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Notes from North Somerset mental health network meeting 6th February 2020

North Somerset mental health voluntary sector network meeting  



Elaine Borthwick Alliance Homes 
Christine Rogers Clarity North Somerset  
Cathy Mounsdon Addaction 
Ana Balseiro Richmond Fellowship 
Jeanette Richmond Fellowship 
Alison Blackhall-Wright Vita Health Group 
Kieran Bright Leonard Cheshire 
Jen McLamb Second Step 
Justine Keeble  Clarity North Somerset 
Paul Bent Clarity North Somerset 
Morag Watson Clarity North Somerset 


Tom Renhard Independent Mental Health Network 

In attendance 

James Picardo The Care Forum 

Introductions (highlights) 

  • Alison Blackhall-Wright from Vita Minds, the providers of the IAPT contract: 
  • She represents North Somerset 
  • Vita took over from Second Step and AWP on September 1  
  • There are ~7500 people on waiting list, many of whom are waiting for an inappropriate period of time. 
  • Vita have taken on an external admin team with the approval of the CCG – from 1 January people will now be being treated within 3-6 months 
  • Her role is partnership liaison which unfortunately wasn’t in place at beginning. 
  • Vita are trying to recruit 20-25 psychological practitioners  
  • Q – will therapy be just delivered over the phone? 
  • – yes for low intensity work  
  • There are also psychological wellbeing groups 
  • These differ from the courses offered by Positive Step as now people are assessed to see if they are appropriate for the course 
  • For higher intensity work or for people who can’t do the phone it’s face to face 
  • Still the problem of people with severe issues coming to IAPT – because secondary services are bouncing them. 
  • Alison’s role is to go out and talk to CCG, stakeholders, GPs, 3rd sector, Curo etc and start talking to people about Vita’s work.  
  • Cathy Mounsdon from Addaction: 
  • changing name to We Are With you 
  • will be using more peer groups 
  • are offering out naloxone for people who may have had an opiate addiction 
  • Jen McLamb from Second Step: 
  • The Safe Haven centre: 
  • They are currently recruiting for a start date of 4 May 
  • Safe Haven is the new name: previously it was known as the crisis and recovery service 
  • There is also a recovery cafe being set up by North Somerset Wellbeing Services at Cafe Marina but this will be one session rather than a whole café. 
  • Safe Haven uses a Crisis Cafe model – this is a big new initiative nationally to increase alternative crisis provision – they’ve visited The Junction in Swindon and The Cavern in Gloucestershire  
  • It’s a welcoming non-clinical space for anyone 16 or over in acute emotional distress 
  • There are recovery navigators there so people can talk about their feelings – or people can just sit on their own. 
  • Q – What background and training do the navigators have? 
  • A – They’ll be a step above a support worker with a requirement that they have experience of working with people with mental health problems 
  • Q – When Friend was open there were people that used it regularly – how do we define what the target group is?  There could be people who use it who are very well but just lonely 
  • A – It’s time limited. There will also be signposting, looking at the wider determinants of mental health and helping people to find their own ways of coping. 
  • Second Step also deliver the hope project for  middle aged men (paid for by national suicide funding), this takes place via outreach and by phone – she will send some information out with the notes 
  • Second Step also deliver the North Somerset wellbeing service (CCG funded)  
  • Justine Keeble from Clarity NS: 
  • Planning to look at the crisis pathway across BNSSG  
  • planning to take an interest in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)  across North Somerset  
  • Problematic at the moment because the records are all on paper and can’t be searched automatically  
  • These will be moving to IAPTUS 

Belinda Wilson presentation on social work placements 

  • Windows 
  • October placement for the three year UWE degree 
  • February placement for the Bristol masters 
  • late offers are still helpful for people who perhaps struggled on their first placement  
  • Requirements 
  • 70 day placement, full time 
  • 3 days training for the host organisation 
  • You need to provide fortnightly supervision  
  • social work students are meant to have a diverse learning experience 
  • Need to ask yourself ‘are their enough learning opportunities within our setting to help the student meet their targets’? 
  • it’s not really shadowing 
  • you need to have lone contact with service users 
  • Cathy Mounsdon from Addaction shares her experience: 
  • Trainees do everything a recovery worker will do:  
  • motivational solution focused case-working 
  • linking in with partner agencies 
  • it’s valuable to have them – they can do service user feedback as well  
  • Funding 
  • Funding is there for younger people or people with degrees 
  • Q – Do you have just one person on a placement or would it be possible to have a  cohort 
  • A – there has been talk of learning sets 
  • we tried it but their needs and styles were so different that it didn’t work that well – more assertive students were getting the learning opportunities 

