I've just been reminded about how important it is that we don't lose sight of the excellent staff that support us in these times of uncertainty, and will continue to help us even though they, themselves, are facing the threat of cuts and inevitable job losses. We may come to bitterly regret seeing some very good staff become victims of the cuts, which certainly won't help the cause of fighting for better services. Improved services means better qualified staff and more of them ( please God ) so please be careful before you make any public criticisms of staff unless they are fully justified and supported by reliable testimony. We may not like the fact that their managers support 'the corrupt system' that lies to us and misrepresents sham consultations, but this is not the fault of the staff in the wards, or the CMHTs, who we depend on for help.
My fight has always been with the corrupt system that allows such lies and misrepresentations to take place and even be supported, when the Universally Inept Health Board decides to 'circle the waggons' and turn to the Minister and the government for the support that they know they can rely on. After all, these dishonest sharlatans are only obeying government policy, which is solely concentrated on saving money, instead of honouring the original NHS commitment of Providing Health Care at the Point of Need. This is the exact opposite of what are government are doing, with Rationalisation and Centralisation being the priority. Also,indiviual politicians of all parties are primarily concerned with preserving their own high standards of living, whilst showing absolutely no sincere concern for the rest of us who may be reduced to subsistence. We have seen them disobey their own policies with impunity, but our complaints go unheeded.
My primary concerns have been with the fact that the vulnerable and the chronically ill are the ones being targeted first - e.g. The Elderley Mentally Infirm at Bryneithin and other specialist care homes, as well as the mentally ill of all ages, particularly those sufferring from the most acute illnesses. This is ( to me ) extreme cowardice because they know that we are easy targets - either we are unable to fight back, or we are dismissed with statements that say as much as "Well, we mustn't lose sight of the fact they are Mentally Ill, in the first place". This is the origin of the stigma we all have to live with - our minds may be 'out of kilter' due to accidents, physical illnesses, hereditary problems, or substance misuse, brought on by the culture of 'pleasure' that is cultivated in the minds of the young by criminals. Stigma is enemy number one, and always will be, so don't forget that. Enemy number two is the corrupt system that seeks to lie to us about losing our services, thereby denying us any involvement in the shaping of the future of our services. And be sure of only one thing, new policies are being introduced - without our involvement - that will prevent us getting proper advocay in the event of complaints.
Before I become as prolific a writer of meaningless pap as the incompetent UHB's Chief Executive, I better return to my original point, and that is - The Staff who deliver mental health services to us are Important, and we mustn't lose sight of the fact that the poor sods are more worried about losing their family incomes than we give proper consideration. Being unemployed these days carries its' own stigma and we must give thought to those who are suffering on negligible support from benefits. RW