Following the success of their ‘Creating a Healthy Horsham’ seminar in 2017, Horsham Locality Patient Group (HLPG) came together with Horsham and Mid-Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (HMSCCG) and Horsham District Council to host a second event on mental health. ‘Mental Health Matters’ took place at Horsham District Council on Thursday 9 May 2019, attracting over 60 participants.
A comprehensive programme on the importance of mental health and wellbeing services was organised, with professionals and services users speaking including Dr David Mckenzie, Clinical Lead for Mental Health at HMSCCG, Jenny Edge, Clinical Team Leader for Pathfinder West Sussex, Kelly Haynes, Team Leader in Richmond Fellowship, Emma McCarthy, Team Manager for Peer Service at Richmond Fellowship, Zoe, a Peer Service User at Richmond Fellowship, Lizzie Izzard, Children and Young People Joint Commissioning Team at West Sussex County Council, and Jane Taylor Commissioning Manager at West Sussex County Council.
The event was attended by people ranging in age from 20 to 89 years old and included patients, members of the public, professionals working in the NHS, West Sussex County Council and schools, Carers, people living with mental health, physical and sensory disabilities, and people who are serving as well as people who have served in the Armed Forces
Tom Insley, Head of Mental Health Commissioning at HMSCCG, said:
“The seminar was very positive and important. Positive because so many people courageously shared their experiences of mental health challenges and using services. It was important because in the face of the size and scale of the challenges we face, in terms of growing prevalence of mental health conditions, coming together as a community of people, groups, teams and organisations showed how we can rise to this challenge and improve the mental health and wellbeing of our local communities”.
Dr David Mckenzie, GP Rudgwick Medical Centre and Clinical Director at HMSCCG, said:
“Huge thanks to everyone taking the time to understand and comment around both areas of excellence and unfilled gaps for those of us with mental health difficulties. Until our collective voice is raised to support this sensitive part of our population, we will continue to have inequity. We must strive to work together to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our population. And, don’t forget – helping others is good for everyone’s mental health”.
Event organisers Helen Allan, Chair of Horsham Locality Patient Group and Rudgwick PPG, David Philips, Former Chair of Riverside Surgery PPG, and Nick Longdon, Holbrook Surgery PPG, said:
“Thank you to the attendees and speakers who contributed and supported the ‘Mental Health Matters’ event. We were struck by the engagement around mental health, particularly the receptive and safe space which encouraged users of mental health services to share their experiences and stories. The event provided a forum to share experiences and to start the journey to improve mental health and wellbeing services in the locality”.
Evelyn Rock, Former Chair of Riverside PPG Surgery, said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Mental Health Matters event’, particularly the constructive conversations between health care professionals, staff working in schools and users of mental health services on the importance of mental health and wellbeing being part of the curriculum at schools. I would like to thank the Horsham Locality Patient Group and Dr David Mckenzie for organising such a positive and worthwhile event”.
The views and feedback on mental health services shared at the event will be incorporated into the feedback gathered as part of phase 2 engagement on the NHS Long-term plan. This feedback will be invaluable in the development of the Long-term plan for the Sussex and East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Horsham Locality Patient Group was founded in January 2017 by David Phillips, the Lay (Public) Representative for Horsham at Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (HMSCCG), with the aim of increasing collaboration between patient representatives and GP Surgeries in the locality. The group, which meets quarterly, comprises patient representatives from six of the seven Horsham practices, the CCG’s Clinical Director for Horsham, Dr David McKenzie, and their Patient Engagement Officer, Isabel Costello along with a representative from Healthwatch West Sussex.
Further information about Patient Group can be found via the CCGs website https://www.horshamandmidsussexccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/patient-groups/