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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Campaign Leaflet

Here is Jill's campaign leaflet that was handed out at Surrey & Borders Board meeting . Click on images to view them in larger size . Please use it to continue to draw people's attention to this campaign as we have only achieved a temporary victory and we need to keep the pressure on the Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust.



Also if people have concerns about service users being pressganged into work through SABP's plans to modernise and externalise its work services make the case to SABP so that they have to address this while assessing peoples needs and circumstances, a process Fiona Edwards has just agreed to do, and insist that the roles and services need to be properly clarified, particularly where sites and resources are multi-purpose and shared.

This isnt rocket science.

There is no conflict between campaigning to get service users real jobs /training at at least national minimum wages and campaigning to ensure that service users who are unlikely to really benefit from employment and training provision get appropriate services too . SABP has a duty to do both these things adequately based on a proper assessment of each service users needs and circumstances and its our collective responsibility to ensure that they do this before the theoroughly discredited academics from the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health crawl out of their holes again and reassert their political agenda.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

SABP Board Agrees to Apologise to Workers & Reinstate & Backdate Payments



The Bourn Hall Venue in Ewell Surrey. Big thank you to Jill, Tim , Rose and Kim for turning up to support the campaign at the Board meeting or AGM and also to David and Stuart who also raised questions about reinstatement of payments or on other important matters involving service users. It would be great to get your feedback and take on developments yesterday and to use the blog to decide what we should do next to monitor how SABP proceeds with its work services modernisation process. All thoughts, ideas and opinions welcome.

How the issue of Therapeutic Payments was dealt with at the Board Meeting

At the tenth Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust Board meeting today in Bourn Hall , Ewell , Surrey the issue of Therapeutic Payments was the first item on the agenda and the Trust Board unanimously backed Chief Executive Fiona Edwards recommendations that the Trust offer a written apology to all service users affected by the £3 pay cuts and reinstate and backdate payments in a way that did not compromise people's benefits.

Fiona openly admitted that the Trust had made a mistake in its treatment of the garden centre workers and Board Chairman Graham Cawsey was equally open and forthright in describing the embarassing situation the Trust found itself in as ' a problem the Trust had created for itself .

On entering the Board room I overheard another Board Member quietly tell someone else that the Trust had 'made a terrible PR blunder and needed to be more careful about its image ' however as the Board sat silent and sullen as the Chief Executive set out the reasons for her recommendations - re-posted below at (1) - without flinching from taking full responsibility for the mistakes it was clear that the Trust's problems ran far deeper than merely exercising more control over its corporate image.

The Trust had betrayed its own stated values and visions , what was not so clear from Fiona Edwards responses to our questions - see below at (2) was WHY it had done this. This will be discussed later after we have time to digest all the information we got at the meeting and cover exactly how Fiona answered our questions , question by question, in a dedicated Q&A piece once we've had time to compare notes for clarity . Obviously having the minutes would help but its going to be some time before they are agreed so we just have to be careful that bureaucracy isnt allowed to dictate the pace of our campaign as well.

The Chief Executive did make it clear though that the Trust was now seeking to clarify roles based on an objective and proper assessment of service users needs and circumstances in line with the Trusts stated values and visions and that interim Director of Operations Chris Carter , Peter Kinsey's replacement, would be responsible for overseeing this. Fiona also informed the Board that Jo Young, Work services, would look into how this was to be done although no deadline was given, and that the confidence and help of service users, carers and even members of our campaign would be sought to that end.

Unfortunately, Fiona was not so forthcoming on whether the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health would continue to be involved with the modernisation of SABP's work services and this would seem to be a matter we need to take up with the PCT.

Lastly, thanks to Stanley Rissborough and Fiona Edwards for greeting and making people from the campaign feel welcome and valued at the Board meeting.

(1) Therapeutic Payments
1 Background

Changes to the way that Work Services are provided were subject to consultation
(‘Building on the Best’) during January to April this year.The results of the
consultation confirmed the move to more individualised, locally based employment
and social support services and the importance of offering a range of training and
community based activities, with most of the services moving to Richmond Fellowship over the course of the year. The programme is on schedule, with around half of the centres having transferred from the Trust. Alongside this transfer, the Trust Board agreed (in January 2006) that the practice of awarding ‘therapeutic payments’ would cease on 31st May 2006. Therapeutic payments (usually totalling £3.00 per day) were given as recognition to those attending.They were not intendedto represent payment for work.

In reviewing the impact of ceasing therapeutic payments, the main consideration given was to the impact of National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation. NMW is currently set at £5.05 per hour (reviewed every October). Applying NMW to the hours for those attending work service activities could adversely impact upon the benefit that people receive. Further, it is unclear where NMW would apply, as people do not attend in order to provide significant output but to undertake training(most work service activities include NVQ assessment), to participate in therapeutic and social activities and, where possible, to prepare for employment. Work service activities are not reliant upon those attending undertaking work and the centres do not create a profit for the Trust.

