Outreach in Prospect

Baroness Murphy

Like most peers I try and get out and about to keep in touch with what’s happening in my old field, in my case in mental health services, by speaking about parliament and in return listening to staff concerns. It doesn’t give the full picture. For one thing these visits don’t include patients and their families, I have to go elsewhere to reach them, but it’s a valuable snapshot of clinical professionals’ day to day concerns about their work.  Yesterday I visited Prospect Park Hospital mental health services in Berkshire to talk with trainee psychiatrists, nurses and other professionals about the House of Lords and get their take on the Health and Social Care Bill. They belong to an NHS Foundation Trust and were not terribly worried about the Bill’s major provisions but were concerned about the implementation costs and the ability of the Clinical Commissioning Groups to ‘get up to speed’. There was more concern about how they could address the rising costs of drugs, especially the new dementia drugs, and how to redesign services to meet the constant demand for annual costs improvements and the total lack of growth which is forecast for the NHS. The rapid rise in the number of people over 85 will probably have more impact on the NHS than any other foreseeable change or economic event. The CQC report on acute wards for the care of the elderly clearly indicates the need for  radical change in the culture of nursing and the quality of leadership at ward level.

13 comments for “Outreach in Prospect

  1. Twm O'r nant
    14/10/2011 at 3:56 pm

    How do the over 85s keep fit, on the assumption that bodily vigour has a fairly drastic effect compos mentis?



  2. Twm O'r nant
    14/10/2011 at 4:02 pm


    <pindependent public benefit corporations modelled on co-operative and mutual traditions

  3. MilesJSD
    15/10/2011 at 1:01 am

    All people. whether disadvantaged as patients or super-advantaged as powerful-and-privileged providers or politicians, need to be primarily self-empowered, self-healthing, and mutually-individual-wellbeing-and-sustainworthy-lifstyle-building.

    Drugs do nothing to cure the illness or disease, nor to terminate the cause of a transient or short period of mental unwellness –

    and incidentally the cramped and cramping Think-Tank domain of “Mental Health”, which also connotes “Psychiatric-Illnesses”, needs to be up-graded to a domain clearly divided between “Mind-Functional Wellnesses” and
    “Mind Functional Unwellnesses, Illnesses, Impairments, and Disabilities”.

  4. maude elwes
    15/10/2011 at 10:53 am

    The very first task you have should be where did this demonstrably evil mentality toward the sick and infirm come from? When did it begin? And what was the reason for that shift? Who slaughtered Hattie Jacques?

    Next, how did it spread like wildfire throughout the entire service, from top to bottom? Not simply in mental health, but the whole chebang? And why was it not nipped in the bud by those in charge? Importantly, why were the people betrayed by their ‘doctors’ who just turned a blind eye to the downward spiral they were engaged in? Afraid to speak up for fear of being ousted? And how could such a betrayal be put upon them and accepted? Who was at the back of keeping their mouths shut by threat, spoken or simply implied?

    That is the crux here. You don’t need to see or speak to families and patients, as you already know what is happening and has been for some time. It is why it has been tolerated that is the disgrace? Is there no sense of guilt for what they see and by subservience, have fostered?

    What kind of people are you employing who would go along with this? And more, try to silence those who screamed for help? Such as those who went to, what they wrongfully hoped, would put an end to it? And found instead, they were forced to approach the media to open up what they could no longer tolerate in the name of humanity.

    Did it help? Did anyone care? No. It only led those morally unable to comply to ‘a virtual dungeon’ for daring to counter the stench they knew needed immediate solutions.

    How many had to suffer and die because of immoral government officials?

  5. MilesJSD
    16/10/2011 at 1:33 am

    Britain needs a true and egalitarian Health-Maintenance-&-Strengthening Service, genericly for every one at every ‘level’ of the Nation’s various peoples.

    Before any individual can improve their self-control they need sequential awareness-ing, which in turn needs the most up-to-date know-how to have been assimilated to a degree of public performance-competence by all leaders and professionals ; and to be made readily available to all people, including by major Reach-Out teams.

    Health workers and workees (sic) as distinct from Illness workers and patients, need most primarily to be maintaining all of the individual’s existing healthy-habits on the one hand, whilst on the other hand co-identifying the individual’s weakest parts and co-setting simplest, gentlest and slowest rescue and enablement self-move-ability “homework”, for awareness-raising and better self-control sequences thereto.
    (For instance, working on your surface “six-pack” will be risky, even damaging to your health and fitness, if you have not first fitnessed your deepest underlying TA (transversus abdominus), then your midway internal oblique and external oblique muscle-layers, and finally your rectus abdominis).

  6. Baroness Murphy
    Baroness Murphy
    16/10/2011 at 2:51 pm

    Milesjsdm, Yes I agree that the words ‘mental health’ are not very good proxies for the wide range of issues, problems, disorders and diseases that the services try to address and that drugs are never an answer only a help to some.

