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Delivery of mental health services

This totally doesn't get it: RNID receives a £5 million loan for a mental health project and worrying.

Finance: RNID receives £5m loan for mental health project
Helen Warrell

The RNID has received £5m from Futurebuilders to help it develop a national specialist mental health service for the deaf.

It is the second largest loan issued by the £125m investment fund, which was set up by the Government to help charities deliver public

The investment is structured as a loan of £4.7m and a grant of £284,000, which will help the units to cover their costs before they reach full occupancy. The loan is to be repaid over 16 years at an interest rate of 6 per cent.

The RNID plans to use the cash for four purpose-built residential mental health units, which will offer an alternative to hospital care for those who are deaf and in need of specialist mental health treatment.

"This project addresses a very important need," said Richard Gutch, chief executive of Futurebuilders. "Having a hearing impediment and a mental illness is a devastating combination.

"This is the sort of investment that is well suited to Futurebuilders. The RNID will be able to work with Primary Care Trusts, which will provide an income to help repay the loan."

Dr John Low, chief executive of the RNID, said: "The incidence of mental health problems among deaf people is much higher than average. Individuals are often discharged from acute care straight back into the community without intermediate rehabilitative or community-based

"This project will help to ensure that they have access to the appropriate care."

Mental health services have to be delivered independently of deaf organisations. It goes unsaid, yet well recognised that deaf organisations can be the catalyst mental health issues, and therefore the need for autonomous delivery! How can an organisation with such a bad track record of winding people up, provide an oasis and an environment in which to heal? This is not the only organisation guilty, where funding actually comes before foresight. Perhaps someone may like the organisation, but money channeled into one service, as a blanket service for everyone whose ears were broken is a massive undertaking. Can you guarantee someone hasn't come into contact with that organisation before?

If I wanted to access mental health services, would I have the option of going to an independent organisation, or service in future? Or would I be forced to use a deaf organisation, because 'there's not enough funding for interpreters, you have a 'deaf service' already available'? Where is the organisation advising an independent body to deliver such services?

Organisations are way too close together, and 'need to get on professionally' that noone actually says anything. Who is looking after the interests of the individual here, before profit? That's the thing here, everyone is too scared to say it how it really is. Or is that lack of foresight?

Comments (5)

What rot ! the deaf would be the first to complain they weren't in charg, and you'd be the first, followed by Rob, Alison and Uncle Tom Cobley ! Just for once can you see beyond your own four walls and understand ? You dislike the RNID for one reason, THEY do not include enough (Or any), 'Deaf' people. So deaf AREN'T running this service, OK ? Get a grip.

Its not about 'deaf' people, its about deaf organisations being involved with mental health service delivery.

It is imperative that people have the space to heal, that is what health care delivery is about.

Bottom line is, I could not go to *any* deaf organisation for mental health service delivery. That is true for an awful lot of us, especially if you've worked within the field. Organisations can damage your mental health, big time. I'm just advocating the need for mainstream choice.

I'm aware of mental health services for the deaf and assisted a deaf patient here 7 times, to get help, so not without awareness of these things.

Pesonally I agree with YOU ! I fought here in Wales to get deaf access (Sign too !), to the (Hearing), community psychiatric nursing teams (CPT).

It made no sense to me Welsh deaf patients had to commute to Bristol, Bath and even Manchester and London, when the CPT would help a person next door because just they were hearing.

Consultants threw the spanners in by stating they didn't like 3rd parties (Interpreters), involved, yet, agreed to social workers. I also met via supporting a deaf patient, the UK's leading psychiatric consultant in deaf mental health from London, who has written reference books on deaf, mental health, we were like chalk and cheese I have to say ! even my pathetic knowledge of sign language could tell me,he hadn't half the rapport with deaf patients he claimed ! How did I know ? because the patients asked me to go into the consultation with them to.... translate' !

We KNOW 'Deaf' HATE the RNID with a vengeance, they're not top of my hit parade list either, but we must welcome, ANYTHING that is set up for deaf with mental health problems, I suspect they (Patients), don't care who provides help, so long as they get it.

I wouldn't personally go to a 'Deaf' group either, they don't respect your privacy, and at least a social worker is bound by privacy rules, this is the danger of using these groups, there's never any real gurantee, if you're having issues, privacy is paramount, impossible in the deaf world.

The one in Bristol e.g. is IN the deaf club, probably not the best place for it !

What I'm really scared of, is the same situation that happened at Islington CAB, and I'd voiced my concerns on this years ago. NACAB has joined forces with a certain deaf organisation in London, which means they've paid money for services delivered. Deaf people are effectively left with no choice, if they want mainstream advice. Do you really want to see a person about advice that you might know, your files (benefits, debt etc) held at a deaf organisation, and you may or may not have worked there previously?

Transfer the same argument to mental health services. LHBs could easily turn around and say: we have paid x amount for delivery of services to this section of the population. That is our reasonable adjustment, and we shouldn't have to pay for an interpreter. You could effectively be cornered, and left with no choice. The problem when you are ill, the last thing you feel like or capable of doing is arguing with some bureaucrat.

On the note of mental health services I would not get treated or put up with extremely bad communication before I went to a deaf organisation for treatment. Can deaf organisations see the problem here? By taking over contracts, they could be acting as a barrier to treatment?

The question is, will deaf organisations actually take this on board? There is an immense conflict between money and the interests of people with broken ears.

The trend is for deaf to run things themselves, I see conflict between support and rights here, there are few if any deaf people trained as psychiatric nurses, or medical professionals, deaf people simply do not possess the qualifications or the people in any realistic number. We're years away from getting most a job..... anywhere.

Too many amateurs are getting involved pushing basic rights issues where it may not be entirely applicable or in the best interests of deaf patients needing medical help. The BDA insisting 8 years ago, a 9yr old child had the right to translate for a very sick deaf parent, because the parent wanted this, was the killer for me. The poor support that child provided near killed her mother, until a consultant stepped in and overode the parental right by hiring a trained terp.

Deaf rights campaigners are in the forefront insisting deaf have all sorts of rights, in areas they are NOT trained to enable them. Would uyou have deaf clients telling you your job ?

If you need brain surgery you seek out a brain surgeon, not a fellow deaf person. Involvement requires no deaf people to be in the system does it ? except to offer help and safeguards advice with guidelines, otherwise it is hearing interpreters.

At what point do deaf campaigners assume THEY Have the authority to decide on treatments ? Access is their thing, but even that is NOT their domain it is the individual's.

The RNID is in this for the publicity, basically, they will take little or no active participation in any treatment these centres offer. There 'job' as they see it is to get funds. They're FUNDRAISERS. If theh drop the 'campaigning for deaf people' bit that would suit most, because clearly they represent nobody much deaf in reality.

The RNID is a corporate affair,which I know many deaf people do not like, but the proof is in the pudding, and it does appear that while we do not like the way the RNID approaches deaf people, or fails to include them, they are miles ahead of any 'approved' deaf group in providing support for deaf people, thus proving I think, there is no need for deaf to assume they should run it, can they do better ? They can't, I think the RNID shows this, and is why the 'deaf' do not like them.

So long as deaf get interpreter support if they sign, or support for whatever other mode they use, there is no desire or need by most of us to run the asylum as well.

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