Other day centres across the Trust have ceased therapeutic payments in line with
the Trust Board decision, although the implementation has been phased over a
longer timescale.

2 Areas of Concern

2.1 Impact on People attending Work Centres

The cessation of therapeutic payments, especially at the garden centres, has caused considerable concern to some people attending and their families, as well as members of the Trust’s Forum for People who Use Services and their Carers (FoCUS) and members of the public. Further, no assessment has been undertaken to ensure that people attending the Work Services activities are either undertaking paid work (for which NMW would apply) in line with benefit regulations or are attending on a voluntary basis for therapeutic or training activities.

2.2 Impact on Service Delivery

Concerns being raised could bring into question the viability of transferring services to external providers, who will not wish to take on any potential liability. Failure to ensure that a proper assessment of activities and individual assessments for people attending could mean that the modernisation in line with the wishes of people we serve (as identified through the consultation feedback) and the commissioners of the service is unable to proceed as agreed.

2.3 Advice to the Trust Board

In reaching the conclusion that therapeutic payments should cease, the information provided by the Trust’s legal advisors was not interpreted fully for the Trust Board. All work service centres were treated in the same way, but the legal advice regarding
four centres (the two garden centres, the printing activity and the travel agent) indicated that some people may indeed be undertaking work in a similar way to
people employed in those centres by the Trust.This cannot be determined without further assessment of the activities undertaken and the purpose of attendance at the
centres.

The option recommended to the Board to cease therapeutic payments had not been discussed with the Trust’s legal advisors.Further, the advice to the Trust indicated
that any decision made by the Board should take into account that the people concerned were very vulnerable and therefore the normal principles of risk management were not appropriate to the decision-making process.

2.4 Wider Impact on the Trust

As a result of the decision to cease therapeutic payments, there is considerableconcern that the Trust has not treated people well.

3 Recommendations

The Trust acknowledges that the decision-making process and its outcomes have been far from satisfactory and adversely impacted on people who attend work services and their families and carers. The Trust is very sorry that this decision was made and apologises unreservedly for the distress and anxiety caused to those people who have been affected.

The Board is recommended to:

(a) Re-instate therapeutic payments across the Trust with effect from 1st June 2006 (or the date on which the payments were stopped).

(b) Write a letter of apology to every individual affected by the cessation of
therapeutic payments

(c) Require the Director of Operations (Mental Health Services) and the Director of Services for People with a Learning Disability to develop an action plan
which will:

• Assess activities undertaken and develop guidelines to differentiate
between ‘work’ (for which the NMW or higher will apply), ‘therapy’, ‘training’ or ‘voluntary work’ (for which no payment, other than expenses,
will apply).

• Undertake individual assessments on those attending in order to ensure that payment for attending ‘work’ does not adversely impact on benefit.

• Ensure that the work centres remain viable with any increased cost associated increased payments for work undertaken. Any change will be subject to further consultation.

The plan will be developed in conjunction with people using the services, their
families and carers and care workers. Legal advice will be sought on the action plan prior to its implementation.

Fiona Edwards
Chief Executive
September 2006



Questions
Dear Mr Cawsey ,

I would like you/the Board to answer in public the following questions relating to the 'modernisation' of Surrey & Borders Work Services.

1. Former Director of Operations Peter Kinsey and 'externalisation ' project Manager Dr Helen Lockett of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (scmh) both claimed that the modernisation process , particularly scrapping payments to the garden centre workers, had been undertaken to more clearly define and distinguish roles. Mr Kinsey made this statement to a local newspaper , Dr Lockett in response to a critique made by Jill Goble of the Justice for the SABP Garden Centre Workers Campaign.

The Chief Executive's recommendations to the Board make it depressingly clear that the roles and rights of service users involved with SABP's work services have not been made any clearer so would you please explain why the modernisation process a) failed to achieve this stated objective and b) why Mr Kinsey and Dr Lockett were allowed to make deliberately misleading statements representing the clarification of roles as a fait accompli.


2. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health whose academics project led and advised the modernisation process was presumably paid to provide the Surrey and Borders Trust with expertise yet the sensible and realistic recommendations the Chief Executive now makes to the Board came about because of the actions and advice of unpaid service users and carers so I think its fair for members of the public to ask if they have been short changed here by SCMH and by how much.


So, a) how much money did the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health's 'experts' receive for bungling the clarification of roles and b) why should the public go on paying for their 'expertise' when service users and carers , who should have been more meaningfully consulted in the first place , have freely provided more professional and appropriate advice which even your Chief Executive is now urging the Board to act upon ?

3. The Richmond Fellowship has declined to respond to patient and public concerns about the modernisation and externalisation process .This unhelpful attitude and lack of accountability is clearly inappropriate from a party set to benefit from the transfer of public resources from the public to the voluntary sector.


Would the Board please explain what steps it intends to take to ensure that the Richmond Fellowship listens and meaningfully responds to the concerns of service users and carers rather than, as it has been doing, just assuming that the flawed ' externalisation ' process is a done deal .



