February 19, 2017
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Branch AGM 2017

The Branch AGM in 2017 will be held on Friday 24th March, at the Mechanics Institute, Princess Street, Manchester.  There will be a buffet from 5.30pm; the meeting will start at 6.15pm.  This will be followed by a Social (from about 7.30pm) - to give all members the chance to celebrate the Branch’s achievements, and to look forward to the new branch which will be formed in July 2017.  The Social features the band That Brother Thing, with Ben Jackson (Branch Secretary) on drums!

AGM 2017 letter

AGM 2017 reminder notice

AGM Nomination Form 2017

April 27, 2016
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Write to your GP in Manchester

If your GP practice is in Manchester (even if you are not a Manchester resident) please write to them asking if they know about the proposed service closures, what they think the impact will be on their patients, and whether they will join the campaign to try to keep these services open.  You can urge them to raise their concerns with the CCGs and the LMC in Manchester.  There is a model letter to send to GPs, but please feel free to edit this.

The Branch has written to all GPs in Manchester and will publish their replies as soon as possible.

April 13, 2016
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Write to Manchester councillors and candidates for election 5th May 2016

The campaign has produced model letters for you to send to find out what councillors and candidates will do to fight for better mental health services and against the proposed closures.  Feel free to adapt these letters.

There are two letters: one for current councillors and one for candidates.  If you are a Manchester resident, please use these letters to question sitting and prospective councillors about what they are prepared to do to fight for mental health services.

The list of all candidates is on the Manchester City Council website:  http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/6440/list_of_candidates_standing_in_5_may_2016_local_election_statements_of_person_nominated

The Branch has written to all councillors and to candidates in the main parties to ask for their views about the proposed service closures, and what they will do to help the campaign.

 

 

 

March 1, 2016
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Lobby MMHSCT Trust Board meeting, 31st March 2016

The Branch organised a lobby of the MMHSCT Trust Board meeting on 31st March 2016 outside Chorlton House.

At this meeting MMHSCT announced that despite overwhelming support for all the services, it was going ahead with plans to close all 9 frontline services.

The consultation about these services (though not really about whether they should be closed or not) finished on 21st February.  You can view the Branch response to the consultation here: Consultation response

The campaign continues

Following the Trust’s decision to proceed with closing all the 9 services – they are now due to close by mid August – the campaign held an organising meeting on 7th April.  This reviewed what we’d done so far, and made plans for further campaigning.  The notes are available here.

Write to your councillor in Manchester and to all candidates for election on 5th May

The campaign has produced model letters for you to send to find out what councillors and candidates will do to fight for better mental health services and against the proposed closures.  Feel free to adapt these letters.

There are two letters: one for current councillors and one for candidates.  If you are a Manchester resident, please use these letters to question sitting and prospective councillors about what they are prepared to do to fight for mental health services.

The list of all candidates is on the Manchester City Council website:  http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/6440/list_of_candidates_standing_in_5_may_2016_local_election_statements_of_person_nominated

 

 

 

February 17, 2016
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Branch AGM 2016: 15th, 16th, 17th March 2016

The Branch AGMs will be held at three times at three venues, to enable as many members as possible to attend.

Tuesday 15th March, 6pm for buffet, 6.30pm for start of meeting:  Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS

Wednesday 16th March, 12.30pm-2pm, Meeting Room 1, SSHU, Park House, NMGH – snack lunch

Thursday 17th March, 12.30pm-2pm, Seminar Room 2, Laureate House, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, M23 9LT - snack lunch

You should have received notice of these meetings, and nomination form for Branch Officers and Stewards, and draft Branch Rules.  If you haven’t had these, please contact Ben Jackson, Branch Secretary: ben.jackson@mhsc.nhs.uk

For all the papers for the meeting, click here:

AGM 2016 letter

AGM Preliminary Agenda 2016

AGM Branch Rules 2016

AGM Branch Officer Posts 2016

AGM Nomination Form 2016

 

 

December 16, 2015
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Consultation on proposed cuts to 8 services

Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust and Manchester CCGs were told by the Health Scrutiny Committee to conduct a public consultation into the proposed closure of 8 frontline mental health services, plus the community rehabitation service in Crumpsall.  The rehab service is really separate from the other services, because it is closing as a result of the decision by Creative Support (who provide some of the staff) to withdraw from the service – the few remaining residents will be rehoused, and the MMHSCT staff will be redeployed.  So the consultation, and the financial figures, should really just be about the 9 frontline services.

Inadeqate consultation

The consultation paper which has recently been produced does not actually consult on the proposed closures themselves – it asks people to comment on a limited range of questions, such as any other ideas for making savings (cuts) and how a paltry £200,000 might be reinvested as a minimal alternative to the 8 services.  Respondents are asked to ‘vote’ for one or other of the services if they want them to be retained.  The branch strongly objects to this – this is about crucial services for people with mental health problems, it is not a beauty contest.

