I couldn't justify the time effort and stress of their inactivity and lack of cohesive thinking any longer and left the group this month.
It is clear that the main purpose of the group is to seek funding.
My report about the issues is below; this document will form part of my activity report from the project to Arts Council England:
Activity Report to Arts Council England & NottinghamshireVeterans & Families Partnership
- To raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
- Educate on Intellectual Property issues and
- Promote creative arts as a coping mechanism for disability.
- The group (NV&FP) takes much too long to complete simple tasks (over 3 years to come up with a webpage and logo, no moving forward on group strategies associated with client care).
- The group does not adhere to its Terms of Reference by virtue of its general lack of action.
most important action of such a group – networking and sharing information
was taken off the main agenda and became an after meeting activity –
losing effectiveness as most of the people attending the meeting would
have left by this stage.
- Seeking funding is, in my opinion, the over riding objective of this group.
ensure that NHS patients transferring into their geographical area of care
with up-to-date medical reports (less than 3 months old) are not
re-diagnosed or re-assessed.
Instead they should be referred to a practitioner for continued
care as soon as practicably possible.
It should be the responsibility of their practitioner to assess
their needs and take appropriate action.
The NHS can’t continually complain about a lack of resources and
then waste staff hours carrying out duplicate assessments for transferring
patients. You’re all NHS staff and
you’re qualified to the same governing bodies when it comes to role
dependent mental health related care.
NHS professionals had a document providing a ‘good practice’ guide
relevant to Veterans with PTSD.
ensure that NHS management representatives from the other mental health
teams in the area are a part of this group as they have Veterans referred
to them directly from GPs.
- To continually
raise awareness of Veterans’ issues and service provision options to GPs. The feedback is that the majority of GPs
that are in touch with Veterans are unaware of the routes of support
available to them and that some don’t care or aren’t interested in mental
issues and will issue a prescription rather than take the time to identify
a route towards recovery or coping with the condition with the patient’s
understanding and agreement.
- To provide other avenues of direct NHS led care and treatment not just relying on CBT and EMDR. People are different and they have different needs. The mental health profession is relying too heavily upon these forms of treatment, along with pharmacology. The road back from pharmacology can be extremely difficult and for many, impossible, once a person’s brain chemistry has been altered for a prolonged period of time. One of the oldest forms of treatment for someone with a mental health problem is to be able to sit somewhere with someone they can trust and to be heard without being judged. The NHS don’t generally encourage this form of treatment as it negatively impacts on statistics and funding issues.
provision of a holistic source of referral for different
treatments/service providers (statutory, voluntary and private) that can
assist people with PTSD, as well as general information exchange and
networking, particularly via the web and social media … and the library
service as a means of assistance for non-IT literate people seeking help
- The recognition that for many ‘recovery’ isn’t possible and that the best case scenario is ‘Living with PTSD’ and understanding that to care for yourself requires a lot of time and energy.
- Where a complaint is made against a statutory service and is proved or accepted, that the issue(s) are then addressed with the practitioner/service representative responsible rather than being swept under the rug by the service manager. Inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour can have dire consequences for people that are vulnerable owing to mental health problems … this can and sometimes does end with the loss of human life, whether through suicide or other actions. As a service provider, you have a responsibility to try to ensure that this never happens.
Feedback from people living with PTSD that I have spoken to at the various exhibition/workshop venues in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire suggests that there is still a lot of ignorance from statutory agency employees about PTSD and how to treat or communicate effectively with suffers without triggering their condition. Statutory agencies were identified as the Ambulance Service, Police Service, Social Services, GPs, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and NHS service managers. When it comes to highly motivated veterans with the ability to do physical harm to people, the implications of triggering their condition can be dire. People that are responsible for the provision of care to these people need to be aware of this and take responsibility for their own actions and behaviour when dealing with people with mental health problems … especially Veterans.
My thanks to those of you have that have networked with me and to those of you that actively work with Veterans and other people with PTSD in a responsible and caring way. I hope that you are the majority in the equation.
Villayat ‘Wolf’ Sunkmanitu
I disagree. I also believe that you don't need evidence by way of complaints to plug a hole in policy and practice when an issue has been raised. The role of a good manager is to look to continually improve upon existing services and to maximise their effectiveness ... particularly when dealing with vulnerable people in our societies.