4. How many service users is the Trust currently paying the minimum wage or above to for manual work? I'm assuming this figure would have been made available during the "comprehensive review " of work services. If this information isnt available because that review wasnt as comprehensive as the Trust claimed it was , please say so and address and answer this question as a FOIA request elsewhere.

5. Would you please clarify in public that service users subjected to the £3 cuts are going to receive apologies and have the payments reinstated and backdated or explain the Board's objections to doing this.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Last Reminder for Surrey & Borders AGM

The Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust AGM is being held at Bourn Hall , Ewell in Surrey this afternoon between 4.15 pm and 4.45 pm. The trust's 10th Board meeting will take place at the same venue between 2.00 and 4.00 pm.

The Agendas for both meetings are available here and if you are interested in finding out more about the Board members go here.
just be aware that some of the details are out of date.


Planning how to get there should now be a little easier for everyone unfamiliar with the area and venue as the Ewell and Epsom Council webmaster kindly converted the old map to PDF format which one can zoom in on now but even better he added a link to a scalable map with the venue highlighted on it which is great because the map not only scales you can also request door to door directions .

The Council got on to this straight away , if only MH services were this responsive. Well done Ewell and Epsom Council.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another SABP Campaign Poster



Posted on numerous Flickr protest and campaign group pages with link to info about the Surrey & Borders Garden Centre Workers issue to increase mainstream exposure.

The Flickr page is here

Sunday, September 24, 2006

SABP Board Meeting/AGM - Deadline for Submitting Written Questions

The Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust's 10th Board meeting in public will be held on Thursday,28th September 2006 between 2.00pm and 4.00 pm at Bourne Hall, Ewell . The meeting will be followed by the Trust’s Annual General Meeting between 4.15 pm and 4.45 pm.

The Board will be meeting in private, before the meeting in public, to consider any items which may be of a confidential nature regarding service users, staff or contractors.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the part of the meeting held in public and the Annual General Meeting. There will be an opportunity at the start of the meeting for members of the public to ask questions of the Board , these questions need to be in writing and addressed to Board Chairman Graham Cawsey at Trust Headquarters , 18 Mole Business Park , Leatherhead , Surrey KT22 7AD by 12.00 noon on Monday, 25th September 2006, if you want a reply at the meeting.

All reports being considered during the meeting in public will be posted on the Trusts website beforehand where they are filed under the “About the Trust” section.

Work for Free - The Art of Protest

Campaign Cartoon
Paul Brian Tovey is a Birmingham MH artist and local MH historian who has been closely involved with the Surrey & Borders Garden Centre Worker campaign from the outset. Paul has a number of online presences , the unique and groundbreaking Highcroft Lifebook Project his Flickr pages and NBCA to name but a few. Paul is also an Independent Monitor of MH services and he is currently blogging events in Birmingham MH circles at Birmingham User Watch

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fiona Edwards response to Jill Goble

Fiona Edwards Chief Executive of & Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust dated 21st September 2006.

Subject: RE: http://justice4sabtworkers.blogspot.com


Dear Ms Goble

I am writing to acknowledge your email dated 17 September and to thank you for your thoughts which we will consider as we develop our review, which the Trust Board has not agreed to.

I shall be in contact after the Trust Board meeting and once the review has been approved regarding your comments and proposals.

Yours sincerely

Fiona Edwards

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Responses to The Penny Pinching

Apparently the parents of one worker at the Surrey & Borders Old Moat Garden Centre decided to pay their son £3 a day to protect him from feeling used and abused even though they were in a tight financial situation themselves. Surrey and Borders staff also flagged up service users objections to the ceasation of payments and submitted a letter making clear their own doubts about it to the Trust's new Users and Carers FoCUS group.

Presumably Fiona has explained her recommendations to the FoCUS group and lets hope the notes are made available before the AGM.

There is something very Dickensian about this business.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Surrey & Borders Urged to Rethink Future of Local Public Asset

Dear Ms Edwards

Old Moat Garden Centre

I’m concerned by plans to transfer ownership of the Old Moat Garden Centre site to Richmond Fellowship perhaps not in the best interests of taxpayers or employees. Asset stripping may appear immediately attractive but in the longer term is usually counter-productive.

Do you not agree it is in the public interest to suspend current plans for disposal of the Garden Centre until other options have been examined especially but not only the possibility of business development as described in my attached submission?


Yours sincerely


Walter Dean (prof.)

