Young woman who blogged about mental health battle dies in ‘serious incident’ at Cheadle Royal

Beth Matthews died following a “serious incident” at the Priory psychiatric hospital at Cheadle Royal on the 21st March 2022 .It is understood that she had been a patient at the facility for several months.

The 26-year-old, from Cornwall, blogged her mental health journey following a suicide attempt in April 2019. She fell from a bridge and was taken to hospital by air ambulance having sustained multiple major injuries.

She shared raw accounts of her recovery and helped others who were experiencing mental health issues. Beth, who loved spending time outdoors, had amassed 26,300 followers on Twitter and built a following of her own through her brutally honest blog posts.

She gave people the courage to speak out and continuously signposted anyone struggling to support groups, Plymouth Live reports. In a blog called Life Beyond the Ledge and on her twitter account, Beth opened up.

She bravely told her followers what led her to take her own life. In one of the last messages she posted on her account, she said: “It’s ironic that the injuries I sustained from a suicide attempt (nerve damage, broken bones, paralysed bladder, paralysed bowel, paralysed foot, chronic pain etc) are the reason I’m now suicidal.”

In her very last tweet, which has now gone viral, Beth told how she was ‘struggling so much’ and apologised to her followers for ‘being so negative’. Hundreds of people have since shared their condolences on the thread.

Beth’s pinned tweet praised the ‘brave police officer who saved’ her life in 2019. She wrote: “Today, I got to thank and hug the brave police officer who saved my life.

“Despite witnessing me fall 50ft off a bridge, she ran down and held my hand until I was airlifted to hospital. This moment meant the world and reminded me just how grateful I am to be alive.”

The Devon and Cornwall Police officer has offered her condolences to Beth’s loving friends, family and followers and added she knows Beth has helped ‘so many people’.

She said: “I often kept Beth close to my thoughts after the first time that we met. She was a kind and very honest person, speaking openly about her struggles which I know helped and supported so many people.

“She was a big supporter of all the emergency services and I know her passing will greatly affect many. My thoughts go out to her family and friends.”

Mental Health UK issued a statement on Twitter after hearing the sad news. The charity social media account said that Beth’s advocacy in mental health would be “forever remembered”.

It said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the friends and family of Beth Matthews today. Beth’s work and advocacy in mental health has touched and helped many people, and her commitment will be forever remembered.”

Stockport Coroners Court confirmed that it had received a file in relation to Beth’s death.

A spokesperson for Priory Cheadle Royal said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that a patient died after a serious incident on Monday and our thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time.

Full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 24th March 2022

Mother’s agony after suicidal daughter escapes from GMMH hospital despite being sectioned

A worried mother says her suicidal daughter escaped from a mental health hospital on numerous occasions. The woman says her 21-year-old daughter, whose names are being withheld to protect their identity, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and admitted to Griffin Ward at Prestwich Hospital ten months ago.

The mother, who lives in Collyhurst, says her daughter’s mental health suffered terribly after her (the mother’s) father died four years ago, and then further declined when she was attacked by two girls in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester last June.

She says her daughter was sectioned immediately after a member of public alerted police after seeing her stood on a bridge.

After attempting to take her own life, she spent a few days at Salford Royal and Park House before being transferred to the Griffin Ward at Prestwich Hospital. But she says her daughter has been able to escape from the hospital on several occasions and has further attempted to take her life each time.

She says: “The only time I get told is when she has taken an overdose or is on a bridge. One time she was taken to A&E as she had taken an overdose and they did not even tell me.” The mum says her daughter has escaped when being allowed to smoke outside of the hospital unsupervised and has also escaped through the security doors.

Rachel Green, Associate Director at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) said: “We do not comment publicly on the care of individual service users. But the safety and wellbeing of every patient is of paramount importance. We would strongly encourage her to raise concerns directly with us, so that we can take action through the most appropriate routes.”

Full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 31st March 2022

New £3m model of mental health support agreed in Salford.

A new citywide mental health service has been approved, anticipated to support an additional 5,000 people per year in Salford.

‘Living Well Salford’, jointly funded by NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust (GMMH) and Salford Primary Care Networks, is the name given to the new local system designed to meet the needs of adults with mental health problems that require more support than primary care can offer, but don’t meet the criteria for secondary care mental health services.