    Maude Elwes, you assume that care quality has changed for the worse. In fact it’s probably improved in many places, it has always been poor in many places and at least the CQC is now picking up poor care on their unannounced visits.

    • maude elwes
      17/10/2011 at 12:26 pm

      Well, you know baroness Murphy, I must have been wearing those special lenses given out when you’re offered the three D version of life called the past.

      The small changes, in certain limited areas, are directly as a result of that ‘horror’ called, ‘The Human Rights Act.’ You know, that thing the ‘right wing’ want us out of the EU for, in order to save us from its calamitous rule over us.

  7. Gareth Howell
    16/10/2011 at 5:31 pm

    What bothers me is the parallel use of drugs by those who self administer;the users of spirits,alcohol, cocaine, heroine, valium, who are guided in their use of them, by the enthusiasm of the wider drug using community.

    The vulnerable drug addict and dypsomaniac.

    I am also bothered by the huge profits made by the drug companies, whether lawful or unlawful.

    I saw a woman walking half naked, very pale, down a local high street about a month ago, herself playing, as she progressed. A beach three miles away was bursting at the seams with sunbathers. She was deranged and very upset, and was surely arrested enthusiastically by a local bobby.

  8. MilesJSD
    17/10/2011 at 6:14 am

    The prevailing British democracy hierarchical pyramid
    – (“obsolescent” but entrenched) –
    requires all of the old and some obsolete ‘Health’. ‘geriatric’, ‘mental-issues’, rules and practices to be fully and increasingly funded, to the exclusion of the new & more sustainworthily effective know-how being published.
    Each (and, you bet, All) of such advances as:

    “Somatic Psychology” and “Wisdom of the Body Moving” (Hartley);
    “Somatics” (Hanna);
    “The New Rules of Posture” (Bond);
    “Ageless Grace” (Medved);
    “Natural Vision Improvement” (Goodrich);
    “The Centering Book” (Hendricks & Wills);
    “Superimmunity” (Pearsall);
    “The New Health Revolution” (Horne);
    “Six Thinking Hats” (de Bono);
    “How to Win Every Argument” (Pirie)

    Alternative Health Education through Shiatsu, Holistic massage, and Western Freedom of Movement (Laban-based, “Effort” (Laban & Lawrence) – and this latter possibly in generic preference to the Eastern Tai Chi, which I think to be generic only in its non-philosophical beginners-practical movement sequences);

    are being un-supported and suppressed.
    The point here, is that any one of the above advances, all on its own, constitutes a huge “research” finding;
    and hardly takes 20 minutes to start feeling the good effects of, without having to wait 20 days for a few mere words, ‘for or against’ what you’ve found, by one or other of the top governing authorities (such as the three that Twm gave links to above);
    or by one or other of the local health-service centres or voluntary NGOs, now increasingly ‘cutting-back’;

    nor by ‘joining in’, currently in my locality where the local Plymouth newspaper “Herald” has mounted a public campaign for sort of
    (‘) let’s you and gymnasiums, swimming-pools, mountain-climbs, aerobics-classes, and various-athletic-games, become Fitnessing-For-All-Ages-of-People: JOIN NOW ! (’).
    (and there awaits more)

  9. Gareth Howell
    17/10/2011 at 11:19 am


    I particularly like the gaia psychology, and it is interesting to see that the NHs does have Music therapists


    The latter which may be interesting both to Miles and the noble baroness.


    Music therapy is an ancient wisdom.

    Perhaps Miles could use crotchets and minims instead of hyphens and dashes
    then there would be more harmony than argumentative clashes.
    It would not be much use dealing with a stroke patient with Gangsta rap now would it, unless terminal surgery were the required end result.

  10. Baroness Murphy
    Baroness Murphy
    18/10/2011 at 10:56 am

    Maude Elwes, I only speak from experience of working at the front line in the NHS for 30yrs when I say that many services have improved and that care standards for older people in hospitals has fluctuated over the years in different units but is not necessarily worse overall There have always been very few units where care was excellent, many that have been mediocre and all too many were bad in the past. I am just grateful we are taking about it more and exposing it. I am not sure we are any nearer to solving the problem.

    • maude elwes
      18/10/2011 at 1:46 pm

      @Baroness Murphy:

      It has ‘never ever been’ as bad as it is now. Not close. Unless you want to go back to the Crimea that is. So, where you were and what you were doing is an enigma to me.

      And no, it will not get any better until there is the political will to first see it as it is, then accept it has to be addressed. And get it done.

      I cannot see any sign of that here.

  11. Lord Blagger
    18/10/2011 at 11:55 am

    If its improved then the NHS was contributing to more than 20,000 deaths a year in the past.

    Time for it to be axed as the major single cause of deaths in the UK, and those responsible prosecuted and jailed.

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