Friday, 8 August 2014

Scotland's Mental Health Strategy Key Theme One: Working more effectively with families and carers?

I was looking again at Scotland's Mental Health Strategy 2012-2015, and the Key Themes, first of which is:

1. Working more effectively with families and carers

"Families and carers can have an important role in providing support to those with mental illness, but can often feel excluded from making the contribution they would like to because of how services are structured or delivered:

The work from Healthcare Improvement Scotland on learning from suicides shows that better work with families can contribute both to safety and to better outcomes23;

Caring Together: The Carers Strategy for Scotland 2010-201524 sets out the action that is being taken with partners to provide better support to family members and carers to enable them to offer care and support without coming to harm themselves."

From The Carers Strategy for Scotland:

"7.6 The Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSScotland, published in May 2010 21, will also help ensure the voice of carers is heard. It is the key driver for further change and improvements in healthcare. This strategy will seek to ensure that healthcare is of the highest quality, with improved safety and clinical effectiveness based on person-centred support and the full involvement of care partners. There will be an emphasis on developing relationship-based care and shared decision-making. A further aim is to ensure that patients and carers have clear instructions and information on care, treatment and symptoms and that they are fully involved in treatment choices. There will be a clear emphasis on treating carers as equal and expert partners with knowledge and experience, especially about the person they care for."

I was voluntarily involved in consultation events for the MH Strategy in late 2011 one of which was organised by Scottish Government (I remember Geoff Huggins, head of mental health division, coming up and sitting next to me at a table) and submitted an individual response from the carer and survivor perspective.

Looking back over the last two years of the strategy do I think that Scottish Government mental health division and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have worked more effectively with me?  Have they included me, made services safer for my family members, helped to involve me more in treatment choices and shared decision making?


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