As stated on the Welsh Government website, the National Mental Health Partnership Board (NPB) will “oversee the delivery and implementation of Together for Mental Health – A Strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Wales and its Delivery Plan; guiding and monitoring progress, and facilitating co-ordination of the cross-cutting approach required across Welsh Government, Statutory agencies, the Third and Independent Sectors.”
Together for Mental Health is the Welsh Government 10 year strategy for improving the lives of people using mental health services, their carers and their families. At the Shaping Services Together conference, which took place on 19 September in Llandrindod Wells, we were introduced to several members of the NPB, see photo below.
We have now received further updates from David Crepaz-Keay, Mental Health National Forum for Service Users & Carers and Sian Richards, Strategy Lead, Mental Health & Vulnerable Groups Division, Welsh Government.
Let’s start with David:
“Back in the spring the Wales Alliance for Mental Health was asked by
Welsh Government to oversee the process to identify two service users and two carers to become members of the National Mental Health Partnership Board (NPB) in time for the December meeting. I’m proud to report that we have achieved this.
Junaid Iqbal, Jane Treharne-Davies, Carina Edwards and Rhydian Parry have become members of the NPB; we also have a team of skilled deputies to support them in these roles and to step onto the board when needed. Alan Meudell, Julie Murray, Tracy Elliott and Steve Hails have been selected deputies. All eight people will become members of the Forum and met the other Forum members at the Forum meeting in Swansea (in late November).
The eight people were chosen following an open recruitment process by a panel of Forum members following interviews (in mid November). The process has been a long and challenging one and has only been made possible by the hard work of a few and the good will and support of many.
We now have Forum members from Betsi Cadwaladr, Hywel Dda, Cardiff and Vale, Powys and ABMU. We have also completed selection of the ten national members of the Forum, but this will be revisited once all Local Partnership Board service user and carer members are in place as we already have a number of vacancies.”
And over to Sian:
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the roles that you have played in establishing service user and carer arrangements for the National Mental Health Partnership Board.
The importance of strong service user and carer engagement at both an individual care level and strategically in the planning and monitoring of services is one of the underpinning goals of Together for Mental Health. The need for a national forum bringing together service users and carers who are active across Wales and the establishment of an open and transparent mechanism to appoint service users and carers on to the new National Partnership Board were clear recommendations from last year’s service user conferences. Earlier in the year Welsh Government asked the Wales Alliance for Mental Health to co-ordinate the process to respond to these requirements. David took on the lead role and has done absolutely sterling work to get us to a position this week where the recruitment process is now complete for the Partnership Board and we had over 40 people from across Wales attending our National Forum meeting in late November.
Every one of you has had a key role in this process and I would very much like to thank you for the energy and enthusiasm that you have shown in helping us to deliver this, and for the time commitment that you have been prepared to put in to it, often at short notice and on top of many other demands.
I think that we are now in a very exciting place in terms of the development of this approach in Wales and it would not have happened without your input.
Many, many thanks and I look forward to meeting with many of you over the coming months.”
Rhydian Parry, one of four people recruited from across Wales to the NPB, is from Powys, as is one of the reserves, Steve Hails. Congratulations to them!
5 of the 9 representatives from Powys attended the first Powys Mental Health Planning and Development partnership as new members of the group on December 5th 2013.
Over to Freda:
“Wow, what a week it's been! I was really in awe yesterday as we sat around the table at the first Powys Local Partnership Board meeting where we had individuals in contact with services around the table. Laura and I were speaking afterwards and we felt it was the best Local Partnership Board meeting we'd attended. The atmosphere and energy in the room was very different, it really felt like we were coming together, management were listening and your contribution was really valued.”
We’ll keep you updated about how the National Mental Health Partnership Board and National Forum for Service Users & Carers are going. Meanwhile, if you have any questions just get in touch with us or leave a comment below. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org