BSc, MIIE, MBA, BIM, FRSA

Hon. Lect., European Ctre. for Prof. Ethics



Retired Professor of Business Studies

Warwick (University) Business School



----------------------------


Old Moat Garden Centre



Business Opportunity Discussion Paper


Briefly reviewing the situation of this enterprise it appears there is a good case for consideration of business development

A. The land is a significant borrowing asset and there may be considerable
untapped local product demand including supermarket and other distribution outlets which could be proved by survey


B. It seems that promising promotion/distribution possibilities such as Direct Marketing; Internet; Home Deliveries, targeted A&P etc., etc. have not been considered

C. Understanding of these issues together with review of opening hours, customer-oriented staffing levels and training may well demonstrate a significant business opportunity offering income and retaining assets within the public domain

D. Hence I suggest Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust employ local professional business expertise to produce a Business Opportunity Development Plan for public consultation and Council review before final decisions are made


Walter Dean (prof.) 18th September 2006

BSc, MIIE, MBA, BIM, FRSA

Hon. Lect., European Ctre. for Prof. Ethics

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Surrey & Borders Advised to Rethink Garden Centre Plans

Jill Goble sent the following letter to Fiona Edwards , Christine Carter and Declan Flynn.

Dear Ms Fiona Edwards and colleagues,

While our campaign, which can be found at the www.justice4sabtworkers.blogspot.com , welcomes the news that you intend to repay the disabled workers at the Old Moat Garden centre and other Priority Enterprises their £3 a day and apologise for the distress that they have been caused, I do not feel that the recommendations and action plan you propose to improve the situation goes far enough. Neither do I feel that continuing with the plan to transfer the Garden centre into the hands of the Richmond Fellowship is in the best interests of the disabled workers or Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Trust. I will explain my reasons for these objections in this letter and I will conclude by making suggestions which I believe would go some way towards turning the Trust from being a dinasaur in the area of employing disabled workers to something of a leading light and pioneer in it's anti-discriminatory policies.

Mr Peter Kinsey before he left failed to answer some of my Freedom of Information Act questions concerning the Priority Enterprises accounts. He did say that the Old Moat Garden centre operates at a £150,000 loss but gave me no details on how these figures are arrived at and costed. He failed to give me proper accounts and failed to give me the sales figures. We are told that the Old Moat Garden Centre operates as a commercial enterprise and it looks like a large, well equipped centre with space for the horticulture side of growing plants as well as the retail side for selling plants and garden products. These details can be clearly seen in the aerial photo of the garden centre that we have on our campaign blog.

Mr Peter Kinsey gave me no reasons why the centre is operating at a loss but I have reason to believe that the potential of this valuable resource is not being exploited. For example most sucessful businesses these days open at weekends and at
lunchtimes. They know that this is when the majority of their customers will be able to shop. But the Old Moat Garden centre closes on Sundays and at lunchtimes. This must be losing them a great deal of retail business. In addition most sucessful businesses operate mail order and internet sales but the Old Moat Garden centre does neither. I rang them today to check their service and was greeted by an unwelcoming voice telling me my call could not be taken.

This kind of arrangement is not helpful for an organisation seeking to become profit making.

Other opportunities that could be exploited by the centre include gaining contracts for plants and garden equipment with local businesses including the local Sainsburies supermarket (since Lord Sainsbury is so keen on helping us disabled people with learning difficulities and mental health disabilities).

My point is that although we are told that the Old Moat Garden centre is a commercial organsiation no real attempt is being made to run it as a sucessful and profitable going concern. The blame for this cannot be laid on the disabled workers who have no employment contracts and a derisory £3 a day which was cut to nothing for their hard manual labour and your management team should take responsibilty for this problem.

With a more dynamic and businesslike approach the garden centre could be turned around to become a highly sucessful profitable business. This in turn would create real jobs with real wages and employment contracts for the disabled workers. At the moment it seems to me you are able to blame the fact that the place 'helps' disabled workers on the lack of profitability. But it is certainly not the disabled workers fault that the place is being managed so badly. The disabled workers are not the ones who have decided to close the place at lunchtimes or not to do mail order or internet sales. These decisions are in the hands of the salaried managers who it seems to me are doing a very bad job. If they were in a real commercial business they would be out of work because they would have gone bankrupt on £150,000 losses.

In your recommendations to the Board which we have up on the campaign blog it seems to me that you also fall into the trap of seeing the disabled workers as a 'potential liability' rather than as assets to the garden centre. There they have been year in year out working hard for only £3 a day without complaint but the Richmond Fellowship or whichever external provider you have lined up to take over wishes to run the place without rewarding the disabled workers for their hard labour at all let alone create any new real job opportunities for them. We have found that the Richmond fellowship will not answer our queries concerning their plans for the garden centre but our understanding is that they plan to run it as some kind of training centre. Well there are already plenty of training and voluntary work type placements available for disabled people but what disabled people are really short of is real job opportunities. The following quotes are from government documents showing the problems disabled people find in the employment market:

Government report accuses charities and public sector of exploiting disabled workers by paying less than minimum wage 03 August 2006 08:05

Public sector and charities flout minimum wage rules when employing people with learning disabilities.

Many employers are paying workers with learning disabilities less than the minimum wage, according to a report.

A "worrying" number of employers – especially local authorities and those in the voluntary sector – are defying National Minimum Wage (NMW) rules by under-paying staff with learning disabilities.

The report, by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions, warned that organisations faced the threat of costly employment tribunals if they failed to apply the NMW.

"The working group is concerned about the worrying number of learning disability employment providers that appear to be in breach of the National Minimum Wage," the report said.