Discussion following group exercise 

  • Participants were asked to reflect on and rank the following topics that emerged from responses to the VCSE survey. 
  • Mental health and housing 
  • Lack of meaningful secondary Mental Health provision in North Somerset 
  • Alcohol use by women 
  • The gap between primary and secondary mental health services 
  • The integration of mental health with physical/social care/drug services  
  • Care Connect  
  • The new IAPT contract  
  • Unsafe discharges 

Care connect  

  • needs to know about the new IAPT contract 

The gap between primary and secondary services 

  • the voluntary sector has almost disappeared – these are the services that previously have bridged the gap – for example the peer support/buddy schemes etc that the voluntary sector used to provide 
  • 1 in 4 has left a big gap – nothing like 1 in 4 exists now 
  • service users have been handled by Vita Health and gone back to primary – people are having to rehash stories – this has a negative impact on wellbeing. the problem  
  • There’s too much emphasis on having to prove where money’s has been spent. 
  • Floating support is now time limited 
  • Elaine Borthwick says that Alliance Homes do brief intervention now we can’t do long term. With benefits advice we can only take people a short way down the line – then they’re on their own. 

Unsafe discharges  

  • result from the gap between primary and secondary services 

      The new IAPT contract  

  • often people in crisis don’t want to talk on the phone – not everyone has access to a computer or is computer literate 

       Other points 

  • With PIP there is a bias towards people with physical rather than mental health problems – it’s about how you present. 
  • social prescribing has not really come together yet across North Somerset 

Possible topics for future meetings 

  • gap between primary and secondary services 
  • work with Mary Adams to get CCG speakers who can say what the CCG is up to in general 
  • reviewing the crisis pathway 
  • benefit forms  
  • may be useful to get speaker from Citizens Advice Bureau 
  • Get Second Step in to talk about what they do  
  • Rachel Austin team leader of the North Somerset Wellbeing Service  
  • Chris Kinston – in charge of North Somerset mental health services 
  • social prescribing  
  • Get Curo, Alliance Homes and the Council in to discuss this  
  • Also Kirstie Corns  from the North Somerset branch of the CCG 
  • resource guide 
  • like an up to date Well Aware 
  • this perhaps something to discuss with Mary Adams rather than have meeting about 
  • get Team North Somerset to come to a meeting to find out what they do 
  • worth getting VANS to come to this meeting in general  


What was the most significant outcome of the meeting for you? 

  • Networking x 4 
  • Hearing others’ information about mental health services/organisations in North Somerset 
  • Focusing on what’s next. 
  • Meeting with the group. Hearing feedback about IAPT. 
  • Information exchange 
  • Setting the potential speakers and networking across North Somerset organisations 
  • meeting other agencies – networking discussions 

Are there any particular topics you would like to see covered in future meetings? 

  • Housing 
  • Gap between primary and seconday mental health services. Lack of meaningful secondary mental health provision in North Somerset. 
  • I am happy to keep the group updated and/or bring along a clinician for future meetings – to update on how IAPT is doing. 
  • Mapping services, including the voluntary sector 
  • Looking at a directory of places and campaigns that help to bridge the gap between services. 
  • Discussed at the end of meeting. 
  • Gap between primary and secondary sources – and the other priorities agreed in meeting. 

Are there any other comments you would like to make? 

  • Very good meeting. 
  • Keep it focused. 
  • Thank you. 
  • Useful meeting and discussions. 
  • I would like the care forum for mental health to happen more Koften. 
  • Very well presented. 
  • It’s really good that these meetings have started again as they are essential. 
  • Thank you for running. Good after gap. 

Marks out of five 

Your understanding of subject at start 3.5 
Your understanding of subject at end 4.2 
Pre-event information 4.1 
Facilitation 4.8 
Organisation on the day 4.7 
Speakers 4.4 
Workshop 4.4 
Access 4.7 
Refreshments 4.2 
Standard of room 4.9