious targets for foundation trust (FT) numbers emerging, alongside very tough reconfiguration and financial progress discussions.

FTs and other providers to be granted NHS lozenge status are all going to meet up with practice-based commissioning. Regional procurement and more systematic joint commissioning are also influencing health and social care supply thinking. I do worry about all my colleagues out there. That long weekend, that evening with the kids, doing something that relaxes you, are all important. We mustn’t lose sight of our people in all this change, as they try to deliver service reform against higher expectations.

Key values
So what do we all hang on to now? It’s got to be our values. Caring for and about people, putting patients first, recognising
staff’s continual achievements, and communicating the ‘story’ to patients and communities are all important. For the past five years we have taken key values very seriously and like many boards and teams have stated them and turned them into principles and organisational development plans. A year ago we tested whether these values were ‘bending’ in the winds of market-driven change. The number-one value has been to improve the experience of patients, service users, carers and partners of our NHS, quickly followed by clinical and staff engagement, individual and team development, being outward-looking, genuine about partnership and devolving. Bravely we tinkered with these as part of mutual governance to become an FT. We ended up underlining all seven, particularly the first but adding one more: ‘To be commercially competent but not at the expense of our other values.’ This short statement has helped us a lot as an organisation recently. Yes, we will assert in a marketplace, we will bid for contracts, but no, we won’t be aggressive; collaboration is vital to all our services alongside competition – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Value-based leadership calls need to be made by boards, systems and others to move forward, sustain and achieve amid the complexity of regulation, finances, targets and progress in local reform. Integrity from values
We are quite excited by Values Exchange (see http://www.southstaffshealthcare.nhs.uk) software, and web-based technology, being used
to challenge and clarify the values behind difficult clinical decisions and priorities and some of our management calls. Mental health users and others want to know the sort of values we have when choosing whether to engage with our services, or judging our quality or our progress. From values come integrity, and from both come the sort of leadership we all need to display, while keeping relevant to the fast-changing environment of those choppy seas. As the ocean floors are moving, hold on to what you’re doing for patients. That’s not wreckage, it’s what matters.

Mike Cooke is chief executive of South Staffordshire Healthcare foundation trust 


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