The government working group on learning difficulties and employment said local authorities needed to work more closely with JobCentre Plus to help more people with learning difficulties find work. By Georgina Fuller

And in another report by the government called

'You can work it out. Best practice in employment for people with a learning difficulty' we see:

As services seek to help people find more meaningful activities than sitting around in day centres, employment is acknowledged as playing a crucial role in people’s lives. But success in getting people in to paid work remains woefully inadequate. Instead , services have created a world based on work for which few people get paid. There is a growing variety of training, social enterprises, work-related projects, work experience and volunteering schemes. There are people who to all intents and purposes are working, but who receive little or no payment.

This is illegal unless there is genuinely no obligation to attend and no obligation to do anything.

There are people who are described as volunteering- this conveniently gets around the issue of employment contracts and payments. These situations are exploitative.’


This guide can be found at a site hosting a Government Guide called Valuing People


In conclusion it seems to me that by handing over the garden centre to an outside provider who have no intention of creating any real jobs for the disabled workers you are failing in your duty to make the best provisions for them or make the best use out of this valuable resource.. The government want more disabled people to work and the evidence I have read says that when disabled people are given the opportunities of having real jobs they more than live up to the challenge. The garden centre is a valuable resource that could be made into a flourishing, sucessful and profitable business which would provide real job opportunities for the disabled workers.This would in turn show Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust to be progressive in the field of anti discriminatory practice towards disabled people.

Turning it into just another training centre is not the best use of this valuable asset and it is not in the best interests of the disabled workers. Given the imagination the garden centre could even be run as a workers cooperative by the service users. I hope very much that you will adapt your recommendations and action plan to take account of the strong need for very anti discriminatory measures in the area of providing employment opportunities for your service users and for the need to
expose the present management at the garden centre for not making it a profitable going concerns that increases the job opportunities for the disabled workers.

I am afraid I will be away next week until the 23rd September so could you please also address replies to this mail to Des Curley who I have cc 'd this mail to so we can have your responses up on our campaign blog. I believe a great deal more negotiation and consideration for the disabled workers best interests need to be undertaken by Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust and we would like to be included in this rather than having our freedom of information requests and questions ignored and delayed as they have been until now.

Finally I would just like to reiterate my strong convictions first that the garden centre, with better management, could be turned into a floursihing profitable enterprise and secondly that this would be in the best interests of the disabled workers as it would provide them with job opportunities that are sorely lacking for disabled people. This plan would also show Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust to be something of a pioneer in establishing good anti discriminatory practices in the employment of disabled people.

Yours Sincerely

Jill Goble


Help us get Justice at:

http://justice4sabtworkers.blogspot.com/

Surrey & Borders Pledge A Success

We received this notification from the team at PledgeBank earlier today

Congratulations!

We are pleased to tell you that your pledge met its target in
the required time. Your pledge reads: 'I will Work for 1 hour
for nothing for anyone willing to support and get other people
to support the Justice for the Surrey & Borders NHS Trusts
Garden Workers Campaign but only if 25 other people will
avtively support the campaign.'


We love getting photos of people fulfilling their pledges, so
why not ask them to take some pics?

Why not indeed. May just do that for the Surrey and Borders AGM and upload pics to Flickr

You can still sign the pledge here.

Thanks for your help and support.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Legal Advice & Recommendations to the Board

This is copied from the Board notes.

Essentially the Trust now has to go back and do what the Sainsbury Centre advisors should have advised it to do in the first place. The roles arent any clearer and there is still a lot of uncertainty , and yes some concern too about what level of representation the workers will get this time round.

Therapeutic Payments



Background


Changes to the way that Work Services are provided were subject to consultation (‘Building on the Best’) during January to April this year. The results of the consultation confirmed the move to more individualised, locally based employment and social support services and the importance of offering a range of training and community based activities, with most of the services moving to Richmond Fellowship over the course of the year. The programme is on schedule, with around half of the centres having transferred from the Trust. Alongside this transfer, the Trust Board agreed (in January 2006) that the practice of awarding ‘therapeutic payments’ would cease on 31st May 2006. Therapeutic payments (usually totalling £3.00 per day) were given as recognition to those attending. They were not intended to represent payment for work.


In reviewing the impact of ceasing therapeutic payments, the main consideration given was to the impact of National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation. NMW is currently set at £5.05 per hour (reviewed every October). Applying NMW to the hours for those attending work service activities could adversely impact upon the benefit that people receive. Further, it is unclear where NMW would apply, as people do not attend in order to provide significant output but to undertake training (most work service activities include NVQ assessment), to participate in therapeutic and social activities and, where possible, to prepare for employment. Work service activities are not reliant upon those attending undertaking work and the centres do not create a profit for the Trust.


Other day centres across the Trust have ceased therapeutic payments in line with the Trust Board decision, although the implementation has been phased over a longer timescale.



