Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust set out on a formal consultation from 1 September in a bid to achieve foundation status.
A foundation trust is a type of NHS organisation that operates on the principle of working together with local communities for their benefit and requires people to sign up as members who will provide support, from receiving newsletters through to participating on consultative groups and management committees.
The AWP is inviting people to join as members who will raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge the stigma associated with using mental health services.
Trust officers and supporters have attended a number of events like the Mela and Gay Pride festivals during the summer to publicise foundation status and were also at the Youth Festival in Town Gardens on 12 September.
On Tuesday 22 September the trust is holding an open day with information stalls and the chance to meet staff and users at Great Western Hospital’s Victoria Centre between 10am and 5pm.
A consultation event takes place on Tuesday 20 October, 1pm to 8pm, at Gorse Hill Community Centre, with a brief presentation on the benefits of becoming a foundation trust, followed by exercises designed to help establish views and comments. This will take place every two hours and people can drop in if they are unable to stay for the whole event.
Anne Mooney, founder of Service User Network (Swindon), said she wants to see the AWP as a foundation trust. “With foundation status users can influence and direct how the trust develops. We can become governors and be involved in the appointment of the chief executive and the directors; it‘s about people with mental health issues getting the services they need.“
More information, including an on-line membership application form, can be found at: www.awp.nhs.uk
Pictured: Anne Mooney with her daughter Ruby at the
AWP and SUNS stand at the Swindon Mela
Swindon Town Football team sign up to stamp out stigma
The Swindon Town Football Club players today (Thursday 3 September 2009) showed their support for local mental health services by signing up as members of Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP).
AWP, which provides mental health and social care services across Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, aims to become an NHS Foundation Trust next year.
A Foundation Trust (FT) is a type of NHS organisation whose principle is to create stronger connections between health services and their local communities. AWP is inviting people to join as members of the organisation – to help raise awareness of mental health issues and to challenge the stigma associated with mental health.
As a Foundation Trust, AWP hopes to recruit thousands of members. It pledges to draw on these members’ interests, experiences and enthusiasm to help influence how it might improve its services and make them even more responsive to service users and carers.
AWP Chair Felicity Longshaw says, “We really appreciate the support of the Swindon Town Football Club players and are delighted they’ve signed up as members of the Trust.
“One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime. With the risk so high for ourselves or those we know – mental wellbeing is everyone’s business. By signing up as members of the Foundation Trust, local people have a new, exciting opportunity to get involved and to help us to make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Chris Tanner, Media & Communications Manager of Swindon Town FC adds, “The Club are pleased to be supporting the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and hope that the backing of the Swindon Town players can help the Trust in its bid to become an NHS Foundation Trust.”
Local people, including service users and carers, its staff and other key stakeholders, are invited to comment on its proposals. AWP has organised a number of consultation events, open to all – at which there will be more information about its plans as an FT. The events in the county are:
The consultation document and other information about AWP’s proposals to run as a Foundation Trust, including how to become a member, can be found on the Trust’s website: www.awp.nhs.uk. The public consultation runs until 26 November 2009.