South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group

In July of this year, I made a complaint to the South Norfolk CCG that they had a “prospectus” for 2013/14 with no mention of mental health, let alone a mention of ‘parity of esteem between mental health and physical health.”

I didn’t get an acknowledgement but after several promptings and a threat to take the issue to the Ombudsman, I finally received a letter of response at the end of last month (October). That response, although mentioning several strands of mental health, was not satisfactory as it said nothing about ‘parity of esteem.’

As it happened however, There was a SNCCG board meeting on 5th November, so I went.

I was surprised how positive this meeting was with the board showing tacit resistance to competition for commissioned services. Mental subject of health services was talked about but only in terms of the two elements in their 2013 – on strategy, IAPT (Increased access to psychological therapy) and dementia. In addition, when I challenged them about the subject of my letter, there was a general acceptance of the principle of ‘parity of esteem.’

It was obvious the board was still at its forming stage (very slow evolution here – what do you expect – this is Norfolk!) and the recent additions to its membership were two representatives of community engagement, one Oliver Cruickshank who is the Engagement Lead
and who is keen to increase public involvement in CCG processes. The upshot was that the chair of the board and those two aforementioned representatives were interested in my involvement and so my details were taken.

We will see what, if anything develops from this and anyway, I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on things.

Sadly, my colleague, Susan who has been running the 38 degrees group, expressed the opinion that we no longer had ‘a group’ so I’ll send a copy of this write-up to them as well as Ed Davie of NSUN.

London Demo.

Can anyone go?

Scrap Atos – End the Work Capability Assessment 28th Sept London

Minutes

Minutes DPAC Norfolk Monday 2nd September 2013

Attendees: Penny, Michelle, Mick, Mike, Marion

First of all we discussed the trip to London on the 4th of September in relation to transport and where we had to go etc. We also want to take some flyers to hand out while there.

Mike suggested we sent a joint complaint from the Chair and the Secretary of DPAC to Simon Wright, MP to pass on to Ian Duncan Smith about the lack of toilet facilities at the Jobcentre at Kiln House, Norwich. Mick has composed a letter, which he will hand to Marion on 4th September, to be typed up and forwarded on to Simon Wright.

Mike mentioned the next round of cuts due in March 2014 from Norfolk County Council and suggested we start to plan possible demos at County Hall now. Eligibility levels are to be tightened up, which will leave many people without care.

Penny mentioned the consultation period for the cuts are from the 1st October to the end of December 2013.

Mike raised the question of how we link up with other groups in Norfolk. Penny said she’d check the links Alex put up on Facebook.

Mike said it was getting more difficult for him to get out, but he’s trying to sort out voice-activated software and co-ordinate all of our stuff on the internet. We also need to reach out to other groups in population areas like Kings Lynn etc., and concentrate on rural areas.

Mike also said he’d try to set up a user friendly Facebook page and set up a blog on WordPress, to communicate with other parts of the internet.(I can confirm that I’ve had an e-mail link from Mike to register on the WordPress blog(as of 7/913 Marion) We have a Facebook and Twitter account, blog on WordPress -Address: DPAC WordPress

There’s a People’s Assembly meeting on September 12th at St. Andrews Hall, Norwich. Speakers will include Mark Harrison and it will be chaired by Dr. Ian Gibson, ex Norwich North MP. There will also be various things going on in the Forum during the same day.

Mike mentioned the lack of parity between mental health and physical health, which needs to be addressed.

The next DPAC meetings will be on Monday 7th October and Monday 4th November at 2 pm in the Vauxhall Centre.

Minutes of meeting taken by Mick Hardy.