The Living Well model is a new offer of support co-designed by people with lived experience of mental health problems, it offers multi-disciplinary, multi-agency team support comprising Peer Workers, Recovery Workers and Mental Health Practitioners along with a range of other colleagues in areas such as psychology, psychiatry and housing.

GP Dr Nicholas Browne, clinical lead for Salford CCG, said: “Mental Health services have historically been underfunded and oversubscribed. Salford has led the way in investing more into mental health services than the nationally prescribed budget. Despite this, we all know more needs to be done.

“At last week’s CCG Governing Body meeting, the business case for the roll out of the Living Well model across the city was agreed. This will be a £3m annual, recurring investment into an award-winning model which has shown great success in Broughton over the last three years.”

This new service has been developed as part of a national three-year programme to think differently about mental health support.

Over the past three years, Salford has worked with the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit social enterprise to co-design the support offer.

Nick Webb, Director of Mental Health Innovation at Innovation Unit, said: “Innovation Unit is absolutely delighted with the news that Living Well Salford now has the backing it needs to spread person-centred support across the whole city. We have been privileged to have worked with such a brilliant team over the last three years.

He added “Their unwavering commitment to people, to lived experience, and to changing mental health services for the better is truly inspirational. We are excited to see what they do next!”

A pilot has been operating across Broughton to test out the model which has shown tremendous benefits, focusing on people’s skills, aspirations, and experiences to build a different way of offering mental health support to the people of Salford.

The service is expected to be rolled out across the city during summer 2022.

Source: About Manchester, 9th February 2022

Response to The GMMH Working Together Strategy 2022 – 2025

From: CHARM Families For Recovery Support Group, CHARM

To: Claire Watson, Head of Service User/Carer Engagement and Improvement

Dear Claire

Thank you for sending us the draft GMMH Together Strategy 2022 -2025 and requesting our feedback. We have put five main points forward for consideration by the Trust (with further important observations included in the Appendix below) as follows:

Firstly, we were not aware that this Strategy was being reviewed and this is the first time we have been made aware of it. Under these circumstances we do not feel able to provide a detailed response.  Further we believe it has not been fully co-produced and therefore unfortunately excludes our perspectives on important issues that we would have wanted to be included and expressed within the report. 

We think thought should be given to the design and look of the Strategy Document, our reaction was that the photographs do not reflect the multicultural diversity of our community, with too many images of people in uniforms and working within institutional settings. Given the subject of the report more emphasis on images of people with lived experience, carers from different backgrounds in community settings would be more appropriate.

Secondly, it lacks detail, as the report does not include bench marks and milestones. The Strategy does not include important details and information about how the ambitions for the next three years will be met and we feel at a disadvantage in knowing how to determine if the strategy will be successful and how we will know that targets have been met in 2025. To address this we want to see much stronger commitments and concrete proposals on what we intend to do together. To give an example In the “We Will” section on page 19 there are no firm commitments, the Strategy says: 

“we will improve our percentage of carers contacted and sent information within commissioner set time frames.” But what are the figures now? and what improvements do we intend to make? Over what period time? 

We need real commitments from a Strategy Document that can be used as measurements to see if we have succeeded in working together more effectively. In the appendix below we have included an example of a Service User Engagement Strategy from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust that does include specific targets and milestones. 

Thirdly, the strategy conflates information about GMMH actions across all of the Local Authority areas it works with and therefore it is not possible to discern what is happening specifically in for instance, Manchester. To give an example in the strategy draft there is a reference to the Crisis Cafe’s and funding various grassroots projects but no details.  Also you mention peer support workers, we would like to know the number of peer support workers there are within the Manchester Local Authority area and especially about those working in the community with CMMH Teams.

Fourthly, there is no reference to the Charter Alliance or the Charter that GMMH signed up to in 2014 that provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for future action re. service user co-production. This should be addressed as the Charter provided a wealth of useful proposals. See Charter here https://manchestercommunitycentral.org/charter-mental-health-services-manchester

Fifthly, we believe that there are many important issues that are not covered in the Strategy that have caused problems with our capacity to work together. In spite of the good will and support of many staff members our experience is that the service has been overwhelmed by the level of demand and the lack of staffing. This has led to unmanageable case loads and very high thresholds for receiving care. Carers feel they are very often filling in these gaps in provision and taking on professional roles themselves.  These challenges could be acknowledged by us within the Strategy, in particular where the Strategy states GMMH will “Continue to work in partnership with service users, carers and the VCSE sector via local arrangements and at a Trust wide and GM level, to achieve Community Transformation with more seamless, holistic care for local people in the place where they need it most.” This is a laudable ambition but with the current challenges we would like to know how it’s going to be achieved with specific examples of actions and timetables.