Branch response

The branch is preparing a response to the consultation, together with members in the affected services.  We will post a draft on this website as soon as possible.  Contact us if you want to respond to the consultation and would like to discuss this with us: email c.bedale@btinternet.com

October 24, 2015
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Sign the online petition

If you would like to sign our branch petition against cuts in mental health services, jobs and staff online, please click on this link: https://www.change.org/p/manchester-mental-health-and-social-care-trust-manchester-deserves-better-mental-health-services-there-must-be-no-cuts-in-services-jobs-or-staff?recruiter=45408890&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

July 2, 2015
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Devo Manc

DEVO MANC: future for the NHS?

 

£6 billion of NHS care is to be merged with Social Care Commissioning and given to the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority, run by a mayor.

Taking the ‘National’ out of the NHS starts with Greater Manchester but could spread everywhere.  ’Devo Manc’ is another top-down reorganisation with no consultation.  How can we defend national pay, terms and conditions if budgets are controlled locally?  How will merging two underfunded market-ridden commissioners help to improve social care, produce better outcomes for patients, reduce bed blocking, give local people a greater say in NHS or social care?  Greater integration of health and social care is good in theory.  But without adequate funding (£6 billion won’t cover the area’s health and social care needs) and proper planning, this proposal is mainly an illusory shift of power and a real shift of blame.

 

Lack of clarity and funding

Trade unions should demand more information about the impact for services and staff, and proper consultation before deciding to support this plan. The details are unpublished, and may not be legal, but warning signs are clear:

  • Health care and social care problems will NOT be solved by another expensive top-down reorganisation.
  • £1.2 billion (20%) has been cut from the Greater Manchester health budgets by this government.
  • 40% has been cut from council budgets leading to 25% cut in social care. Nationally nearly a million fewer elderly people in England get home care now.
  • Devo Manc says public health, prevention and health promotion are crucial.  Yet Manchester City Council has just implemented the government’s £90m cuts in public health funding for mental health and health and wellbeing services.  Hundreds of staff are losing their jobs, and services are being slashed or closed.
  • Greater Manchester NHS want to downgrade and close 5 A+E departments.
  • The proposals say the “role of third sector and private sector providers … remains to be determined.”  Social care has already largely been privatised—which means 15 minute social care visits by people on less than the minimum wage (because staff are paid nothing to get from one client to another).
  • Joint Commissioning of Mental Health services has not improved them. Mental health is 27% of health need but gets only 13% of health funding. Many unwell users are discharged from services, with too few beds even for people who need to be sectioned, and there’s a huge increase in use of private hospitals.
  • With a stated commitment to no increase in total costs, the plan will pass responsibility – and blame – for cuts and privatisation to local authorities.

What about democracy?

Nine of the ten Greater Manchester boroughs voted in 2012 against having a mayor.  No-one was consulted over Devo Manc, so the NWTUC voted to support the call for a referendum—although UNISON officials voted against.  The ten Greater Manchester councils—mostly Labour controlled—are disregarding their electorate, staff and trade union representatives.  Their power play with George Osborne apparently by-passed Andy Burnham, a local Labour MP and shadow Health secretary.  He warns that the proposals could break up the NHS and lead to inconsistency across the country.

UNISON and the other unions in the NHS and local government were not involved in the discussions either.  At the UNISON NW region meeting in May and at UNISON National Delegate Conference in June, members from branches in Greater Manchester expressed concern about the way that the deal had been done, and what it could mean for union members and for services.  Tony Lloyd, a former Manchester MP and Greater Manchester Police Commissioner, has been confirmed as interim mayor.  He has not been elected to that position – there will be an election in May 2017.

A ‘Health and Social Care Devolution Programme Board’ has already been set up in shadow form, and will take full control from April 2016.  A new tier of ‘City Region’ bureaucracy will not ‘democratise’ the NHS.

The elected Greater Manchester councils and the government have no mandate for these far-reaching changes to the NHS, affecting all of us.

Also see the Greater Manchester Keep Our NHS Public website for more concerns about Devo Manc: http://keepournhspublicgmcr.com/2015/07/02/devo-manc-and-the-nhs/

February 15, 2015
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Lobby Manchester Council to Protest at Cuts in Mental Health Services

Branch members and Manchester User Network members held a Valentine’s Day demonstration against the cuts in Mental Health Services on Saturday 14th February.  We handed out postcards and asked people to sign petitions to say that we Love Manchester but HATE the cuts which the city council is making in public health funded services.

Recovery & Connect, Supported Housing, Community Floating Support and the Health & Wellbeing Service are all facing massive cuts or total closure.  The responses the branch submitted to the council’s consultation are available from the Branch Office.  The council have paid no attention to our call for the cuts to be halted because of the devastating effect they will have on service users and on staff.

We will be lobbying the full council meeting on Friday 6th March, from 9am on the Town Hall steps in Albert Square.  Please come to show your disgust at these cuts to essential mental health services.