NSUN 25th July 2016


NSUN news

Members Blogs

Sanity product recall - Back in March 2016, Dolly Sen decided that if sanity was a product, it was due for a recall. We're in July, and this blog is certainly still very topical.

Letter to Theresa May

NSUN has written to the new Prime Minister asking for investment in user-led, community and self-organised support. We have also drawn attention to the National Involvement Standards produced by people with lived experience of distress and carer. You can read the letter here.


Previously shared information available online

Please visit our website to find members projects, involvement opportunities, jobs and events we shared in previous e-bulletins. This includes our guides to support involvement in reducing the use of restraint in mental health settings.


Implementing the Five Year Forward View

‘Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health’ was published 20th July. It details the improvements people will see on the ground as  the independent Mental Health Taskforce’s recommendations are implemented.

Intended as a blueprint for the changes that the NHS needs to make to improve mental health, the plan sets out what the public and people who use services  can expect from the NHS, and when.

The report outlines how new funding, pledged in response to the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, will be made available for Clinical Commissioning Groups year on year. It also shows how the workforce requirements will be delivered in each priority area and outlines how data, payment and other system levers will support transparency.


Do you have experience of being restrained?

NSUN, together with colleagues from PROMISE and the Service User Research Enterprise at Kings College London (SURE) are seeking your direct experience and views on the practice of restraint in order to influence mental health services both in in the UK and internationally.

For more information please click here

Closing date for replies: extended to 30 July


Healthy Minds Calderdale plan forthcoming workshops

Healthy Minds is a user-led organisation working across the Calderdale borough to promote positive mental health and recovery for people affected by mental distress.  It was founded in 2007 by a few like-minded people who felt there was a need for an alternative to statutory, bio-medical models of mental health treatment. 

Healthy Minds are planning a range of workshops, to take place from September onwards, at varying locations. Themes include triggers, anger management, boundaries, self care, loss and change, managing conflict.

To find out more, please visit this page


Fundraising starts for plaque to poet survivor activist

With support from the Survivors History Group and others, the Marchmont Association has approved a plaque to poet and survivor activist Charlotte Mew (1869 - 1928).

An English short-story writer, essayist and poet, Charlotte Mew was also a social theorist and radical critic of the social policies of her time.

Because eugenism was a powerful influence on mental health policy in the first half of the 20th century, Charlotte Mew lived in fear that her own mental illness, and that of her family, would be discovered. Hoping to influence change, she kept on writing peoetry in which mental patients were described positively. A poem was returned to her by an editor with a note stating that 'such people should be in asylums'(information provided by the Survivors History Group).

Gaining approval for the plaque is a major victory, but now £1,200 must be raised to cover the cost of manufacturing and installing it:


Vacancies: service helpline advisors

  • SALARY: £12.38 per hour / £22,750 per annum / pro rata
  • HOURS: Full-time / Part-time / Bank night cover
  • CONTRACT: Permanent / Zero Hours contract
  • LOCATION: SW London

Can you listen to and reassure a 12-year old who has run away from home and is lost and scared? Can you talk to an adult who has had to go missing about what they might do next? Can you support the family left behind, who don’t know where the person they love is, or whether they are safe? If you can, the Helpline Services Team at Missing People would love to hear from you!
Full-time, part-time or bank staff (night cover) vacancies available – apply today!

For more information visit Missing People website


Survivors History Group announce forthcoming meetings

The theme of the Survivors History Group at the moment is museums, collections, memorials.  London meetings of the Survivor History Group are held at Together,
12 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BE on he last Wednesday of every other
month. The group meets between 1pm and 4.30pm and refreshments are provided.

The next three meetings are

  • Wednesday 27.7.2016 to discuss What would a survivor history museum contain?
  • Wednesday 28.9.2016 Talking to Helen Spandler and Anne Plumb about their work on Madness, Distress and the Politics of Disablement.
  • Wednesday 30.11.2016 Subject not fixed yet but two books are on the agenda for discussing sometime:   Peter Beresford's All Our Welfare and Searching for a Rose Garden - a collection of articles edited by Jasna Russo and Angela Sweeney. Andrew Roberts, leader of the Suvivors History Group, says ' Both books challenge us to put our survivor thinking caps on and consider history as the gateway to our future. '

If you wish to join in, please email Andrew Roberts


Mental fitness and long term conditions

A workshop for health and social care professionals working with people who live with long term conditions.