In conclusion we believe that the publication of this strategy document should be postponed and a new process commenced to really co-produce a Strategy that is owned by all stakeholders and to co-produce the strategy that we can all be proud of and that would hold us all to account in meeting its commitments and aims. We believe it is necessary to start again in drawing up a Working Together Strategy and to develop an open, inclusive, transparent process that can arrive at a more meaningful document. We look forward to your considered response to our feedback and to have further constructive  discussions with you about our concerns.

We would be very willing to assist you in this.

Appendix

Specific Issues with report:

1. We need a “user friendly” document with more visual presentation as the current document uses considerable NHS language and terminology that is difficult to understand.

Here is an example of Service User Engagement Strategy from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust https://www.beh-mht.nhs.uk/downloads/patients-and-carers/New%20Involvement%20%20Engagement%20Strategy%20Sept%202020%202022.pdf that uses a much more visual way of providing information and sets out clear milestones for action over a three year period. 

For instance: 

Year One: Recruit 100 Experts by Experience roles and actively work with them on involvement activities in the Trust

Year Two: Develop a service user employed role to support service user engagement

in the Patient Experience Team

Year Three: Develop a service user Non-Executive Director role to sit on the Trust Board

(Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust)

2. Diagram 1 in the strategy provides a very service centred model with service users and carers having to move between different services rather than being person centred. We cannot see how working in this layered way allows  services to commit to continuity of support from the same key worker or team over the time periods that someone needs help.    

We do not know what the Living Well MDT is. We were not aware that it has been adopted for Manchester and would like to know what it is and what the implications are for funding.

We are very concerned that Carers, Friends, Neighbours and Supporters on the left hand side and Local Community Support, Networks and Groups on the right and are not considered to be central part of providing support (see blue arrows). This diagram shows to us that carers and the community are not seen as centrally important to the ongoing support of the people we support.

3. We have identified Communication Issues as one of the main challenge facing carers. Carers are reporting not receiving replies to enquiries, requests for support within reasonable timescales or at all, messages not passed on/ or phone is not picked up. Further, communication between professionals and teams is problematic for carers as important information is not relayed between staff, particularly between hospital and community based services.

4. In a report GMMH submitted as part of a report entitled Participation of mental health service users and their carers: Some European Examples (pages 16 – 19)  http://recherche-sante-mentale.fr/docsenlien/participation-GCS-EN.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2Z5CNBN2-k-Sm5wIOg8GVaEhzzX3THmgVgqrum9D41L5VwsVjmjyd4c64 compiled by The French World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health (WHOCC Lille, France) from information provided in late 2020 and mid 2021 the following information was provided:

Description of the experiences Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH), NHS Foundation Trust, England

Statutory: Public mental health service

Engagement as a pathway to recovery

6000 employees in 150 locations

200 active volunteers

50 volunteer Peer Mentors including Carer Peer Mentors*

34 paid Peer Support Workers,

100 supervisors (local staff – it could be a clinician, a psychologist… – who guide volunteers users/carers in their role and are the first point of contact).

We think this kind of information should be provided within the strategy as it provides concrete information about current levels of service user participation. For instance there were only 34 peer support workers out of a workforce of 6,000 in 2020. Has the numbers increased, where are these workers based? Are any of these peer workers placed in the community with CMHT’s? How many of them are based in Manchester?

What are Carer Peer Workers?

