Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

IMHA initiative rated ‘Outstanding Practice’ by CQC

Friday, April 27th, 2018

An initiative led by Mind in Salford’s Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) team has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who praised a Mental Health Trust’s engagement with the service as an example of ‘Outstanding Practice’.

Support for the initiative was espoused in last month’s inspection report of Prestwich Site which is one of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s inpatient mental health units.

The report summarised that overall, “staff cared for patients with compassion; feedback from patients confirmed that staff treated them well and with kindness; and staff involved patients and those close to them in decisions about their care and treatment”, resulting in most services being rated as ‘Good’.

Services in the Substance Misuse and Child and Adolescent wards however, received ‘Outstanding Practice’ commendations, for their innovative approach to service planning and provision.

Mind in Salford’s IMHA Service contributed substantially to the commendation.  Charlotte Gaskell, Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) for the Young People at the Junction 17 Unit, established an advocacy working group with another advocacy provider to address collective themes common to clients of both services. The initiative enables greater collaboration between Prestwich Site advocacy providers by working directly with senior leadership teams, and meeting quarterly to assess the impact of individual policies on younger patients.

Not only has this personalised approach been highly regarded by the CQC for its attentiveness to young patients, but also for its success in stimulating communication with Advocacy agencies, particularly as poor communication has been highlighted as a shortcoming of some NHS services in recent years.

In response to the rating, Mind in Salford said, “We are extremely proud of the work of our advocates, who work tirelessly to represent the views and secure the rights of their clients. We are committed to providing advocacy services for patients across Prestwich and Salford, and are extremely pleased that GM Mental Health Trust and the CQC recognise the importance that the role plays in supporting and empowering service users.”

Read the full inspection report here.

Mind in Salford Advocacy Hub Grows

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Logo Advocacy HubWe are pleased to announce that as of April 1st 2016 our Salford Advocacy Hub will be expanded to cover IMCA and NHS complaints advocacy in Salford as well as our existing advocacy services.

After an in-depth tender process, we were the successful bidder for the contract for the new enlarged Salford Advocacy Hub, joint funded by Salford CCG and Salford City Council.

Our new, expanded Salford Advocacy Hub will provide

  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) – supporting people without capacity in care planning and review, safeguarding including DOLS and when serious medical treatment is considered
  • Independent Care Act Advocacy (ICAA) – supporting people with difficulties engaging through care planning and review and safeguarding processes
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) – supporting people to understand their rights and get their view across in Meadowbrook and Woodlands hospitals and on CTOs in the community
  • Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy (ICA) – supporting people to address complaints with NHS funded services
  • Community Advocacy (Non-Statutory) – supporting people to express their views, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain appropriate services in a variety of circumstances, for
    1. people with mental health problems,
    2. people with physical disabilities,
    3. people with sensory impairments,
    4. people with learning disabilities,
    5. people with an autism spectrum condition, and
    6. people over 60

IMHA Vacancy – Position now filled

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Applications for this position are now closed

Job Title: Independent Mental Health Advocate
Contract Length: Fixed Term (until end March 2015, with possible extension)
Hours: 14 hours (2 set days, during normal working hours Monday – Friday, additional hours/days possible)
Pay: 20-25k pro rata (dependent on quaifications and experience)
Line Manager: Advocacy Manager
Locations: Edenfield Centre, GMW Mental Health NHS Trust, Bury New Road, Prestwich M25 3BL

Our independent advocacy service provides IMHA services for Greater Manchester West medium and low secure, stepdown and tier 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), and we need a new advocate to help provide advocacy in the medium secure services.

The service provides a free, independent and impartial comprehensive advocacy service in line with the Mental Health Act.

A good knowledge of IMHA requirements is necessary, though the advocate will receive internal training and support from our experienced team. Previous advocacy experience is a must, and advocacy and IMHA qualifications would be a strong advantage.

The advocate will typically meet people in person on hospital wards, with duties including

• Briefing patients on their rights under the Mental Health Act, the Human Rights Act and related legislation
• Supporting and if necessary representing clients in a variety of meetings and situations and working towards developing self advocacy

As part of the team, the advocate will help promote the integration of independent rights-based support within mental health services, including criminal justice and social care.

Please note a full DBS check is required.

IMHA-Job-Description

Application-Form

Please direct enquiries to amber@mindinsalford.org.uk

Please note we are also looking for sessional advocates to work in the community and IMHA settings to cover leave and busy periods, and currently have demand. Session Advocate Required

Sessional Advocates Wanted

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Session Advocate

£12 per hour (negotiable)

We are looking for a sessional worker to support our advocates during periods of absence and/or high demand. Appropriate applicants will be added to our bank of sessional workers to be contacted as demand requires, typically covering absences of six weeks or longer.

