Updated over every
Tuesday night... Published online on Wednesday.
8 July 2009
Liverpool keeps families in mind
to lead the way in providing support for families affected by mental
ill health. The city has been named as 1 of 6
‘implementer’ sites driving forward new guidance that recommends
adult mental health services should routinely assess the needs of
children as well.
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
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.
patients missing out on vital support, says heart charity
HEART patients and their families in Merseyside are missing out on
vital support and could be suffering in silence, according to the
British Heart Foundation (BHF). The heart charity is concerned
about the low number of calls to its Heart HelpLine in the North
West of England, despite there being more than 306,000 people living
with coronary heart disease in the area.
Depression is also a common problem in patients following acute
cardiac events, and it is estimated that up to 20% of individuals
have a major depressive episode within a few weeks, with a further
25% experiencing milder depression. Ensuring heart patients have
support is particularly important because inadequate social support
can also harm their chances of recovery. To tackle this, the
BHF has launched a campaign to get heart patients and their families
to seek support and information by calling its Heart HelpLine on:-
0300 333 1 333.
BHF Cardiac Nurse Ellen Mason said:- “There are hidden costs
to heart disease that most people wouldn’t think of – the impact
that it can have on their jobs, income, family life, and mental
wellbeing. No one should have to deal with all those things
without the offer of support, but people often don’t know that their
experiences and feelings are normal, or feel they can talk about it.
Anyone concerned about heart disease can call our Heart HelpLine for
information and support.” The BHF’s Heart HelpLine is staffed by cardiac nurses, a bereavement
counsellor and heart health advisors to provide lifestyle advice.
To get free information and support from the British Heart
Foundation, anyone in the UK can call the Heart HelpLine on:- 0300 333
1 333 for the price of a local call.
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
the region only concentrate for 66% of their time behind the wheel,
it has emerged. More than 60% also admit to ‘zoning out’
whilst behind the wheel with a massive 59% of drivers finding they
forget parts of their journey. 51% switch to ‘auto-pilot mode’
on their daily commute to and from work.
Continental Tyres commissioned the survey of 4,000 UK road users and
found that motorists were only fully concentrated on the road for
67% of the time spent in the driver’s seat. And tuning the
radio, talking to passengers and gawping at the scenery topped the
list of everyday distractions.
Guy Frobisher, director of safety at Continental Tyres yesterday
said:- “These statistics are really worrying. When driving, so
much can happen in just a few seconds that you need to be able to
react quickly so you can brake safely. If you’re not fully
paying attention you are less likely to anticipate the risks that
emerge during a journey and reactions are slowed. The net
effect is that people are not avoiding the risks and they are less
likely to brake in time, meaning more accidents.’’
The research found the average driver is on the road for 45 minutes
a day and that they are in their own little world for 17 minutes of
this time. They make an average of 3 trips in their car each
day. They are distracted at least 3 times on each journey and for at
least 4 seconds each time. At just 40 mph a car will travel over 18
metres every second. Some 27% of respondents believe their
short attention span is to blame for their poor driving – with 48%
being disinterested in the road ahead and not being able to
concentrate for more than 37 minutes. It also emerged that 45%
have crashed or had a close call due to being distracted whilst
behind the wheel.
Guy Frobisher added:- “Our fast-paced lives can mean little
time to fit everything in, but driving is no time for multi-tasking.
Our advice is to avoid distractions like eating or drinking or
making a phone call, even if hands-free. You could prevent an
accident. Even with their eyes on the road, drivers should be
aware of the affect that tyre tread depth has on stopping distances.
Tests show that in wet weather a car travelling at 70mph with 3mm of
tread would stop when a car at the legal minimum of 1.6mm would
still be travelling at 50mph and not come to a stop for a further 44
metres. It’s then that you hope that other drivers are not
only paying attention but also ensuring their tyres are in good
condition as well.”
Worryingly, a quarter of respondents have scared others with their
driving and 1 in 5 has feared for their own safety. Although
57% of drivers admit their driving improves when children are in the
car. 49% admit to having knowingly broken the law – from
talking on their mobile phone to skipping a red light. 9
in 10 also admit to rubber-necking at accidents on the side of the
road. Yet 88% of people still rate themselves as ‘good
TOP 20 DRIVING DISTRACTIONS
Re-tuning the radio/inserting a CD into the player
Talking to a passenger
Looking at scenery
Listening to loud music
Reaching into the glovebox
Looking at houses
Other drivers in cars next to you
Passengers asking questions
Trying to unwrap a sweet
Talking on the mobile phone
Looking at a hot girl/bloke
walking down the street/in another car
Kids in the back seat
shouting, or playing up
Trying to read a map
Looking at billboards
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