The Maat probe group have continued their campaign for better mental health services, taking their message to Nottingham where they spoke to other service users.
The group made 6 recommendations to improve services after 63% of service users they surveyed said they were not treated well in hospital.
Pauline – from the Maat Probe Group
In Sheffield there have been many initiatives over many years to reduce discrimination which African Caribbean service users face. This has been going on for the last 50 years with change only coming after people have stood up and spoken for their rights.
We have had four meetings with the Primary Care Trust to look at the recommendations we made. One of these was to set up a service user panel working alongside advocacy workers to look at discrimination. We have met with PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Services) but they only deal with minor issues. Some people are optimistic about what happened and some are pessimistic. One proposal for which we have seen progress is in relation to ‘Respect’ (an approach that avoids the use of restraint in hospitals). A steering committee is to be set up with members from the statutory sector and representatives from the Maat Probe group.
Robin – from the Maat Probe Group
People say to make changes in the NHS takes a long time. But recently we have seen progress. In July we had a meeting with the PMVA (Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression) Manager and there is going to be a steering group made up of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, SACMHA (Sheffield African Caribbean Mental Health Association) and Maat Probe Group. It will meet once a month for 4 months. There will then be a recommendation about how ‘Respect’ training will be brought in to the Sheffield Primary Care Trust.
For more information on the group contact SACMHA on 272 6393