5. Other comments from our members:

  • “I didn’t get a sense of inclusion either as a carer or user of the service, there is only one person of colour portrayed in the brochure. It does not make to me think the service has a commitment to equality, inclusion and people of colour.”
  • “The text/font so small makes me give up reading it – it feels like it is intentional” 
  • GMMH statement about the Principles of working together section “However, we do not always work together in the best way possible, recognising different skill mix, to support peopleswider health and social care needs. Working Together is not easy.” Doesn’t say what the action how that is going to be different, change. We need specific commitments that can be measured otherwise too vague.
  • As a carer I didn’t feel I was a contributor to this although there is a lot talk of Carers/Carer Act  “Launched our Hidden Carers Campaign to help carers and staff recognise when someone is a carer. Often people do not recognise themselves/others as carers, and will refer to them as family members/friends. Our campaign encourages everyone to think and open up conversations whatever people want to call themselves, so that information flows and service users receive more personalised care, and carers receive the support they need in their own right. Yet no voices/stories/account of Carers or indeed how they interpreted the service.” We also thought this was patronising to family members. Many carers we know feel that they are not heard and in some experience that their input is discouraged. In other cases carers feel they are invisible to the service.
  • “I think a flaw in the draft is often what a lot of organisations do to their detriment is not put in the flaws/weakness/areas to improve what could be done for staff, carers and users as a whole. A more holistic approach of the service interaction, engagement.There is no timescale, action, proposed target to work to improve. When you are most vulnerable is when you dig deeper to the resources and/or look at change to go forward. So I am sceptical of brochure that acts as if everything is going well. Where’s the funding, the challenge in that if there is any space to participate, contributions from all involved?”
  • I also wanted to see a new approach to complaints and the value of it and response to the action and intent. The Strategy says:Continue to learn from complaints and incidents through involving service users and carers in the learning that takes place and not just the investigations themselves, actively sharing learning across the organisation, with our partners and commissioners.”I want to know how this is going to be done.
  • Same with : Learn from our experiences of being a national Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework site and use this learning to improve access to mental health support for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. What does this mean in real terms? It’s just words. 
  • There are massive gaps in this glossy document. Are staffing levels to improve? Care cannot be holistic and inclusive without the time and space to achieve this. Top down, medical model needs a radical overhaul. 
  • Peer support is welcome but where does this fit in to services, and can it be independent of the trust? Is it only acceptable from trust identified workers or are less formal peer support networks to be validated and accepted?

Also:

  • “too wordy but lacks substance and detail”.
  • “hard to read, not enough diagrams etc”
  • “no real examples of numbers and time limits of when they want to implement things.”
  • different services across the GMMH boroughs, Bolton good?, Salford good?, City of Manchester – ?  Using the good practice examples as evidence of general progress covers up where action has not been taken
  • no mention of “recovery” or what this means?
  • no specific mention of community services 
  • understaffed, staff leaving in droves
  • revolving door – how many times service users are hospitalised, this tells us how bad the community support is
  • carers/families and voluntary groups such are on the outside of that diagram! Should be in the middle!
  • no joined up working of professionals with carers or even themselves ie. psychiatrist making bad decisions about meds which the carer knows will impact badly on Service User.
  • no mention of lack of beds – people are sectioned now and still in the community waiting…
  • It talks of support for carers in there… information we should be given, our rights under the Care Act and support for our own health,  we aren’t given anything
  • no actual examples or soundbites from actual service users or carers about the service
  • Barnet example – easy to read, has figures to show what they have done. 

Caryl Phillips: why David Oluwale matters

Renowned writer and founding patron of #RememberOluwale, Caryl Phillips will discuss David Oluwale with LBU’s Dr Emily Zobel Marshall

Tuesday, 26th April 2022 17:00 – 18:30
The Leeds Library18 Commercial Street Leeds LS1 6AL

David Oluwale’s tragic death triggered an unprecedented number of creative responses from poets, artists and writers both nationally and internationally. The most well-known of these responses is by The Leeds Library and DOMA patron and world-class author, Caryl Phillips, entitled ‘Northern Lights’, published in his book Foreigners, Three English Lives (2008).

Professor Caryl Phillips, who grew up in Leeds, and Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Reader in Postcolonial Literature and DOMA Co-Chair, will discuss literary and poetic responses to David’s story. 

Caryl Phillips will read from his book and there will be a short Q & A.

Dr Max Farrar, sociologist and Secretary to DOMA, the RememberOluwale charity, will discuss whether David Oluwale might be consider a secular martyr, referring to his chapter in a recent book, available here https://www.maxfarrar.org.uk/writing/david-oluwale-was-he-a-secular-martyr/ 

This event will create a rare opportunity for students and members of the public to learn about David Oluwale, hear Caryl Phillips share his work and discuss how we can find ways, through revisiting the Oluwale story, to tackle issues of racism, mental ill-health and homelessness today through the arts. (It will be followed by a workshop for selected creative writing students, led by Caryl Phillips.)

