Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feedback from Whitehaven Mental Health meeting

This week in Whitehaven the NHS Trusts in Cumbria held one of their "drop-in" sessions as part of the current consultation on Mental Health services in Cumbria.

In spite of the fact that the consultation was held at what Copeland council had warned the NHS was not a terribly convenient time - the middle of the afternoon on a working day - more than 50 people listened to the consultation and Question and Answer session for nearly two hours and there was a constant stream of questions right to the very end.

This consultation affects everyone in Cumbria, from Millom to Penrith, from Carlisle to Barrow. It may be very important for the future of many local residents who might prefer not to think about the issue.

Unfortunately care for those with mental problems is often seen as a "Cinderella service" and does not get enough attention, which can be a tragedy both for those who suffer from mental illness and those family members who care for them and who are often the worst affected victims.

The fact that so many people turned out even at such an inconvenient time should be a signal to the NHS Trusts that they need to redouble their efforts to involve more people. To be fair to them, the people representing the Trusts at the meeting did promise that they would try to do this, but it is important that the rest of us both hold them to their word and give them someone to engage with - proper consultation is a two-way street.

Copies of the consultation document can be obtained by ringing 08447 280107 on online at nhsconsultation@cumbriapct.nhs.uk

The current consultation will be open until 30th September.


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