We currently require someone to cover 2 days per week in a Community and Care Act Advocate role until end March, and additional availability may arise.

Our advocates provide community and care act advocacy to Salford residents with a range of needs, and also independent mental health advocacy in Salford and Prestwich Hospitals.

Position Requirements

Applicants will have previous experience advocating in the past, and have their own transport to be able to meet clients in the community throughout Salford. Good computer literacy is also a requirement to be able to record information on our client database.

Successful applicants will work confidentially with people who have a range of needs in the community with the aim of getting their opinions, needs and wants on issues relating to their treatment, care and other issues communicated to those the client has identified. Previous experience working with people with mental health needs, physical or sensory needs, over 60s or working with health or social work providers would be an advantage.

The advocate works at the instruction of their client with the objective of empowering them and will represent the client if requested to do so.

The advocate helps people to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.

Responsibilities will include:
• Meeting clients regularly and supporting them to liaise with medical, social work and other professionals
• Fostering equality, diversity and rights of others by ensuring people are respected and valued as individuals.
• Representing the interests of individuals at their request when they are not able to do so themselves, and support them accessing appropriate support when they are distressed.
• Enable individuals to find out about and use services.
• Gather required information on the service and other activities for monitoring reports to funders, acting in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
• Ensure that the services provided meet the Mind quality standards.

To discuss this position further, please contact Diane Shepherd diane@mindinsalford.org.uk.

Session Advocate Required

Application-Form-Session-Advocate

Please note we also have a temporary IMHA role available

Care Act Advocacy with Mind in Salford

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Our advocacy team are visiting all social work teams, community mental health teams and safeguarding teams in Salford giving awareness briefings on our new Care Act Advocacy role.

The Care Act came into force in April 2015, bringing in a new legal framework for care and support. Welfare and involving the individual are central to the new standard, and it enshrines the role of an advocate in helping people who may have difficulty being involved and no-one appropriate to help them.

Care Act Advocacy builds on our pre-existing community advocacy role, adding a legal framework to advocacy relating to care and support needs. All our advocates are undertaking additional training to help them meet this new role.

Care providers & assessors in Salford are responsible for referring eligible people to us to make sure people have their voice heard.

ICAA LeafletVisit our Care Act Advocacy page or click on the booklet to the left to understand more about who is eligible and what help an advocate will provide.

New Services with Mind in Salford

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Logo Mind in Salford StackMind in Salford is merging with Salford Mental Health Services CAB, with all services coming into the Mind in Salford Charity.

The merger diversifies the services, expertise and income of our charity, and will help us provide better services combining the experience and expertise of both charities.

Under the Mind in Salford banner, we will now have additional services:

  • IMHA advocacy at Meadowbrook combined with our Advocacy Hub,
  • Secure IMHA advocacy at the Edenfield Hospital site,
  • A Welfare Rights and Debt Advice service for people suffering from mental ill health
  • On 23rd March we will be welcoming the 12 new staff from SMHSCAB in these services.

    AQS logoMind in Salford gains Advice Quality Standard

    As part of the merger process, Mind in Salford has gained the Advice Quality Standard for our Advocacy and Advice Services, a tremendous achievement from all our staff and evidence of our commitment to providing a quality service.

    Advocacy Awareness Campaign – An Update

    Friday, November 21st, 2014

    Our Advocacy Awareness campaign has been a runaway success – with referrals into the service trebling since its commencement in late June.

    We have also met our target of improving the number of referrals from other agencies, and improving the number of agencies who refer to us.

    We have put posters up in most GP surgeries and pharmacies that would let us – but for the moment postponed further actions to support the clients we are currently getting.

    Referrals 201314Referrals in Q3 2014

    The success is to such an extent that we are now looking for sessional advocates and additional funding to provide support to our existing advocates to meet the increased demand – if you are able to advocate, or know of any potential sources of funding, please let us know via james@mindinsalford.org.uk.

    Sessional Advocate Required

    Friday, October 31st, 2014

    We have a vacancy for a Sessional Advocate, please see advertisement below.

    Sessional Advocate

    Blog – Anxiety, Depression and Me

    Thursday, July 10th, 2014

    I’ve been suffering from depression and anxiety for three years now, and it is really getting me down.

    I am writing a short personal account about my depression and anxiety because I strongly believe that being open and honest about mental illness helps reduce the stigma and discrimination that people face – and helps people struggling themselves with their own mental health problems.

    My experiences with depression

    This is not the first time I have suffered from depression, having had a prolonged and serious episode at university, but since then I had kept it largely under control, working full-time for the next 9 years, with many and varied responsibilities and consistent promotions, as well as a total of less days absence than years worked.