Accessibility: this is a very old building and modifications are constrained, but the library does have a chair-lift if required. We will hire a signer if any deaf people would like to tell us what their needs are. This link explains in detail, including information on how to get to the venue by public transport or taxi. https://www.theleedslibrary.org.uk/access-statement/ 

The David Oluwale Memorial Association is most grateful to Leeds Beckett University’s School of Cultural Studies and Humanities, Writers’ Mosaic, Renaissance One and The Leeds Library for their financial and in-kind support for this event.

Book your place here

Study highlights importance of bonding between young mental health patients and nurses

The relationships between young mental health patients and the nurses looking after them is an overlooked treatment in its own right, according to new research.

The qualitative study of eight  young people, eight  family members and eight nursing staff by psychologists from The University of Manchester and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is published in high profile journal PLOS ONE.

The professional connection between a clinician  and a patient –  known as a therapeutic relationship – can help improve outcomes for mental health patients say the research team.

Progress in psychotherapy and mental health care in general has previously been shown to strongly link to the therapeutic relationship between clinical professionals and service users.

However, the study highlights how nursing staff sometimes do not have the time or support to develop therapeutic relationships with their patients.

To achieve that, the researchers urge the employment of adequate staff numbers, focused training and time in cultivating connections between nursing staff and their patients.

“This research underlines the established point that therapeutic relationships between patients and staff are just as important as the specific treatment they are receiving, if not more so,” said Dr Sam Hartley, an honorary clinical lecturer  at The University of Manchester and Principal Clinical Psychologist with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Our analysis indicates that young people, families and nursing staff all agree these relationships are crucial to good outcomes. These groups would be better served by a system that prioritises the formation and maintenance of effective therapeutic relationships

Dr Sam Hartley

The young people, all based within child and adolescent mental health services across four sites in the UK, described how their relationships with nursing staff could impact on their progress through treatment.

The researchers interviewed the participants at length, and identified six themes which described therapeutic relationships, their development and maintenance.

One of the themes was centred around the feeling that therapeutic relationships are a treatment in their own right.

Dr Harley said: “Therapeutic relationships  are particularly pertinent in child and adolescent mental health inpatient services where relationships are especially complex and difficult to develop and maintain.

“Our analysis indicates that young people, families and nursing staff all agree these relationships are crucial to good outcomes. These groups would be better served by a system that prioritises the formation and maintenance of effective therapeutic relationships.

“This requires adequate staff numbers, training and time in cultivating connection and doing ‘normal’ things together.

“Consideration should also be given to aspects of the workforce that might impact on this being successful, such as staff retention, where continuity of care and relationships might be impeded.”

She added: “The balance between being human and professional is a tricky one and could benefit from ‘live’ focused staff support alongside more static training and supervision.

“We hope that the testimonies of these patients, nurses and parents, and our analysis will serve to drive policy makers, service managers and clinicians to focus on therapeutic relationships, as essential to quality inpatient care, and afford them the structures, support and significance they deserve.”

Citation: Hartley S, Redmond T, Berry K (2022) Therapeutic relationships within child and adolescent mental health inpatient services: A qualitative exploration of the experiences of young people, family members and nursing staff. PLOS ONE 17(1): e0262070. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262070

An animated video summary is available here

Suicidal teenage girl from Whitstable sent to mental health hospital in Manchester

A Kent mum was forced to spend all her savings in order to stay near her 13-year-old girl, who was placed in a mental health hospital 280 miles from home. Here, she tells Marijke Hall of her experiences with the “broken” system…

Ms Oliver, who is in recovery from breast cancer, says had Imogen been given a bed at the Kent and Medway Adolescent Hospital (KMAH) in Staplehurst, run by NEFLT NHS Foundation Trust, the situation would have been much more bearable.

The centre is NEFLT’s first inpatient mental health unit for children and young people in the area.

“Had she been in Kent I could have popped in every day. She could have come home on a Saturday afternoon. We could have slowly integrated her back into home life – an hour here, a day there.”

But instead, Ms Oliver says Imogen was very suddenly discharged from the Manchester facility in November, going from 24/7 round-the-clock care, to an hour a week at home with a care coordinator.

