Updated over every
Tuesday night... Published online on Wednesday.
8 July 2009
leads the way in providing support for families affected by mental
THE city on
Wednesday, 8 July 2009, was named as one of six ‘implementer’
sites driving forward new guidance that recommends adult mental
health services should routinely assess the needs of children as
It has come from the government agency in charge of improving social
care services for children and adults - the Social Care Institute
for Excellence (SCIE).
It advises that professionals should ‘think child, think
parent, think family, and think outside the box’ to support
parents and their families.
It is estimated that there are 2000 young carers in Liverpool, and
up to half of them are caring for a parent or person with parental
responsibility with chronic mental health problems.
Liverpool helped SCIE develop the guidance due to the good practice
already going on in the city.
Councillor Ron Gould, executive member for health, care and
safeguarding, said:- “It is good to see that the work we have
been doing in Liverpool for some time is now being used as an
example of good practice for the rest of the country. Young people
are under enough pressure when they are growing up, and the
additional responsibility of caring for a parent means that it is
vital we give them as much as support as we can. The challenge now
is to embed the good work we are already doing further and wider so
that as many young people as possible are supported.”
Examples of good practice in Liverpool include the ‘Family Room’
project, which started from a collaboration called Keeping the
Family In Mind, set up by Barnardos Liverpool Action with Young
Carers and funded by the city council and Mersey Care NHS Trust.
Children spoke about their experience of mental health services and
how they found visiting their parents on psychiatric wards
frightening. This led to the introduction of the first Family Rooms
in the country at four psychiatric units, to give them privacy when
visiting their parents.
Another example is the Message In a Bottle scheme, which encourages
families to keep their personal and medical details on a standard
form located in the fridge so that the emergency services know where
to look if they are called out.
23 year old Louisa is one of the people who has benefited from the
partnership work with Barnardos.
She said:- “It’s very hard for outside people to understand.
After a certain amount of time I became my mum – I’d phone up and be
my mum and write letters. It’s what I did to get people to listen
because if I wasn’t doing it, it wasn’t getting done. Now I have a
support network, everything’s changed. Our worker treated us both
and we’re happier.”
SCIE’s Deputy Chief Executive Amanda Edwards, said:- “It’s
easy for individual workers to focus on individual problems and not
look at the wider family. This guide will help staff in adult mental
health and children’s services to plan and provide support that
promotes improved mental health and wellbeing for all family
A new group has been set up which includes the city council, Mersey
Care NHS Trust and Liverpool PCT and other mental health groups to
drive forward implementation of the guidance.
AQUARIUM BEACH TIDY
from the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks will be joining
Wirral Rangers and members of the public for a special Beach Tidy
event on Heswall foreshore this weekend (Saturday, 11 July 2009).
Blue Planet Aquarium’s conservation group, Blue Watch, recently
adopted the Heswall foreshore through the Marine Conservation
Society’s adopt-a-beach scheme. The scheme involves quarterly
beach cleans and litter surveys which aim to monitor litter
throughout the year and help reduce litter at source.
“The beach was chosen as Blue Watch regularly works with the Wirral
Rangers to clean it and it seemed only fitting to show the group’s
commitment to caring for that area of coast,” said Blue
Watch organiser Katy Seward. The adopt-a-beach scheme is
funded by the Crown Estate and has been developed by the Marine
Conservation Society. “The scheme gives individuals,
groups and organisations like Blue Planet Aquarium the chance to
learn about and actively take part in the conservation of their
local coastal environment through beach tidies and surveys. All the
rubbish we collect on the day will be separated out and itemised.
After that we will recycle as much of it as we can while the rest
will be disposed of safely.” said Blue Watch organiser Katy
* The Beach Tidy is taking place from 10am. Volunteers welcome,
gloves and collection bags will be provided but please make sure you
wear suitable clothing/footwear in case it rains. The group will
meet in the car park at Sheldrakes Restaurant, Banks Road, Lower
The next Beach Tidy will take place on Saturday, 8 August 2009. For
more details and to find out about Blue Watch visit
click on ‘Conservation’.
Letters to the editor:- "Dangers at Rose Hill bridge, Southport"
“AFTER I was
selected as the Norwoods Conservative Spokesperson, I have
continually worked on behalf of the local community. I am very
interested in the safety of pedestrians and the motorist and this is
a high priority to me. So the fist thing I did was surveyed the
area. I was aghast at the danger on Rose Hill to members of the
public, especially young children. With little safety measures the
drop from the end of a pavement area on Rose Hill (higher and lower
levels) as they broke all the rules set down to protect the public.
So with the support of Southport’s Prospective Conservative MP
Brenda Porter, I repeatedly raised the issue to the relevant council
department. They then acknowledged safety measures were needed to be
put in place and identified required funding to complete the work.
These photographs show the dangers at this site.” Tony
Crabree Norwoods Conservative Spokesperson
Cllr Brenda Porter
said that:- “These dangers had not previously been raised and
although advised of a freeze on funding persevered and won the day
when these more acceptable safety measures were put in place.”
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