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- Are our political representatives doing enough about what is happening?
In my experience, having listened to what both MPs and local councilors say and to the questions they ask, attention is focussed on those SUs with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, which of course is vitally important. I recently heard Norman Lamb say, we must, ‘…repair the fragmented system and integrate physical and mental health care…move from a paternalistic system to one where the individual takes control of his life with personal budgets…there should be a greater collaboration between statutory services and community organisations…there is an institutional bias and stigma against mental health…’ He also emphasised the importance of prevention, early intervention – all good stuff – but he did not mention those people who form the majority of the Trust’s service users – people who are often so ill that they might find it difficult to access recovery colleges. These are the people who used to receive health services from the Community Outreach Teams which have been dismantled, and are being reorganised in a diminished form. The devil is in the detail and I get the impression that the detail is not fully understood by our political representatives.
In a simple word NO! I worked with my local MP for years and sent him the information on what the group was doing and asked him to contact me so we could discuss the situation and for me to get his views. You guessed it, he did not reply. If asked the local MP’s do what they are very good at, dodge the question. It is a case that mental illness is not a mainstream subject and therefore is not something that will get votes and the only time MP’s will discus the problems of mental health is when a patent becomes violent in public and or someone is killed, then they are full of weasel words and promises, until the issue dies down. What is needed is the type of action currently being undertaken and pressure put on our MP as well as getting as much support from the local press as possible. If the issue is made a front page issue, then we may get some action from our MP. As for the PM, the least said the better, and this is from (until a few days ago) a member of the conservative party and the local party’s communications officer!</span></p>
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