Late one Friday afternoon in May, SpeakUpCIC alongside the independent support group Talk it Out and independent representative Hugh Kennedy met up with Chief Executive Officer, Angela McNab, and Directors from KMPT to discuss via the Chair, MP Charlie Elphike, difficulties that service users have had accessing services, especially the crisis service.
Angela McNab and her team updated us all on the progress the Trust has made and some of their plans to develop services to prevent hospital stays. Angela felt that in-patient services should be concentrated on real expertise where recovery is important and that services should not be concentrated on just ‘keeping an eye on people’. She felt that making people better matters and that the Trust is striving for excellence and to improve what it does. This strategy has been checked by the commissioners and been confirmed, according to the CEO.On the matter of Urgent Care Angela felt it was a key priority. She said it was important to make sure that people who visit A&E in a crisis are picked up for help and that the trust are looking at getting the psychological liaison improved by appointing new staff in that area. The street triage pilot has been successful in helping to deliver a joined up response with the police and there is more funding promised for this. She continued that it is important to have a single point of access so people know who to call and can get information quickly. The trust is looking at doing more home visits and other ways to help intermediate care, between community services and inpatient beds. They had a very successful pilot in Medway for people with personality disorder with this approach and are looking at rolling it out more widely.
In summing up Angela acknowledged that in East Kent there is a higher need and greater distances for people to travel to services, that partnerships weren’t strong enough or varied enough and that the Trust will be looking to develop partnerships between private and public sectors. With regard to community services they are working on access and caseload problems and there is a greater need to work on this more with the GPs. Finally Angela and her team all agreed that Engagement is important with established groups and hearing the voice of service users key to moving forward.
Following on from the CEOs update Amanda Godley from SpeakUpCIC raised the dis-satisfaction its members had had with trying to access the Trust’s Crisis service. It was agreed that their experiences had been unsatisfactory and Angela promised to put in place monitoring to highlight where the service was falling down.
Interestingly Angela pointed out that it is not the Trust’s responsibility to treat people with less severe illnesses who fall into clusters 1-3 but that of the GPs. Those present felt that this was an area that needed to be addressed as people seemed to be falling through the net without the expert help of the community teams to support them.
The meeting closed at 7:15pm with a view to meeting up again in the future should the need arise. We will keep you updated with further news on engagement with the Trust in the next newsletter. If you would like to be involved with Trust meeting please contact us using our contact page: http://www.speakupcic.co.uk/contact.html