Areas of Concern


Impact on People attending Work Centres


The cessation of therapeutic payments, especially at the garden centres, has caused considerable concern to some people attending and their families, as well as members of the Trust’s Forum for People who Use Services and their Carers (FoCUS) and members of the public. Further, no assessment has been undertaken to ensure that people attending the Work Services activities are either undertaking paid work (for which NMW would apply) in line with benefit regulations or are attending on a voluntary basis for therapeutic or training activities.





Impact on Service Delivery


Concerns being raised could bring into question the viability of transferring services to external providers, who will not wish to take on any potential liability. Failure to ensure that a proper assessment of activities and individual assessments for people attending could mean that the modernisation in line with the wishes of people we serve (as identified through the consultation feedback) and the commissioners of the service is unable to proceed as agreed.


Advice to the Trust Board


In reaching the conclusion that therapeutic payments should cease, the information provided by the Trust’s legal advisors was not interpreted fully for the Trust Board. All work service centres were treated in the same way, but the legal advice regarding four centres (the two garden centres, the printing activity and the travel agent) indicated that some people may indeed be undertaking work in a similar way to people employed in those centres by the Trust. This cannot be determined without further assessment of the activities undertaken and the purpose of attendance at the centres.


The option recommended to the Board to cease therapeutic payments had not been discussed with the Trust’s legal advisors. Further, the advice to the Trust indicated that any decision made by the Board should take into account that the people concerned were very vulnerable and therefore the normal principles of risk management were not appropriate to the decision-making process.


2.4 Wider Impact on the Trust



As a result of the decision to cease therapeutic payments, there is considerable concern that the Trust has not treated people well.


Recommendations


The Trust acknowledges that the decision-making process and its outcomes have been far from satisfactory and adversely impacted on people who attend work services and their families and carers. The Trust is very sorry that this decision was made and apologises unreservedly for the distress and anxiety caused to those people who have been affected.


The Board is recommended to:


Re-instate therapeutic payments across the Trust with effect from 1st June 2006 (or the date on which the payments were stopped).


Write a letter of apology to every individual affected by the cessation of therapeutic payments


Require the Director of Operations (Mental Health Services) and the Director of Services for People with a Learning Disability to develop an action plan which will:


Assess activities undertaken and develop guidelines to differentiate between ‘work’ (for which the NMW or higher will apply), ‘therapy’, ‘training’ or ‘voluntary work’ (for which no payment, other than expenses, will apply).


Undertake individual assessments on those attending in order to ensure that payment for attending ‘work’ does not adversely impact on benefit.


Ensure that the work centres remain viable with any increased cost associated increased payments for work undertaken. Any change will be subject to further consultation.


The plan will be developed in conjunction with people using the services, their families and carers and care workers. Legal advice will be sought on the action plan prior to its implementation.



Fiona Edwards

Chief Executive


September 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Garden Centre Workers to Get Apology & Money Back?

Rosemary Moore has just posted the following message on her Yahoo group Mental Magazine .
Today I got the papers for the Surrey & Borders AGM and Board meeting which will be held on 28 September. They won't be released into the wild (be on the S&B website) until Monday. The papers include an unreserved apology for the decision to stop the payments and for the distress and anxiety caused to those affected. The Chief Executive's recommendation to the Board is that payments be re-instated from the date they were stopped and a letter of apology be sent to "every individual affected by the cessation of the payments". It is noticeable that the patient and public involvement forum (PPIF) is not included in the people who have expressed concern.

This is brilliant news and hats off to Surrey & Borders Chief Executive Fiona Edwards for arriving at what must have been a very difficult and politically loaded decision to personally and professionally distance herself and her Trust from the 'advice and actions of the so called 'modernising' experts from the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and do what was right for the garden centre workers.

This still leaves the garden centre workers in a precarious position financially - their status and rights as workers are no clearer - and we have yet to see how they fare under the Richmond Fellowship - please take note Surrey & Borders PPI - so there's still a need for ongoing scrutiny here to see if real jobs , real wages and other real stabilising and supportive non employment based services emerge from this mess or whether services and lives will have been disrupted to suit a few selfish and thoughtless academics from the remorseless Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

Well done everyone.

Secrecy Cloaks Mr Kinsey's Departure

I have just received the following from the Surrey & Borders Information manager. I asked questions about Mr Kinsey for operational reasons as he clearly wasnt managing the garden centre fall out as we were led to understand, he was on extended leave and clearing his desk. Fiona Edwards has simply invoked the Data Protection Act to protect herself.

From: Sandra Wakeham
To: des.curley@gmail.com
Date: Sep 14, 2006 2:17 PM
Subject: RE: FOI Request - Clarification

Dear Des,


Further to your email of 9th September 2006 and our acknowledgement sent on 12th September 2006, copies of which are below, we are now in a position to respond to your request.

We attach below a copy of the staff announcement made in connection with the departure of Peter Kinsey as this information is in the public domain. Unfortunately we are unable to provide any other information in connection with Mr Kinsey's departure as it is personal information relating to him and this is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998 and disclosure would contravene the first data protection principle.



