New Beginnings in Mental Health and Social Care

On Friday 27th March 2015 over 250 delegates from both Cumbria and further afield attended a major conference at Rheged in Penrith, the delegates, drawn from a diverse group of professionals across all sectors in the fields of mental health and social care, heard from leading experts who delivered sessions that were described as “informative and inspirational”.  The timing and delivery of this conference was linked to key changes in mental health and social care legislation which came into force on 1st April 2015.  This included The Care Act and the Revised Code of Practice Mental Health Act 1983.  Dr Nicky Guy from the Department of Health delivered sessions for both.  One delegate said “this was a brilliant overview of the new Code, highlighting the most important changes”.

The line-up of speakers included Mark Neary, father and carer to his 24 year old autistic son Steven who was unlawfully deprived of his liberty. Mark moved the audience when he shared his personal experience; health professionals described the impact he had as “amazing and influential, a heart wrenching story which will make me go back and look at our practice”.  It is evident from feedback that the authenticity with Mark sharing his personal experience will have a direct impact on practice.

The Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS) theme continued with Nicholas Paines, Law Commissioner, informing delegates of the forthcoming review and consultation with proposals for law reform confirming the publication date for the consultation paper of 8th July 2015.  Delegates who attended the event will receive further information from the law commission on the consultation process and how they can contribute to this. 

Feedback from delegates who attended the event was extremely positive and it is clear from comments received that the event will have a direct impact on practice.  The event, funded by Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was hosted alongside Cumbria Learning Improvement Collaborative (CLIC) demonstrating the collaborative and partnership arrangements in health and social care here in Cumbria. Delegates to the event said, “Working together really works!”, “Proud that Cumbria has held this and hope there will be more”.

There will be a gallery of photographs from the event made available in due course – watch out for further details. In addition to this each of the speakers sessions were videoed so these will be made available for staff and professionals who did not attend the conference to view as part of on-going learning.  Further details how to view and access will be made available in the coming weeks.