    I continued during the first 9 months of depression to work full-time, but mistreatment at work combined with the loss of managers, structure & friends due to their redundancy were taking their toll on my private life, where I was withdrawing more and more from the slightest activity or contact.

    This withdrawal I suppose was a subconscious fear of getting too close to people and then losing them – I have not been in communication with my parents for many years, my remaining grandparents died shortly before the depression set in and close friends had moved and/or drifted away in the same period. The redundancies of friends and my management team subsequently added to these losses, and consequently deepened my anxiety, depression and ongoing problems with sleeping.

    It all came to a head when I was shot down on attempting to stand up to the bullying and neglect at work, and I quickly imploded, not sleeping for a number of days and doubting myself to the point of being ready to attempt suicide.

    An intervention from my GP and the mental health crisis team meant that I ended up in hospital rather than dead, but by this time anxiety had set in like I had never previously known. I was having panic attacks going outside, and was anxious all the time.

    Over the next few months I began a recovery supported by the unrelenting positivity, compassion and communication from my sister, together with support from a couple of friends. After a major breakthrough in counselling allowed me to stop heaping blame on myself so much, I returned to work part-time.

    A few months at work, and, despite some effort, a continued lack of support and understanding, together with a failure to resolve the problems with mistreatment, led to my depression and anxiety deepening again. After many months of psychology, I returned to work a second time and despite one manager making a concerted effort, I was disenfranchised and had a similarly rough experience. People continued to make assumptions on what I was thinking, and what I could and could not do, and there was a continued failure to resolve the original problems. With my self-worth once again reduced to near zero, I ended up leaving about a year ago.

    Through all this time, the anxiety about going outside has remained – meaning I have often gone a day or two without food until hunger has trumped anxiety – and then I’ve gone to the corner shop and ended up stuffing myself with pies and/or chocolate.

    I’ve developed food intolerances whilst suffering from anxiety, which has made going out for food even more difficult. I’ve struggled to get out of bed for days at a time, been fatigued almost constantly, and fairly often fallen into a trance trying to make decisions.

    I’ve struggled to look after myself at all – to clean myself, my flat, clothes or dishes, to cook, to spend time enjoying myself or relaxing. My concentration has been awful with any passive tasks like reading or watching TV, and I’ve struggled with a lack of any motivation much of the time – with headaches, exaggerated anxious reactions and a clouded mind making this even worse.

    My mental health has put considerable strain on my relationship with my sister, and around the time I quit work it had really started taking its toll. My sister has had to greatly reduce her contact with me to protect her own mental health, and together with the much reduced social contact due to not working, and more friends departing from regular contact, the brief upturn in my mood following leaving work was not sustained.

    Over the last year I have gained purpose and friendship through volunteering with Mind in Salford, and have also resumed going to counselling – and combined these have managed to keep me together enough to keep going most of the time. I can not emphasize enough how important a purpose, social contact and discussing my problems are for me to maintain any semblance of mental health.

    Over the last couple of months I have made a few steps towards a recovery – the first being asking for help (and receiving it!). Thanks to the support of Diane (one of Mind’s advocates), I am finally getting support to address my anxiety, and am finally getting seen by a psychiatrist to reassess my treatment.

    The hope gained from this medical and support intervention is keeping me improving and I’m still positive that I can recover with the right help, despite ups and downs in my ongoing recovery.

    I urge anyone who feels they are not getting appropriate help or support, who feels they are not being heard, it is important that you reach out for help. Asking for help from an advocate can help this plea be heard – and provide hope.

    Reaching out

    If you identify with anything in this blog, please ask for help. Mind in Salford’s advocates can be contacted on 0161 839 3030, and there are further contacts in our more help section.

    Advocacy Awareness Campaign

    Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

    Do you have something to say, but feel like no one is listening?Mind in Salford is currently trying to increase awareness of our advocacy service throughout Salford.

    Putting up Posters in Mocha Parade
    We’re going to every GP surgery, every pharmacy, every social services hub & every community mental health team in Salford putting up posters & leaving leaflets for the public.

    We’re re-briefing adult social services teams on how our advocacy service can help people.

    We’re advertising in the local CCG magazine to try and encourage GPs to refer.

    Discussing Advocacy in Walkden
    We’re attending council run events to encourage the public to self refer.

    Graph showing Referral OriginsWhy now?

    The campaign was inspired by our quarterly reporting showing very high self-referral rates, and low referral rates from other agencies.

    This told us that potentially vulnerable and disenfranchised adults are having to search for our service, rather than be referred to us.

    We’re hoping to make it easier for these people – by making it easier to find us and more likely they’ll be referred by someone else.