The scrolling images above are of board members , directors and senior managers of SABP and MCCH Society Ltd. These images are already available online on SABP's and MCCH's own websites. Click on images for details of who these people are.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mind Matters, Surrey & Borders Trust Garden Centre Workers Do Not

A copy of an e-mail sent to Paul Farmer , the Chief Executive of UK Mental Health Charity Mind. Mr Farmer is clearly too busy to comment.

Paul Farmer

Dear Mr Farmer,

I would like to know Mind's view on the Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust cutting payments to disabled workers at its commercial garden centre -from £3 a day to nothing - prior to handing over operation of the centre to a charitable Trust.

The Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust calls this Modernisation .

Service users , members of the public , the local media ,a local Surrey MP and of course the garden centre workers themselves have loudly protested about this Modernisation.

The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
, was involved in the decisions to cut payments to the disabled workers and have them work at the commercial garden centre for nothing so it would be useful to know how many MH charities support service users being treated in this appalling way.

Would you kindly clarify your organisations position on this matter.

Please acknowledge receipt

I look forward to hearing from you

Mr Slamback

From: m.ereira@...
Cc: l.morgan(at)
Date: Jul 27, 2006 10:20 AM
Subject: RE: FAO Paul Farmer re Policy Issue

Dear Mr Slamback,

Thank you for your e-mail to Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind regarding the recent actions of the Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust.

Paul has a number of out of office appointments scheduled in the next couple of weeks but he will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible.


Dorottya Norton
PA to the Policy Director

15 - 19 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ
Tel: 020 8215 2264
Fax: 020 8215 2292

Monday, July 24, 2006

Trust Still Resists Explaining Why!

The following has been received from Peter Kinsey of the Surrey & Borders Trust in response to FOIA request quoted.

Note the Trust uses an exemption to conceal a full answer to the ' Why' part of the FOIA request for information. Note also the involvlment of Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health's Dr Bob Grove as Team Leader of the Project Management Team. So was this a local decision made in favour of service users or was it a political decision made to suit Dr Bob and his friends at NIMHE?

I wonder who else was on the Project Management Team.

Director of Adult Mental Health Services

Oaklands House

Coulsdon Road




24th July 2006

Thank you for your email requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act. My understanding is that you have made the following request:-

"As you insist that you consulted with and have the full backing of your stakeholders, perhaps you won't mind explaining who they were and how, when and why you discussed having disabled people work in your garden centre for nothing and include the documentation as well".

Response to your request

The Trust confirms that it holds the following recorded information relevant to your request:-

1. In a briefing to the Board, the following information was stated:

"An open meeting has been held with service users and carers, advocacy support has been provided and people have been told that as from a certain date, payments will no longer be made and an explanation has been given for the reasons why. Overall the response has been one of acceptance rather than dissatisfaction".

The Trust also confirms that it holds a business case which was prepared in conjunction with Surrey County Council, East Surrey Primary Care Trust and East Elmbridge & Mid Surrey Primary Care Trust. The Trust, however, considers that this document is exempt from disclosure under Section 36 FOIA as, in the Chief Executive's opinion, disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation and advice between members of the Trust or between the Trust and other public bodies. The Trust is aware that this exemption is qualified and has considered the public interest factors outlined below:

Factors in favour of maintaining the exemption

o This document has been produced as a means of communication between members of the Trust management and the Trust and other public bodies. This information was not recorded in the expectation that it would be disclosed and therefore records frank expressions of individual staff members' opinions.
o The Trust must be able to, either internally or in conjunction with other public bodies, engage in free and frank discussion and obtain advice in relation to issues concerning finance and Trust management. The public interest would not be served in there being a loss of confidence between organisations to discussions between them or between individual members of staff.

Factors in favour of disclosing the information

o It is in the public interest to promote accountability and transparency of public bodies for the decisions taken by them.
o Disclosure of information may further the understanding of, and participation in, the basic issues of the day.
o Disclosure of information concerning public bodies' decisions may enable individuals to question or challenge these decisions.

Following consideration of these factors, the Trust has concluded that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

However, to address your question directly, the Trust can confirm that there has been extensive informal consultation with stakeholders regarding the future direction of employment and day services and ongoing involvement of service users in shaping the final proposals. There has been in-depth stakeholder consultation of individual needs assessments, focus groups and meetings, which have shaped the final proposal for modernising East Surrey. The Works Services Steering Group and Works Services Commissioning Group set up by the Trust contain two or three service user representatives and were overseen by the Project Management Team led by Dr Bob Grove from the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. The team heard from service users across all areas and developed commissioning service specifications in line with stakeholder need and evidence-based best practice.

