Healthwatch Derbyshire E-bulletin
Did you know about Health Checks Available for People with a Severe Mental Illness?
If you’ve been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or psychosis your GP should ensure that you have a regular annual check up. Your practice may already have written to you to invite you to a check up. If you’ve not received a letter from your GP surgery, you can make an appointment yourself.

You could also see if you are on your GP surgery’s severe mental illness register. Being on this register simply means that you will get a reminder for your health check.  More information is available on the Rethink website.

Watchdog Investigates Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services 
Following a national review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) by a government taskforce, patient watchdog Healthwatch Derbyshire investigated what people think of the mental health services available for children and young adults in Derbyshire.
46 interviews with users of the service, their parents and carers were carried out across the County. They highlighted both positive and negative themes with many people struggling to access the service in the first place because of problems with the referral process.
A disparity amongst GP’s was found with some quicker than others to acknowledge mental health problems in children.  A number of people interviewed drew attention to the delays in children being referred to CAHMS by GPs.
One carer stated: “It was 3 appointments with the GP before a referral took place as the young person, aged 13 years, was diagnosed as ‘naughty’. It wasn’t until a violent incident happened that it was taken seriously and led to a referral.”
Waiting times for a first appointment were also found to be an issue with one interviewee saying they had to wait 5 months to be seen by CAMHS even though they had been referred as an emergency.  Findings of the report were largely positive once people had undertaken their first appointment with lots of positive responses regarding the ‘excellent and friendly’ staff.
Karen Ritchie CEO of Healthwatch said: “CAMHS services in Derbyshire seem to be facing similar issues to those highlighted in the national review.  Identifying children and young people with a mental health condition and access to services are two key issues that clearly need to be addressed.”
“Those responsible for the commissioning and delivery of CAMHS locally have recognised our findings and responded positively by using them to inform a local transformation plan aimed at improving the service.  Additional government investment in this area, alongside a commitment to improve services locally, should mean that we start to see an improvement in the areas we’ve identified.”

Mental Health Question Time Event (Inc Healthwatch Derbyshire AGM)
Ahead of world mental health day, patient watchdog Healthwatch Derbyshire is holding a public Question Time-style debate on mental health services in the County.  The event, being held on Thursday 8th October, gives people the opportunity to question key mental health leads about the services available in Derbyshire.
Carolyn Green, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience, from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will head the panel. She will be supported by additional colleagues from the Trust, along with Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group and other key partners.
John Simmons, Chairman of Healthwatch Derbyshire, said: “I encourage people to go along and attend the event in Chesterfield. It’s a chance to question the people responsible for running Derbyshire’s mental health services and provides a great opportunity to find out what support is available to people with a mental health condition.”
The event will include talks from inspirational speaker, Pam Burrows, on how to boost your mood and will also be used by Healthwatch Derbyshire to hold their AGM and launch their new website.  The website features an easy to use feedback centre where people can leave reviews about their local health and social care services.
If you would like to attend the event, please call Healthwatch Derbyshire on 01773 880786 or email to book your place.  

Healthwatch Derbyshire Intelligence Report August 2015
This document gives a summary of reports and actions that have been undertaken by Healthwatch Derbyshire.  It includes information on what we are currently working on, what we are planning to work on and updates on work we have previously undertaken. 

Please direct any enquiries about this report to Helen Hart, Intelligence and Insight Manager, or 01773 880786.

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