COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR A MENTAL HEALTH ‘CITIZEN’S JURY’

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Isle of Wight Green Councillor, Michael Lilley has joined forces with mental health campaigner, Justin Pinder, to call for the establishment of an Isle of Wight Citizen’s Jury as part of a campaign to get real dignity and respect for people experiencing mental health issues.

Justin has campaigned for the last 3 years to get the voice of Island residents who use mental health services to be heard and represented on decision making bodies.

In April 2017, the Quality Care Commission published their report on the IW NHS Trust and found community mental health services inadequate. A recent mental health community service user survey published in August 2017 shows that the IW NHS Trust was in the bottom 20% of customer satisfaction and the lowest of all the Trusts surveyed. The survey indicated that Isle of Wight residents using mental health services felt they were not treated with dignity and respect. A recommendation within the survey results report suggests that “The Trust should take urgent action to consider why many service users do not feel they are being treated with dignity and respect; and should drill down into the data where possible to identify the area’s most in need of improvement”.

Councillor Lilley is a member of the Isle of Wight’s Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care and Health and at its meeting on 24th July raised questions of the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and IW NHS Trust about the continuing failing of community mental health services and the committee was assured about proposed improvements. Councillor Lilley has been pushing for the Council to sign up to the national mental health challenge and implement the good practice as outlined in a recent Local Government Association report (June 2017) on mental well-being and local authorities.

Councillor Lilley states:

“I was extremely disappointed by the survey published in August as this seems to contradict what I was being told on the 24th July. There are good developments happening such as the new Safe Haven being developed in Newport which has service user involvement, but there is still an overall failing to listen effectively to the people who are the customers. Good customer practices seem to still be missing in community mental health. It is a basic human right to be treated with respect and dignity and services need to start listening.”

Justin Pinder states:

“Mental Health Services on the Island must fully commit to co-producing efficient & effective delivery of care with its service users, supporting organisations and services. There are so many talented & dedicated staff/professionals/volunteers that are working very hard in the services; there is a real opportunity for the Island to become a beacon of excellence where Mental Health Care is concerned.

“The Mental Health Services & Commissioning Board must adequately interact and listen to its service users in the future. I also feel it is very important to take a more innovative & holistic approach to mental health care.”

Michael and Justin have joined forces to call for the establishment of an independent Citizen’s Jury made up of people who use mental health services on the Island and carers so that they can independently challenge senior managers and providers of mental health services on the Island.

Councillor Lilley adds:

“As an elected member of Isle of Wight Council I want to enable the voices of people who are not heard and are marginalised, to be heard. People experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are just not listened to on the Island and we have to say enough is enough. We need a Citizen’s Jury so that politicians, managers, Trust Board members, attend and start listening to what people really need and want in services.

“Justin is a local pioneer and caring individual who has been at times a lone voice in championing the basic human right of being heard, treated with respect and dignity. He was a major contributor in getting the new Safe Haven (out of hours crisis service) off the ground and get service users working alongside mental health professionals. I will be asking the Council to get Justin and other service users to present to members at the next Adult Social Care and Health and Well-Being Board meetings. They have a right to be listened to and we have to listen and take action”

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