I hope that this has been of assistance.

If you are unhappy with the Trust's response to your request, you have the right to complain to the Trust and should contact me. If you remain dissatisfied, having exhausted the Trust's internal complaints procedure, you have a right under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to seek a determination from the Information Commissioner on whether the Act has been properly applied by the Trust.

May I also take this opportunity to acknowledge receipt of your most recent FOI request and complaint, which was received on 18th July 2006. In relation to the FOI request, the Trust will endeavour to respond within the statutory time period of 20 working days, i.e. before Tuesday 15th August 2006.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries about this request.

Yours sincerely

Peter Kinsey

Director of Mental Health Services

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Trust Plays Games with patients and members of the public

Following the public outcry and complaints over the Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust's decision to cut the £3 a day payments to disabled workers in its commercial garden centre the Trust is now dithering to avoid explaining its conduct in the light of a written statement made to the local Patient & Public Involvment Forum confirming that the Trust felt that as of policy ' service users should be paid for their time'.

In reality, the Trust clearly feels that only some service users should be paid for their time as the garden centre workers payments were axed and they were forced to work for nothing simply to ensure that the Trust could strike a quick deal with the Richmond Fellowship, an organisation which had bid to take over the running of the garden centre but did not want to pay anything to the disabled workers the Trust planned to hand over with it. To cement the deal, payments to the workers were 'modernised' away.

This deal is unlawful as the garden centre workers were not meaningfully consulted over the change of ownership and what the changes to the service would mean for them, that their £3 a day payments would be cut and under the new 'modernised ' service, they would be expected to work for nothing. Surrey & Borders had a legal duty to meaningfully consult and there are moves afoot to have its dealings with the Richmond Fellowship judicially Reviewed.

Instead of quickly admitting its mistake , reinstating and backdating the payments and engaging in meaningful consultation with the garden centre workers over the future of the garden centre service Surrey and Borders NHS Trust is now using pathetic excuses and delaying tactics to avoid providing explanations at all. For example , some people who have complained about this matter havent received responses from the Trust while others are being provided with lame excuses that just result in delay after delay.

Most recently Janet Buckall , Peter Kinsey's PA wrote to a number of complainants to say that Mr Kinsey could not reply because he wasnt in the office to sign and despatch the letter . This did not stop Janet quicklu sending out the following for Kinsey when people originally complained to the Trust, indeed she lost no time in despatching this pack of lies for him.

From: Janet Buckell
To: mandy, paul, des,jill, mike
Date: Jun 8, 2006 2:08 PM
Subject: Therapeutic Earnings

Re: Changes to Employment Services for People with Mental Health Problems Managed by Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust

Thank you for emailing me to express your views regarding this matter. This is a local issue in eastern Surrey which we are discussing with our stake-holders. Changes to therapeutic payments are part of a larger change project which we are undertaking to modernise and improve employment services for people with mental health problems in line with recognised best practice. Those changes have been discussed extensively with our staff and people who use our services.

Peter Kinsey

Janet Buckell

PA to Peter Kinsey

It also appears that the Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust and its PPI are coordinating their responses with PPI Manager Margaret Clarke seeming just as eager to distract , obscure and drag out issues as Janet Buckall and the now almost permanently absent Mr Kinsey.

PPI Forums are supposed to be independent and yet the Surrey & Borders PPI let the garden centre deal go through on the nod . The PPI never questioned the workers having their pay cut and being expected to work for nothing even though they were well aware that the Trust was publicly stating that service users should be paid for their time.

When asked about this amazing oversight Margaret Clark claimed it was not the PPI's responsibility to explain contradictory Trust policy.

No Ms Clark, its the PPI's job to ensure that Surrey & Border's apllies and adheres to its policies in a fair and consistent way, its not your job to turn a blind eye to help save a shoddy unlawful deal with the Richmond Fellowship which the Trust had no right to impose at the garden centre workers expense in the first place.

Ms Clarke has since been persuaded to reconsider her orginal procedurally incorrect response and has now agreed to provide an explanation for the Surrey & Borders PPI forum's moral blindness.