“They sent her home with no discharge plan,” she recalls. “I was basically kicked off a cliff. I had to go to work to pay the bills, but she needed 24/7 care.

“The hospital’s argument was they felt she was becoming institutionalised and picking up bad habits.

“They said they thought she’d be better off in the community.

“So she came home in November and she got straight back into bed again. That last year trying to get her help was a whole waste of time. We had to start again.”

Ms Oliver says she was left with no choice but to resign from her job to care for Imogen, who can’t be left on her own, day or night.

The exhausted mother sleeps on a mattress on Imogen’s bedroom floor so she can keep her safe and comfort her when she suffers terrifying hallucinations.

She says she’s in constant crisis mode and admits she’s on her knees, in desperate need of respite.

When Imogen was discharged, the single mum says it became apparent to everyone she needed more care than an hour a week, and she is now on an enhanced treatment plan.

This involves a mental health nurse making two visits a week. She is also under a psychiatrist who is changing her medication

But Ms Oliver says the delays in her care have meant living in a state of flux while Imogen’s mental state has deteriorated.

“We’ve had to fight for everything,” she says.

“You question your own sanity all the time. No one is listening to you.

“Everything is so short-sighted and CAMHS has no services to offer.”

Ms Oliver believes Imogen, now 14, wants to get better, but is so frightened of the vast journey ahead, she feels it is impossible.

The problem is not just a Kent issue, however, with a shortage of beds across the UK.

But the county’s situation was made worse in 2020, when a hospital in Sevenoaks for children and adolescents needing inpatient mental health services was shut down.

It followed an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission at Cygnet Hospital Godden Green, which found repeated incidents in which young people suffered harm and injury.

There had been 21 en-suite bedrooms for males and females aged from 12 to 18, spread between two wards.

NEFLT NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing Kent and Medway’s child and adolescent mental health services.

A spokesman for the trust confirmed there are 11 inpatient beds in Kent. From April 1, this will increase by six, with three general beds and three short-term crisis beds.

At the moment, there are 15 children and young people from Kent placed out of area.

Since the pandemic there has been a significant increase in the need for specialist mental health services for youngsters.

Since October 2021, inpatient mental health beds for children and young people have been commissioned by the Kent and Sussex Provider Collaborative. Kent and Sussex is considered one area in the provider collaborative. Any child placed within the two counties would be considered to be “in area”.

If children are placed outside the area because local units are full, these placements are reviewed regularly with the intention of moving people back to Kent as soon as possible and where appropriate.

A spokesman for the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, commenting on behalf of the collaborative, said: “The detail of any discharge plan is determined by individual providers but in general they will involve the child, their family and professionals, will outline the support on offer and include information about managing any changes in mental health and who to contact in a crisis.”

Full story here

Source: KentOnline, 3rd February 2022

Nursing Narratives: Racism and the Pandemic

Conference and film launch for Nursing Narratives: Racism and the Pandemic

Saturday, 5 March 2022 09:30 – 16:30

Hallam Hall, City Campus, Owen Building, Sheffield City Centre, S1 2LX

‘Racism like a virus spreads and causes significant harm.’

Nursing Narratives: Racism and the Pandemic (an AHRC/UKRI Rapid Response to Covid-19 research project) has taken a grass-roots approach to understand the experiences of Black and Asian healthcare staff during the pandemic.

This event presents our research findings which includes a new feature documentary and 18 individual testimony films.

Come and be part of the discussions to call for systemic change. Meet and hear some of the nurses and midwives who told their stories and take part in our discussions with a panel of policy makers and strategic leads. The nurses and midwives have collaborated to produce a Manifesto for Change which they will present on the day.

