3 years after Calderdale Council’s Mental Health Service Review -what’s the state of mental health rehabilitation and recovery services?

We are trying to find out what happened to Calderdale Council’s and the mental health trust’s September 2015 proposals to cut Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield mental health rehabilitation and recovery beds and put patients into their own homes with unclear “support” in the community – aka ‘a flexible community offer’.

At the time, Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker reported confusion over the outcome of the Scrutiny Panel meeting in September 2015 on the future of Calderdale’s mental health rehabilitation and recovery services.

At the end of the meeting, the Chair, Cllr Malcolm James, said he planned to discuss the mental health trust’s plans with the scrutiny panel chairs in the other affected areas, since the plans are a significant variation to the existing service. He said,

“The rather sudden nature of the proposal is a concern to us.”

But Libby Smith, the Council’s Rehabilitation and Recovery Service manager, said,

“We have agreement from the Scrutiny Panel to move ahead on the proposed model and to commit to working with SWYPFT to get there.”

How could the Scrutiny Panel have reached this agreement before the three Scrutiny Panel chairs had made up their minds about the mental health trust’s plans. What on earth was going on?

“Flexible community offer”

The Future Services diagram from the Calderdale Council Mental Health Service Review (below) indicated that the “flexible community offer” would include community reablement and rehabilitation, supported housing, crisis intervention, prevention and support and floating support.

Still not much the wiser? Us neither

Calderdale Council proposed that mental health patients would pay for this community support using means-tested personal social care budgets and non-means tested personal health budgets.

The Clinical Commissioning Group can allocate Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) to patients who need ‘continuing care’. The CCG gives patients the amount of money that would otherwise have been spent on their NHS care. The patients can then buy their care from wherever they see fit. PHBs allow for a move to the private insurance model and are a key part of the privatisation of the NHS.

Fast Forward to the June 2017 People Scrutiny Board update

The Calderdale Council Scrutiny Bulletin reported that

“A small task and finish group of Cllrs Whittaker and Wilkinson has also been established to look into rehabilitation and recovery services for people with mental health. Calderdale CCG are about to open a formal consultation on these services and the aim is that Cllrs Whittaker and Wilkinson can give their views to the Scrutiny board when they discuss the CCG proposals formally in the autumn.”

I have searched online in all the obvious places for information about Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s mental health rehabilitation and recovery consultation.  All I’ve been able to find is this from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP website (page 2).

It shows that Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group was supposed to run a 12 week Mental health rehab and recovery consultation starting in Dec 2017.

CK999  are contacting Cllrs Wilkinson and Whitaker, plus the People Scrutiny Board Chair and Calderdale CCG, to find out what has happened since June 2017.

Update 13 August Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group have replied,

“No public consultation on mental health rehabilitation and recovery services has taken place to date.”

I have asked them further questions.

Calderdale Council’s Social Care and Wellbeing Hub – access to private, means-tested supported housing and supported living services and voluntary sector

Taking a different approach, I searched on Calderdale Council’s online Social Care and Wellbeing Hub for information about mental health rehab and recovery services.
This lists the following private and voluntary sector, means-tested supported housing and supported living services:

  • Calderdale Supported Lodgings Scheme for young people(Stonham)
  • HF Supported Accommodation (HFSA)
  • Plus the Calderdale Council-run voluntary organisation Calderdale Shared Lives

Calderdale Supported Lodgings Scheme and Calderdale Shared Lives look a bit like the mental health equivalent of the Essex “Care Rooms” scheme for post-operative patients, that Southend Hospital ended up dropping on grounds of the risk to patient safety.

In addition, in 2015/16, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Calderdale CCG paid £1,612,525 to 5 private mental health companies for mental health hospital and care home services.

Why? What’s wrong with our NHS mental health hospital services in Calderdale? Is it that they’ve been cut to the bone and there just aren’t enough to meet mental health patients’ needs? We will try and update this info asap.

Calderdale Supported Lodgings Scheme for young people(Stonham)

This scheme provides temporary, supported lodgings in households across Calderdale for young people aged 16-25, who are are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, leaving care, living with domestic violence, physical, mental and emotional health problems, or drug and alcohol problems. This Stonham scheme is provided by Home Group. 

Home Group is a housing association “with a commercial approach and a turnover of over £350m.” They are a large scale housing developer, a provider of rented accommodation and  “one of the UK’s largest providers of supported living services”:

We’re working with NHS partners to provide integrated health, housing and social care that makes a real difference and relieves pressure on the NHS. In 2016/2017 we worked with over 26,000 vulnerable people through nearly 500 supported housing, justice and health services.

HF Supported Accommodation (HFSA)

Park Homes UK  is a social care agency for adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health needs. HF Supported Accommodation includes supported housing, supported living, home care and personal care in Calderdale only – mainly in the Halifax area. 

Outreach includes personal care (daytime Monday to Friday) – £15.06 per hour and other services – prices on request

For people claiming Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit will pay for the rent. Support costs will be paid through the Supporting People Grant.
For people in paid work, payment is means tested.

Shared Lives of Calderdale – voluntary sector adult placement scheme

Based on an assessment by Calderdale Council, Shared Lives of Calderdale provides people with mental health rehab and recovery needs with short breaks, long term care and daytime support – either in Shared Lives carers’ own homes, or in the homes of the people being cared for.

Shared Lives carers are people from all backgrounds who “have time in their lives and space in their home”. They do not need experience or special qualifications but receive appropriate training that usually takes three to six months to become an approved Shared Lives Carer.

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