Dates: Thurs 13 and 22 Sept 2016
Times: 9:45am to 1:00pm
Location: London

'Mental Fitness' has been defined as "the modifiable capacity to utilise resources and skills to flexibly adapt to challenges or advantages, enabling thriving". The purpose of this new half day workshop is to offer healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn more about how they can help people to cope with self-managing the long term condition they are living with, using the concept of mental fitness.

For further details, including learning objectives, please visit here


Life and death in group analysis, Bion, Europe and Beyond

A Commemorative Conference on Foulkes 40th Anniversary, as well as Cervantes and Shakespeare’s 400th

Date: Saturday 8 October
Time: 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
Venue: Tavistock Clinic, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA

Death is ubiquitous and, ultimately, a traumatic rupture of attachments – as Bowlby put it. Europe is going through its deepest crisis since WWII. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent years by atrocious terrorist slaughter and by murderous, suicidal plane crashing. And, in the last year alone, more than six thousand people have drowned while desperately trying to reach the shores of Southern Europe in their fight for survival. Does Europe need to become an island and Brexit an isle within an island?

For more information, including keynote speakers and themes, please visit here.


Involvement opportunities

Important upcoming events

We already shared these with you in previous editions. You can still register to attend these events. Don't miss out! Click on the titles or related links for more information.


Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) improvement and assessment framework 2016/17

New on My NHS - NHS England has introduced the CCG improvement and assessment framework 2016/17 to measure how well healthcare commissioners are working for the people in their area. See how your local clinical commissioning group is performing, and how it compares with others here.


The Care Quality Commission will soon have inspected and rated every mental health trust in England. Please see this press release to find out more.

''The inspection teams have talked to people who use services, their families and carers and to local user and advocacy groups and local Healthwatch across the country. CQC would like to thank all organisations and the people they work with, for helping CQC to understand what care is like in mental health trusts. Many people have shared information with CQC, invited then to  meetings and given CQC the chance to hear from many people about their experiences of different mental health services.

Feedback has helped CQC inspectors decide what to look out for on their inspections, and it has helped them decide what rating to give each trust. Feedback highlighted good practice and also pointed out poor care.  So far, CQC has rated 47 of the 56 mental health trusts in England. Nearly two thirds (30) are rated as  ‘requires improvement’ and around a third are rated as ‘good’ (17). One is rated ‘inadequate’ (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – currently in special measures). None has yet been rated as outstanding.

CQC will continue to publish the inspection reports and ratings for the remaining 9 NHS mental health trusts over the next few months. Once all have been rated, CQC will analyse the full findings to date, to draw national conclusions about the quality and safety of specialist mental healthcare in the NHS, so that the system understands what is working well and what needs to improve.

CQC hope people will  use the reports to encourage services to improve and to help share good practice they have found. All  inspection reports can be found at www.cqc.org.uk - search the name of the trust.

CQC also welcome feedback from  groups about whether services are making the improvements CQC have asked for, or if there are continued  concerns about the quality of the care people receive.  To share feedback or make contact with your local mental health inspection team, please contact 03000 616161 or contact us at enquiries@cqc.org.uk.

Thank you again for your support to CQC. We look forward to working with you as we continue to monitor and inspect mental health services across England.''

The public engagement team. Care Quality Commission


Increased mental health services for those arrested

An extra £12 million will be spent over the next 2 years to expand services that make mental health assessments available to those arrested.

Better care package for severely injured veterans

A new system to give seriously injured veterans better lifelong assistance has been announced by Defence Minister


#NSUNthrive campaign

It is 10 years since the 'Doing it for ourselves’ service user conference in Birmingham.  It was at this conference in 2006 that the vision of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) was taken forward, leading to funding in 2007 and becoming a fully independent organisation in May 2010.

We have survived!  To enable us to continue to connect, communicate and influence, we need your help. Please spread the word to help raise funds to continue our work through our #NSUNthrive10 campaign. You can also raise money by shopping online with the  Giving Machine