MESSAGE TO STAFF ABOUT THE DEPARTURE OF PETER KINSEY

After seven years as an Operational Director in both Mental Health and Learning Disability Services, Peter has decided to leave the Trust to pursue a different career. He will be leaving on 31st August. I would like to thank Peter for his hard work and commitment, both as a Director with Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust and previously with Surrey Oaklands NHS Trust. I am sure that all staff will join with me in wishing Peter well for the future.


Following Peter’s departure, his post will be covered on an interim basis by Christine Carter, a broad-based experienced NHS manager, with strong operational management expertise. Chris will commence on 4th September 2006 and will be based at Oaklands House, Caterham.

Fiona Edwards

Chief Executive

August 2006



If there is anything on which you need clarification, or if we can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.


If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your enquiry, you have the right to appeal and in the first instance this should be to the Head of Healthcare Systems, Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust, Elaine Gould on 01737 281046 or email elaine.gould@sabp.nhs.uk.



If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you can write to:

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545700.


Yours sincerely


Sandra Wakeham
Information Governance Deputy Manager
Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust
Kingsfield
Telephone: 01737 281038


From: Des Curley [mailto:des.curley@gmail.com]
Sent: 09 September 2006 08:56
To: Fiona Edwards
Subject: Re: Clarification



Dear Fiona,

I have just learned that Peter Kinsey left SABP on the 31st August 2006 and so now realise that he was practically clearing his desk when I made a formal complaint to you on 24th August about the obstructive way he was dealing with FOIA requests .

Peter was also on leave from the 7th to the 18th August 2006 and I am now wondering whether he was the person dealing with FOIA requests.

Would you please deal with the following numbered questions as FOIA requests.

Would you please explain 1.) when you first learned that Mr Kinsey, your former Director of Operations , was leaving SABP , the date and time you learned of his resignation or dismissal please, 2) how , if the former , this information was conveyed to you and 3) why this information was witheld from people whose FOIA requests were ( apparently ) being dealt with by Mr Kinsey .

Thank you for your cooperation.

Please acknowledge receipt

Des Curley

Surrey & Borders Trust Questioned on Consultation

Fiona Edwards
Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust
Ref: Epsom Garden Centre .



Dear Fiona

I am very concerned about the methods SABPT use to create changes in , User-services and the elements which make them up.

Its clear at the Epsom Garden Centre where Brian Hall had his £3 a day deducted , that very little consultation took place with the actual Users there. Ofcourse I invite you here to specify and confirm that your Trust did directly involve those Users at that centre or their direct Carers..

Quite what is meant by any form of User Representation at SABPT which is supposed to credibly represent those Garden workers at Epsom is simply not clear.

So how did your Trust specifically involve them at that centre in the changes that were implemented and appear to have been simply applied to them without their direct involvement ?

It appears you have some kind of User-type groups elsewhere in your Trust vicinity which appear to rubber stamp policies and lubricate them through which at the same avoid the specific difficulties of individual centre consultation eg . ref : The Epsom Garden Centre ..

Do you have plans to be more sensitive about how you measure patients voices and their satisfactions after changes you make to their services in the future ? What are they , in relation to each Centre or location of servces having its own right to express the voices of patients there in a recorded way so the PPI forum or anyone else independently can audit that ?

Auditing for effective patient satisfaction after service changes and the varying of arrangements have taken place , must be done for scruntiny . SABPT's arrangements appear to be very poor and non specific ...

Turning to the financial changes for Users at the Garden Centre ..

Have these folk had a chance to make up their losses by being awarded extra benefit money for their efforts ? Are they in receipt of allowable rewards or compensation for giving of their time ?

Have you had any drop out rates as a result of the changes you have implemented at the Centre ?

None of these things are clear Fiona and I complain they should be by now ...

We all pay for effective services in the country and effectiveness should be demonstarted ..

Regards


Paul Brian Tovey

Independent Monitor For Mental Health Matters

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sainsbury Centre Seeks to Beef Up Quack Employment Team

Posted on Institute of Psychiatry's online vacancy board. It seems the Sainsbury quackademics have realised that they are a bit light on brain power since being caught out recommending cutting payments to the Surrey and Borders Partnership's garden centre workers without even bothering to do their homework.

Who knows, they may get someone bright this time , someone like Jill Goble for example, who appears to know more about their Government policy led research than they do.

But £47,489 for quack research ......not bad huh?

Research & Development Manager

Department Employment Team at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health

Salary Starting salary in the range £42,169 pa to £47,489 pa (inclusive of £2,323 pa London Allowance), depending on qualifications and experience.

Reference 06/A29

Category Academic and related

Closes on Wed, 20 September 2006

Details

We would like to invite applications for the post of Research & Development Manager in the Employment Team at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. This is a new role within SCMH and will be key to ensuring the organisation achieves its newly defined goals. The successful applicant will develop and implement a research strategy that provides hard evidence of the difficulties people with mental health problems face in getting and keeping employment. Crucially this will lead to the development of new initiatives, policies and practices that will improve the opportunities available to this vulnerable group of people. The post will require solid research experience coupled with a real understanding of how policy and practice can be improved on the ground. SCMH is clear in its aim of making an impact at a national scale – this post will be part of a team that will achieve that aim. For the right candidate it provides an rare opportunity to work with leading experts in the field and for an organisation whose reputation for divisive incisive and relevant work is long established.

