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Day Centres - Consultation

nickh

nickh

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The council (Birmingham City Council - BCC) is in the process of changing the way its Day Centres are run; or introducing a 'new model' to use their language. I have not been involved in this as I don't use Day Centres myself and I only got involved with the PPIF (see jargon thread :)) who were monitoring the developments, at the last minute.

Anyway the council are holding a 'Consultation Event' on their final proposals on Friday 16th May from 10.30 to 4 at the Sapphire Suite, 215 Bradford Street, Digbeth. If you want to go you have to book a place with Nathan on (0121) 303 7692.

It would be great if someone with an interest in this area was able to go and report back here.

Nick.
 
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baba yaga

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mental health day services

Hi all, can I second Nick's suggestion to get yourselves along to this event?

Nick says he doesn't use Day Centres - but actually that's the whole point. Most people don't. The existing Day Centres work very well for a small group of people, who have got used to them and found a "home away form home". Often people who have been quite disabled by mental health problems for a long time will have a group of friends who go to these places.

The problem is that there are a lot of service users who won't go to places like that - they find them stigmatising and institutional, or cliquey, or just plain boring. The first time I was referred to one, I left after half an hour. (I did go to a different one later, which was a lot better).

The new idea is - please note, this is the THEORY, we have yet to see it happen in practice - The Social Care services will work with people individually to establish what would help them get better. Some people would get Direct Payments to buy in social support (I'll put more info up about that at some point). Others would be given support from Social Care to do classes, exercise groups, support groups etc, "in the community" (i.e. not in a day centre) or to go back to work, train for a new job, etc. There would also be user led drop-in clubs people could join. Anyway, that's the THEORY.

The trouble is - we all know what tends to happen to theories like this - they get swamped in the pressures of running a big organisation like the council's Social Care department. Or the next Government cuts the money. If we manage to get even half the good things that are promised from this reorganisation, we will be doing well!

The other issue is this one: It may be necessary to fight for the rights of those people who DO value the Day Centres as they are. These are usually middle aged or older people, who were led to believe, when they first became ill, that they would always be ill. Some had spent a few years in hospital, and were offered the Day Centre as an alternative when the hospitals closed. Most of them aren't very dynamic self starting people, for obvious reasons. The impression many of them have received about this "modernisation" is that they will have to leave their beloved Centre and do things "out in the community" - which many of them are frankly terrified of - or even be forced to go back to work. The Council denies this, but people listen to the news, put two and two together, and get scared.

So if you feel strongly about any of this - even if you have never been to a day centre - then please come to the meeting.

Baba Yaga
 
nickh

nickh

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Wow! That's a brilliant post which has explained everything really clearly to me b y - indeed that's exactly the sort of post and discussion I really hoped we would be having here - so many thanks.

In addition it makes me feel guilty for not having said I would go myself :redface: - I do see your point about the issues not only concerning those who currently use day centres. I will now try and ring up and get a ticket next week.

Once again many thanks.

Nick.
 
nickh

nickh

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b y (and everyone else) I have now reserved a place at the Consultation Event :).

Nick.
 
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ramboghettouk

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I'm in two minds about day centres, on the one hand i realise social inclusion isn't going to happen and it's a buzz word like "User Rights" in the tory yra.

On the other hand i resent the times i've been for help at social services and they've turned round offered me a day centre knowing that when i refuse it that they can say that and be covered if anything happens, to this day i resent the money been available from social services for me to go to a day centre, but for nothing else
 
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