Book your place here

Timetable:
09:00 – Registration
09:30 – Plenary: Professor Carol Baxter
09:50 – Evidence 1: Overview of the project and headline research findings: Research team
11:00 – Break
11:20 – Evidence 2: Film screening, EXPOSED + Q&A with Director, Ken Fero, and participants
12:50 – Lunch
13:50 – Advocacy: A Manifesto for Change: Panel: Neomi Bennett, Equality for Black Nurses; Susan Cueva, Kanlungan; Felicia Kwaku, Chair of the Chief Nursing Officer’s BME Strategic Advisory Group; Rachel Ambrose, Nurses of Colour; Charles, Kwaku-Odoi, Caribbean African Health Network
14:50 – Break
15:10 – Action: Taking Change Forward: Panel: Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England; Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England; Dr Habib Naqvi, Director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory; Liz Fenton, Deputy Chief Nurse at Health Education England; Professor Geraldine Walters, Executive Director of Professional Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council
16:30 – Close

Black and Asian nurses and midwives, including those who have migrated to support our NHS, have made a critical contribution to health and social care during the Covid-19 pandemic. In February, a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recognised that the government “does not know enough about the experience of frontline staff, particularly BAME staff”. It asked the government to consider the “extent to which (and reasons why) BAME staff were less likely to report having access to PPE and being tested for PPE and more likely to report feeling pressured to work without adequate PPE”. The October Lessons Learned report recognises that “the higher incidence … may have resulted from higher exposure to the virus”, but there is little address to racism in the report. The nurses and midwives who participated in our study are survivors of a pandemic and of a system that is stacked against them.

The Nursing Narratives research team:

Principle Investigator – Professor Anandi Ramamurthy, Sheffield Hallam University
Co-Investigators – Dr Sadiq Bhanbhro, Sheffield Hallam University and Dr Faye Bruce, Manchester Metropolitan University
Film maker – Ken Fero, Migrant Media
Research Associate – Freya Collier-Sewell, Sheffield Hallam University

This event is funded by Sheffield Hallam University and the AHRC. The registration fee covers all refreshments and lunch. Spaces are limited so please let us know early if you register and later are unable to attend.

Sam Millers and Marc Thompson want answers after both their teenagers were admitted to Prestwich Hospital and didn’t come back out alive

The parents of two children who died in hospital due to “observation failings” are demanding an independent investigation.

Sam Millers and Marc Thompson are parents from two different parts of the county who both lost their children after they received treatment at Prestwich Hospital.

Sam, from Old Trafford, lost her trans son Charlie, 17, in December 2020 after “observation failings” led to his suicide.

Meanwhile the death of Marc’s son, Rowan, 18, who identified as non-binary, two months later still remains a mystery.

Their children make up two of three young people who have died while being admitted at Prestwich Hospital over the course of nine months, and are now demanding answers.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Sam said: “Our aim is to get NHS England’s attention to do an investigation into the deaths.

“The fact that there has been three deaths in nine months is not acceptable.

“I know they are separate deaths but collectively we think the same issue arises – observation failings. I feel if NHS England get involved they can find out the facts

Former Manchester College student Charlie had a history of self harm and was under observation by hospital staff when he died.

In the run up to his death, he had been seen with ligatures around his neck three times.

He was then found alone and unresponsive, with a fourth ligature around his neck and died as a result of the injury five days later.

Sam claims she was told her son was being checked on by staff “every five minutes”, but she says he should have never been left alone in the first place.

Sam revealed that Charlie was as young as four when he began identifying as a boy.

She said: “(Charlie) was about to start on a medical pathway, but they couldn’t commence that due to his mental health.

“He was very supportive to other people with LBGT needs.”

She added: “Charlie was about four or five when he began referring to himself as a boy.

“He was a tomboy during earlier childhood, then aged 11 he said he felt like a boy, and at 12 had his hair cut short and began living as a boy.”

In February 2021, Rowan was also being observed every 15 minutes due to self harm concerns when he died

He had been experiencing weight loss in the last weeks of his life, at one stage collapsing, and had been undergoing blood tests.

The day before he died, a sample indicated he had ‘very low’ levels of potassium.

But the lab was unable to reach anyone at Prestwich Hospital to alert them, despite trying several times, and Rowan died the day after, with his cause of death still ascertained.

In a draft copy of a Serious Incident Review done by the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, it found that staff did not follow policy in Rowan’s case and the blood results were not communicated.

The report seen by the M.E.N said: “Staff…did not follow Trust policy regarding observations” and “the abnormal blood results were not communicated to the Unit due to a range of issues”,

In June last year, Ania Sohail, 21, became the third young person to die when she fell ill and drowsy during dinner, before saying she had taken a large amount of medication.

The opening of an inquest in July heard it is not yet known how she got that medication.

She was also at risk of self-harm, and was on a routine of five-minute observations.

