Elderly living in police cells – Lib Dem funds for child mental health care

Dementia sufferers and children are being locked up in police cells when carers become unable to cope, a police watchdog has found.

Vulnerable elderly people are also being detained when there is nowhere else for them to go.

The probe by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found that a 90 year-old dementia victim was put in custody after his carers dialled 999 during an argument.

Police CellOfficers often took emergency calls from hospital and care home staff.

The inspectorate’s Dru Sharpling  said custody was becoming a default option.

She said vulnerable people were detained “to get them the support they needed”.

She said: “Each public service must fully discharge its responsibilities to ensure that police custody does not become the default option.”

Relph. S 2015 Daily Mirror 10/03/2015 P. 5

“It’s sad to hear that this goes on all over the UK in 2015.”


The Liberal Democrats, last week, announced a “seismic” shift to revolutionise children’s mental healthcare”.

They plan to fund an extra £1.25billion over five years to treat 110,000 more children with mental health issues, and provide rapid access to treatment for new mothers.

Nick CleggDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “By introducing waiting time standards and committing to talking therapies for children in every region, we are helping to build a fairer society where young people can get the right treatment and support to live a better life.

“Sounds great, Nick – will you deliver?”

Mental Health Problems of ‘Frontline’ Medics

Thousands of frontline medics, police, and firefighters are struggling with mental health problems but are too scared to ask for help, a survey reveals.

Shocking figures released by the mental health charity Mind shows that nearly 90 per cent of emergency services personnel polled admitted to stress, low mood and poor mental health. But those in the frontline were most at risk of developing problems and less likely to speak out. It’s claimed they don’t believe employers view mental health issues as a valid reason for sick leave.

The online survey of over £,500 staff also showed that more than half had experienced severe mental health problems but just 43 per cent of those had taken time off.

Mental HealthAnd latest figures released by ambulance trusts to TV’s 5 News showed that the number of sick days taken for stress-related illnesses by paramedics has soared by 40 per cent in a single year – from 29,449 in 2013 to 41,297 days last year.

Now Mind – which is set to deliver a Blue Light programme supporting 999 personnel with mental health issues – is urging emergency services to sign up to the Time to Change pledge. The campaign, championed by the Sunday Mirror, aims to help soaring numbers of victims.

Paul Farmer, of Mind, said: “Not only are  many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, but they’re less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce.

Warburton. D 2015 The Sunday Mirror 08/03/2015 P. 13

“These workers are quite well paid as well – what sort of mental health problems are the people who are poorly paid or reliant on the benefit system encountering?”

Rise in Male Suicides – ‘Linked to Austerity’

Awfully sad and depressing statistics show more men are taking their own lives than at any time since 2001, with the highest suicide rates occurring in deprived areas amid growing evidence of the link between austerity and suicide.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 6,233 people aged over 15 killed themselves in 2013, a 4 per cent increase on the previous year. The  male suicide rate was more than three times higher than the female rate, with 19 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 5.1 for women.

Female suicide rates have remained stable, but the male rate was the highest in 12 years. Men aged 45 to 59 had the highest rate, at 25.1 per 100,000.

Suicidal manIn Wales, 26 men in every 100,000 took their lives, and in the North-East of England, where ONS statistics also reveal an unemployment rate of more than 10 per cent – 22 men per 100.000 killed themselves. London had the lowest overall suicide rate at 7.9.

The ONS reported that analysis of the annual suicide rates “suggested that the recent recession in the UK could be an influencing factor in the increase in suicides”, as areas with greater rises in unemployment also experienced high rises in male suicides.

Dr Carl Walker, a Brighton University psychologist and founder of the campaign group Psychologists Against Austerity, said government cuts were affecting the mental wellbeing of people in deprived areas. “There is a clear link between, not just unemployment, but poor employment and underemployment and suicide and a range of mental health problems.”

Joe Ferns, executive director of policy at the Samaritans, said: “The social impact of economic recession lasts a lot longer than the financial impact.” He called for everyone to take responsibility for preventing suicide: “You have got to get all parts of government and all parts of society to think about what they can be doing.”

A government spokesman said; “Our suicide prevention strategy is backed by £1.5m funding for research, and we’ve set a zero suicide ambition to tackle the assumption that some suicides are inevitable.”

Fearn. H 2015 The Independent 20/02/2015 P. 22

“These figures are a damning indictment of the failure of our society, in 2015, to improve the lot of the poorer and less privileged members of our ilk. We should all feel saddened that it is a depressed nation causing so many of these deaths.”

Work is good for your mental health

Thought I’d post an article derived from recent proposals from the Government regarding mental health and employment.

