Monday, 13 July 2015

Health & Social Care Network events - a mental health perspective

PAVO teams in Health & Mental Health
L - R: Ruth Middleton (Health, Social Care team), Anne Woods (Mental Health team),
Pete Lathbury (Head of Third Sector Support), Freda Lacey (Senior Officer HSC),
Jackie Newey (MH), Claire Powell (Third Sector Broker & Info-Engine Officer)
Have you come across the PAVO Health & Social Care Network events? I was asked to help out at the latest one (well, it does say Health in our team title) along with colleagues from Mental Health and Health & Social Care. The event took place at the Subud Centre in Brecon last week on 8 July. Anyway, whilst I was more than happy to help shift tables, take photographs and scribe for part of the day, it also seemed like the ideal opportunity to find out more and share any updates to the wider world - so, here we go! I hope you find it useful.

Three of the key benefits available to members of the Health & Social Care Network, (which is open to any voluntary sector organisation providing support to individuals and those close to them) are:
  • Opportunities to contribute your views and those of the people you support on current and future health & social care services.
  • Networking opportunities with other third sector organisations and key partners.
  • A catalyst for cross agency collaboration to meet changing health and social care needs.

Top table, L - R: Pete Lathbury, Gloria Powell (PAVO Trustee & HSCN Chair),
Freda Lacey, Jayne Bevan (Strategic Programme Manager, Powys County Council).
This particular event provided an opportunity to question Commissioners on procurement and commissioning strategies for Powys, to hear updates from the Welsh Government about new procurement regulations and how that would impact locally, to find out more how Primary Care services are interacting with the voluntary sector, and the key aims and objectives of Powys teaching Health Board, specifically in relation to working with the sector.

First up was Jayne Bevan, Strategic Programme Manager at Powys County Council. Jayne led on the consultation around proposed changes to the Eligibility Criteria for Adult Social Care in Powys which took place earlier this year. Welsh Government's aim was to ensure an equitable service across the country, and on 1 April this year PCC decided to change its eligibility criteria which means that access to some social care support services will only be available to those with critical and substantial needs (previously it was available to those with moderate needs). Those with low or moderate needs will be signposted to universal services, such as services to prevent social isolation. This change comes into effect on 1 April 2016, but prior to that there will be engagement with people in contact with services and local organisations in Autumn 2015. Find out more in Jayne's presentation here.

Jayne was followed by Pete Lathbury, Head of Third Sector Support at PAVO, who spoke about the recent survey on the Third Sector's capability in Powys in relation to health and social care. The survey looked at three service areas: formal advocacy, specialist information and supported independent living. Questions drilled down to explore who provides mainstream services, to look at the health and resilience of the services both now and in the future, and to explore the support needs of organisations looking to provide a strong and healthy service. Pete's presentation is here.

L - R: Trish Buchan, (Independent Member Powys teaching Health Board)
and Freda Lacey, her successor at PAVO as the new Senior Officer Health & Social Care.
Trish Buchan, Independent Member Powys teaching Health Board, recently left her role as Health & Social Care lead at PAVO to focus on her position with the Health Board, and at this event she introduced everyone to the PtHB Strategic Plan. With the help of some new acronyms (Integrated Medium Term Plan - IMTP), and a Vision - "truly integrated care based on the needs of the individual", we then found out more about the key aims and themes of the strategy. Two headlines - 'care closer to home' and 'an increased use of technology' were particularly relevant to mental health. We have already written about the computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy scheme called Mastermind, currently being rolled out in Powys.

Trish emphasized the need for increased effective partnership working, with a specific mention of mental health again here. You can read Trish's presentation here.

Pete followed with the Third Sector perspective on the new health board strategy (read here). With the move to more localised services, there was a sense that there could potentially be more activity for voluntary sector intervention. Pete then discussed in more detail specific issues relating to this, including volunteering, community capacity, co-ordination and integration and commissioning. If I remember one fact from this presentation it is that there are over 26,000 volunteers in Powys - the physical and emotional wellbeing impact from that is clearly huge.

Alan Lawrie (pictured above left), Director of Primary Community Care (South) followed with an update on Primary Health Care & Third Sector Engagement. Alan has worked in health services for 33 years now, and said that the situation in Powys "is generally pretty good" compared to other parts of the UK. However, there are vulnerable areas, especially around recruitment, and he supported adoption of new workforce models, so for example, pharmacists would be able to prescrible independently, and advanced paramedics taken on in certain situations. Alan was clear about what the NHS wanted from the voluntary sector, solutions around: social isolation, admissions prevention, discharge support, transport, chronic disease support and links to social enterprise. No pressure there then! Read Alan's presentation here.

Nicola Maliphant (above) is a Senior Project Manager, Policy, at Value Wales, Welsh Government. She was at the event to give us an overview of Public Procurement Policy in Wales, and specifically further details of the new European Commission regulations which came into effect on 26 February 2015. This is particularly relevant for those organisations which will be taking part in a tendering process with either Powys teaching Health Board or Powys County Council over the coming months. Nicola was keen to impress upon her audience that Value Wales is there to provide support, in particular sessions on joint bidding and consortia are recommended. Read more here.

So we'd heard the national policy around procurement, and it was time for a more local view of things. This was supplied by Shelley Davies - pictured above (speaking on behalf of Dominique Jones, Health & Social Care Implementation Manager), who gave an update on Powys County Council's Commissioning Strategy. Shelley explained that good practice in the Children & Young People's team (her speciality) was being brought across to adult services. It was particularly interesting to hear about the aim to develop more social enterprises in the sector, though Shelley had some valid questions around - who would facilitate these social enterprises and who are the people to kick start activity? 

Alan Lawrie then summarised Powys teaching Health Board's Procurement Strategy (slides 12 - 14). Alan again talked about applying the children's model around procurement to an Older People's Perspective.

Powys teaching Health Board's Integrated Services Wellbeing Wheel

Throughout the day Freda scheduled a number of question and answer sessions with the speakers which gave everyone the opportunity to get involved. There are also some additional documents available on this PAVO webpage.

So, is this kind of information of interest to your organisation? Please let us know by commenting below, or join other mental health organisations such as Hafal, Ponthafren Association, Mid Powys Mind and Brecon & District Mind, who all attended this HSCN event to find out more about current issues relevant to them.

1 comment:

  1. Good activity!
    I my country, only few social activities that discuss about mental health problem, so it's very hard to make this matter a serious concern