The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health: A report from the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England
PPN North West Blog
It’s been a while since I last posted. It’s been a really busy year for the network and really encouraging that it continues to go from strength to strength. We now have over 1500 members – thank you to all of you and please do encourage colleagues to join.
This week the North West PWP Professional Network welcomed Dr Saba Khan and Kate Thompson from the Tavistock Clinic to their master class at the University of Central Lancashire to explain what Couples Therapy for Depression (CTfD) is and how it is helpful, how to screen for suitability and to explore how elements of ‘Think Couple’ can be used to to enhance the role of the PWP.
There has been a lot about parity of esteem recently and it appears to be used in a variety of ways to basically say that mental and physical health should be viewed and treated equally within health care. However, I was recently asked by a very senior Health Education England director whether frontline staff and patients/service users actually knew what it meant. I confessed I didn’t know if they would and then reflected that perhaps they wouldn’t as it appears to have become a label for a range of thoughts – a bit like ‘Transforming Community Services’ if anyone remembers that.
I read an interesting article in the newspaper today about curiosity, the psychological concept of ‘Need For Cognition’ and its role in fostering creativity and innovation.
Its good to be back following pre-election ‘purdah’ and although we've been quiet on social media a lot has been happening.
Gita and I are signing off our blogs for the month of April as the PPN is subject to the 6 week pre-election 'purdah' conditions. During this time publicly funded bodies and their employees are not allowed to use social media or any communication that may influence the election.
Leadership has been on my mind this week. We’ve recruited to two multi-professional leadership programmes that are jointly funded by the CPWD. The first is a one day introduction to leadership for early career psychological professionals and the second for practitioners who are already in leadership roles to help them to develop skills in ‘transformational change’. The number of applications have been high showing that psychological professionals are keen to develop leadership both within day-to-day practice and at a strategic level. The number of applications has been particularly impressive for the introductory course and we’re really pleased to be able to offer two more dates in the autumn for those who didn’t make the spring dates.
PPN North West supports the most active and longest-lived IAPT network in England and it is a great example of the potential that comes from collaboration between practitioners, service managers, clinical leads, academics and commissioners.
The PPN has reached its first anniversary marked by our second annual conference.
When we were offered the chance by HENW to create a brand new psychological professions network it was an important signal of the growing awareness of the importance of psychological approaches across health care. In the North West we are well known for 'just getting on with it', so, not wanting to loose a unique opportunity, this is exactly what we've done!
I am looking forward to 2015 being a successful year for the Psychological Professions Network - North West. We launched in February 2014 and since then the PPN now has nearly 800 members. Networks have been set up with counsellors, cognitive behaviour therapists, psychological well-being practitioners and psychological services leads as well as other areas such as CPD. Just before Christmas, we also met with psychological colleagues in the North East of England to explore how we can support each other in promoting psychological approaches and workforce development with Health Education across the North
It’s coming to that time of year again when there is a big focus on Christmas and its associated customs. Whether you celebrate or you don’t, it’s practically impossible to ignore the general focus on the buying of gifts for others and planning a meal with others.
The Health Secretary needs a Psychologist appointment was the title of an article recently published in the Health Services Journal (HSJ). The HSJ for those who may not know is a professional journal aimed at managers and senior leads in health and socialcare. The article sets out reasons why a chief psychologist is needed. It describes the advisory role the individual would provide. These include (taken from the article):
There’s been a lot about mental health recently from our politicians of all persuasions. I think it’s really encouraging that these speeches and debates have started to happen. It may be just be talk at the moment and party conferences don’t mean definite change but regardless of your own personal views on politics and politicians, it’s still good to talk.
I was recently at a meeting where the topic of innovation and change came up and the discussion highlighted innovation and change champions as being key to this. However, colleagues were divided as to whether innovators and change champions were the same or different. Innovators were described as the people with new ideas who do things differently and could perhaps be described as mavericks. As an aside, I’m not sure when maverick started becoming a negative description with healthcare but it does seem to have these connotations that mavericks are difficult, dangerous and need to be reined in and managed properly.
The PPN Launch day took place on Wednesday 26th February 2014. It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces at the event. It was a pity we could not accommodate everyone who was interested in attending the event. However, we have uploaded the presentations and some photos already to the website and will also be making the morning presentations available to watch too. I’m still getting used to the whole filming thing.