The Government has announced that a further £12 million is being invested to support people with mental health conditions return to work.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have mental health conditions. Mental ill-health is estimated to cost taxpayers and businesses £105 billion a year in health and police services, welfare benefits and sickness absence.
Four pilot areas will use the funding to test whether better coordination of mental health and employment services could help thousands of people find and stay in work as well as to improve their mental health.

Each of the pilots will test a number of different approaches, including:

• Key workers and individual support packages to help claimants create bespoke action plans and coordinate existing local support services;
• Support for new employees to make sure they can stay in work and cope with anxiety and other on-going problems;
• Training employment advisers to identify mental health problems and GPs to recognise the importance of work in improving mental health.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: “We want people with mental health conditions to have the same opportunities in the world or work as everyone else and not simply be written off as often happened in the past.

Lord Freud - Minister for Welfare Reform“That is why we are trialing different types of support to improve employment and health outcomes for people with common mental health problems.”

The four pilot areas are Blackpool, Greater Manchester, North East Combined Authority and West London Alliance. All four pilots were previously announced as part of the
Growth Deals agreements in July 2014 and will measure the impact of integrated services for 5,000 people.

The £12 million investment includes £6 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government and £6 million match-funding from the pilot areas.

A new cross-government Mental Health Taskforce has also been set up to look at the help people need to get back into work and how to improve crisis care and how to improve crisis care and mental health services for young people.

“These proposals look fine on paper, and that’s all. More measures nationally are needed now to assist people with mental health problems and their key workers, many of them having faced redundancy or relocation in the last few years.”

£150m Boost to Treat Food Disorder Kids

Children with eating disorders will get better, quicker care as £150million will be spent on treatment over the next five years, the Deputy PM said yesterday.

A report by Jason Beattie, writing in the Daily Mirror, says Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has vowed the cash  to help speed up waiting times and pay for therapy and counselling  for teenagers with conditions including anorexia and bulimia.

He said: “Too often children with mental health issues are being let down.”

About 1.1million people have a form of anorexia or bulimia, with the majority aged between 14 and 25.

Mr Clegg added: “If a disorder goes untreated for more than three to five years the chances of recovery are reduced, while incidents of self-harm increase.

“That’s why we need to act to ensure we don’t fail this generation or the next.”

There are two or three generations living with the failings of incumbent and previous governments. Much needed spending, and even if fulfilled, how much value for money and improvements in care will ensue?

Savage Funding Cuts to Those Helping Vulnerable People in the Community

The North Staffordshire Evening Sentinel disclosed that calls are growing for a council to come clean over £4.5 million cuts made to charities helping vulnerable people.

Staffordshire County Council has slashed its £11 million Supporting People cashpot after reviewing 200 contracts and consulting with the organisations.

But the decision was made in private by a councillor and the authority is refusing to publicly reveal which contracts have been lost.

It has listed a host of legislation to argue why revealing the list would be ‘commercially sensitive’.

But charity leaders have hit out at the secrecy.

Hanley-based charity Brighter Futures has lost £253,818-a-year to help people in crisis. Chief Executive Gill Brown, said: “We are talking about some of the biggest cuts to services for vulnerable people in the history of the county. There has been no consultation with communities and the people who rely on these services. Where taxpayers’ money is being invested into organisations there should be accountability and transparency.”

Stoke-based charity Arch is losing £70,000 from domestic abuse services in Newcastle and Cheadle, and a £141,000-a-year mental health project is being axed

Arch director Barry Pitts said: “We understand there is pressure on the local authority to make cuts, but I am concerned about how the council went about this process when such a major decision was made by a single cabinet member with delegated powers.”

Labour county councillors have already called for the budget cuts to be reviewed. They have been given the list of affected contracts themselves and refused to reveal them.

Labour councillor Margaret Astle said: “The council is carrying out drastic cuts and all the information should be available to the public because they are the people who are being victimised and who will be affected by these cuts. It’s shocking that I am an elected councillor and am unable to make the public aware of what’s happening. It’s a terrible miscarriage of justice against ordinary people.”

The Supporting People review was discussed by the council’s cabinet in February. It was decided Councillor Alan White, cabinet member for care, would make the final decision.
Mr White said: “Supporting People is a historic Government grant which is not as effective as it could be in preventing people from getting into crisis and helping them when they are.

“We have worked with every provider organisation through the review, but it’s not possible, for reasons of commercial confidentiality, to publish details of the grants we give to them.

I have no doubt these cuts will go through and apart from the outreach care provided being lost, what about the workers in these organisations.Speaking to a Brighter Futures worker, who works with clients, she is worried sick as she may not have a job by September. I don’t have information on the state of funding in other areas, but I can’t help thinking it’s happening elsewhere or will be. With GPs facing a cash crisis what on earth will be the state of affairs if their supporting networks become fragmented.