Tuesday, 22 April 2014

the fallout from target driven outcomes in mental health where I live

A short rant about the problems as I see it with Scottish Government's mental health division obsessional focus on targets and the negative effects in Fife where I live.

We don't all live in Edinburgh, the capital where government sits and the Queen has a palace, where the trams are gearing up and there's a crisis centre for self referral.  Where jobs are ten a penny or so it seems while the rest of us are lucky if we can get shelf stacking work.  Where there's an international festival and a tourist mecca.

The postcode lottery of mental health care in Scotland means that rural areas like Fife are playing catch up and in fact are getting left way behind, despite government assurances that mental health improvements are happening.  The service user voices in Fife got "burnt out" a long while ago with trying to be meaningfully involved and finding out the game was a bogey.

Promises of change and user involvement in mental health service design and delivery were empty words as plans were scuppered and improvements didn't happen.  The user led advocacy groups got silenced and an English service provider came in to speak on our behalf, silencing the critical voices.  Human rights issues and abuses in psychiatric settings continue.

[I phoned yesterday to try and speak to a social work service manager in mental health, regarding user involvement, and was told all the senior managers are away to Auchterderran for 2 weeks, to do an "audit".  Of what?  I don't know, they wouldn't tell me]

And who is responsible for this sad and risky state of affairs in Fife where meaningful involvement is a thing of the past?  The people who definitely aren't to blame and who aren't responsible are the psychiatric patients, mental health service users, their carers and family members.  We're the ones who are picking up the pieces after traumatic psychiatric treatment and bad practice.

So what is Scottish Government going to do about it?  

Over to you.

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