Rowan’s dad, Marc, from Hampshire, said: “When you have three deaths that are so similar in a short space of time you have to start looking at the strategic management of the unit.

“That is not effectively being done by the Trust, and that’s where we need NHS England.

“We know that the issues with staffing problems at Prestwich were there prior to Covid taking place.

“We have documented evidence in Rowan’s Serious Incident Review that he was unable to attend college which is less than 100 yards from the ward because they didn’t have a staff member to escort him to his classroom.

“This is about management, a lack of staffing a strategic vision from the middle and higher management of an NHS Trust.

“We believe they need to be held accountable for their decisions and lack of staffing, because we believe that has in part caused the death of my child, the death of a second child, and a third.

“How many deaths does it need for them to pull their finger out, say we need to sort our staffing levels out, because these are national centres?

The parents gathered at the railings to protest and get NHS England's attention

The parents gathered at the railings to protest and get NHS England’s attention ( Image: MEN Media)

“They are taking patients from around the country because they are a vital service.

“If you haven’t got the staff you can’t take the patients in because you can’t deliver the quality of care that is needed.

In that aspect we believe that Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust have failed.

” I am quite happy to wait three or four year after his death to let NHS England get to the root of the problem.

“Rowan’s and Charlie’s deaths are symptoms of a bigger problem. If we don’t deal with the bigger problem how many more children are going to die?”

Full story here

Source: Daily Mirror, 10th January 2022

Most adolescents dying by suicide or harming themselves known to health services

Around 80% of adolescents who died by suicide or who had self-harmed had consulted with their GP or a practice nurse in the preceding year, shows new research.

The large study of 10 to 19-year-olds between 2003 and 2018, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, also puts forward a series of proposals to deal with the problem.

The study, funded by the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GM PSTRC), a partnership between The University of Manchester and The Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA).

It showed that 85% who later took their own lives consulted with their GP or a practice nurse at least once in the preceding year; the equivalent figure was 75% for those youngsters who harmed themselves non-fatally.

Lower than expected rates of diagnosis of psychiatric illness, around a third in both groups, were probably down to a lack of contact with mental health services, rather than an absence of psychiatric illness, argue the research team. Depression was by far the commonest of the examined conditions among both groups, accounting for over 54% of all recorded diagnoses.

Also, while suicide was more common in boys, non-fatal self-harm was more common in girls. Two-thirds of adolescents who died by suicide had a history of non-fatal self-harm.

And while self-harm risk rose incrementally with increasing levels of deprivation, suicide risk did not.

Suicide frequency did increase with age: two thirds occurred at 17-19. However, adolescents who self-harmed tended to be younger: almost 65% had their first recorded episode below age 17.

The study analysed the data of 324 adolescents who had died by suicide and 56,008 who had self-harmed, using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, which contains interlinked general practice, hospital, and national mortality records.“

That most adolescents who had harmed themselves or died by suicide were known to services in the preceding year highlights how important it is to identify their pathology and adequately treat it. Ensuring timely access to effective treatment is a priority as we already know that people who experience psychiatric illnesses are at much higher risk of harming themselves or dying by suicide

Lead-author Lukasz Cybulski, a GM PSTRC PhD Fellow from the University of Manchester said: “That most adolescents who had harmed themselves or died by suicide were known to services in the preceding year highlights how important it is to identify their pathology and adequately treat it.

Ensuring timely access to effective treatment is a priority as we already know that people who experience psychiatric illnesses are at much higher risk of harming themselves or dying by suicide”

Co-author Dr Shruti Garg from The University of Manchester said: “Late adolescence can be a particularly vulnerable time for young people experiencing mental health problems. Improving access and provision of transition mental health services so that young people do not fall in the gap between CAMHS and adult mental health services should be a priority

Professor Nav Kapur from The University of Manchester and another of the study’s authors said: “Suicide and self-harm are complex behaviours with many potential causes. In young people, bullying, bereavement, health problems, and academic pressures can all be important antecedents.

“This means that a comprehensive approach to prevention is vital and one that requires coordination between families, schools, social services, and health professionals.”

“The association between deprivation and self-harm risk suggests that prevention must also target underlying social determinants, such as barriers to educational achievement, low income, unemployment, and crime.”

See full story here

Source: University of Manchester, 7th December 2021