Dont hold your breath waiting for it to arrive though.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Surrey & Borders Double Standards

The Draft Minutes of the Mid East Surrey and Croydon Team Informal Meeting Held on 14th June 2006 from 7 pm at The Redhill Methodist, Gloucester Road, Redhill, RH1 1BP reveal what we all thought they would, that Surrey & Borders would go some way to acknowledging its mishandling of robbing the Old Moat Garden Centre of their pitiful three pounds a day wages, mishandled because, and only because, the press and public found out and condemned Surrey & Borders for being so mean spirited.

Beyond that, we simply had very well paid Trust mouthpiece Peter Kinsey waffled on about the real reason for screwing the disabled workers over, the Richmond Fellowship were taking over the Old Moat Centre and did not want any 'baggage.'

There was a line on how the Trust could have communicated its intentions better ( no comment on the shabbiness of its intentions though ) and how the Trust and Forum would now monitor what happened to the Old Moat Garden Centre workers during the transfer of management period and over the next 3 months but nothing concrete about if or how the workers would be compensated for the losses the Trust's shady little deal with the Richmond Fellowship had cost them.

For greater insight into Surrey & Borders NHS Trust's and its PPI Forum's utter contempt for the disabled workers who keep their Old Moat Garden Centre operating look no further than item 9b in the same minutes, reproduced below. Please note , the service users' referred to in this item are the ones the Trust apparently consulted about cutting the garden centre workers pay.

Reimbursement for attending Trust meetings.

There had been different payment arrangements across the Trust. Ian Church had written a paper to pull together a Trust wide policy. The Trust would now pay a common mileage rate to service users (rate to be confirmed). The Trust feels it should also pay for people's time and Ian Church is looking into this.

I am writing to Surrey and Borders and its PPI Forum asking them both to explain the Trust's hypocrictical 'Modernisation' policy as it clearly values the input of some users more than others, with bureaucratic input clearly being valued more highly than manual labour and this , and the fact that the garden centre workers were never properly represented or consulted here , simply mirrors discriminatory employment patterns and practices operating across most NHS Trusts.

In short, the Trust bureaucrats and respectable PPI forum members have shat on the garden centre workers because they cant identify with them. This isnt simply a disability issue, class is at play here as well.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Surrey & Borders Trust & its PPI Forum Delay Responses to FOIA Requests

Jill and others have been trying to get the Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust and the Surrey & Borders Patient & Public Involvment Forum to answer their Freedom of Information requests for some time now but both of these bodies have resisted providing information and the PPI in particular has been frosty and unhelpful with members of the public who have expressed an interest in the appalling treatment of the disabled workers at the Trust's Old Moat Garden Centre.

The Surrey & Borders PPI Forum has not provided the information I requested either but the forum manager, Kent based I might add, was very quick to insist that the garden centre matter involved an individual and as such the forum would not be able to look at it or comment openly.

In fact the Trust's decision to cut the £3 a day it was paying to its garden centre workers is a general problem that came about through a Trust-wide change in policy. Furthermore, the out of pocket garden centre workers , their relatives and friends and ordinary members of the public have been totally outraged by and have expressed a very keen interest in this issue , one that has also been covered extensively in the local media and condemned by a local MP. So one has to ask why the Surrey & Borders PPI is going over board to play this matter down and keep it under wraps?

Wwere the PPI Forum members complicit in the paycuts?

Do they get more in expenses than the £3 a day the garden centre workers used to get before it was cut?

Is the Surrey & Borders PPI Forum part of the problem here ?

Well we shall soon have a partial answer as the Forum Co-ordinator/Local Manager is now sending the following statement out to people waiting for the PPI Forum and Trust to respond to their FOIA requests.

The Forum members met with representatives from the Surrey & Borders
Partnership Trust on June 14th . Minutes of this meeting will be available after their next meeting this Wednesday.

The Forum Manager very generously agreed to provide this minimum information, which is a public document anyway , on or around 13th of July, almost a month after she could have kept people informed of developments and well outside the FOIA period.

I personally find it very sad that the NHS and the undemocratic quangos around it pay large salaries to officious and unhelpful functionaries who appear to have nothing but utter contempt for the public while Surrey & Borders NHS Trust claws back pennies from its disabled workers and expect them to work for nothing.

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