Downloads / more information
File size type
Application form 91136 .doc
Further Particulars 163500 .pdf
How to apply

For details of how to apply please see the attached further particulars document

All correspondence must quote reference number 06/A29
by email kenneth.robb@scmh.org.uk
by post Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health,
134-138 Borough High Street,
London SE1 1LB

Only candidates shortlisted for interview will be contacted.

Advertised on Tue, 05 September 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

All Quiet & Hidden on the Eastern Surrey Front

Although Anne Robinson on bad day lookalike and Surrey and Borders Chief Executive Fiona Edwards has made no effort to openly respond to the public outcry over SABP's unlawful treatment of the Old Moat Centre Garden workers Fiona was very quick to get her bid for community leadership top spot in the September edition of the Trust's 'Partnership People' newsletter.

In it Fiona states that
" We have to shift as a provider away from being a quiet hidden service to a very vocal service helping people to keep themselves well. We must develop our voice and our advocacy role to ensure that we can improve the health of our community . We have to work closely with the County Council on our joint responsibility for community leadership "


Huh, what about the people you are supoosed to serve Fiona?. Any chance of you working in partnership with your service users and their families and/or the people who care for them?

I'm sorry but will someone please alert Fiona Edwards to the fact that the Surrey and borders Trust has just been roundly condemned as mean and abusive by service users, carers , an MP and the local community media and point out that no-one trusts her to lead.

The community doesnt trust you Fiona so please save further embarassment and public money and just go. Quietly and hidden if you must but please do.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Peter Kinsey Leaves SABP to Pursue Another Career

Rosemary Moore , a member of Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust's FOCUS Group today posted copies of letters on her Flickr pages which appear to confirm that Peter Kinsey, SABP's Director of Operations and the man at the centre of the controversy over the treatment of the Old Moat garden centre workers resigned his post at short notice and left the organisation on August 31st 2006.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosemarymoore/237593964/



Go to Rosemary's Flickr pages link to see images in full size.


Peter Kinsey , Surrey Oaklands -SABP 1999-2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jill's Response to Dr Helen Lockett

This is Jill Goble's considered response to Dr Helen Lockett, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health policy advisor who Project Managed the so called ' Modernisation ' of the Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust's Work Services.

Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006
To: helen.lockett@ukonline.co.uk

Subject: RE: Fwd: Fw: Injustice in Surrey

Dear Helen Lockett


Thank you for your response to my email of 27th August which I received on August 31st.

I am disappointed that you defend the decision to cut the £3 a day wages to all the 179 Priority Enterprises disabled workers. You say that these workers are really only volunteers who are not entitled to be treated as employees by Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Trust (SABPT) and therefore not entitled to the minimum wage for their hard labour. You also say that cutting the £3 a day payments is somehow complying more effectively with the spirit and the letter of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and the Minimum Wage Act (MWA).

In the first place I cannot imagine a situation where you would have 179 or any non disabled people volunteering to do manual labour for the Trust. Or do you regularly have non disabled gardeners and office workers turn up to say they will work for the Trust for £3 a day or for free? No it is only the disabled workers who have been expected to work hard for £3 a day and now for free. It is my understanding that the Disability Discrimination Act in spirit as well as in letter is to prevent disabled people from being treated differently from non-disabled people. In this case unless you can show us 179 or any non disabled people who are also working in manual labour positions as volunteers who are paid nothing by the Trust then disability discrimination is definitely occurring.

Secondly it is only the disabled workers at the Priority Enterprises who have had their £3 a day payments cut. The non disabled workers have carried on with exactly the same salaries and conditions of work. Again it is discrimination to treat the disabled differently from the non disabled but again at the Priority Enterprises all the disabled workers have been treated differently by having their £3 a day payments cut to nothing. This also is not complying with the spirit or the letter of the DDA. It seems to me that because these workers are disabled they have been treated differently and have been open to exploitation and discrimination that has been increased rather than decreased by your ‘modernisation’.

As far as complying with the Minimum Wage Act is concerned I have here a document you yourself edited called ‘Paying a Real Wage to People in Work Projects’ which states:

‘If your work project decided to pay an attendance allowance or an honorarium to workers, rather than the minimum wage rate, you could be taking a risk of a future investigation by the Inland Revenue Minimum Wage Compliance Team’ Our campaign has in fact asked the Minimum Wage team to investigate this case and I have asked Peter Kinsey at SABPT to supply details of that investigation to us as part of my Freedom of Information Act questions. I do not believe that by suddenly stopping the £3 a day payments you have gained immunity from complying with the minimum wage rules and I do not understand why you have avoided meeting the minimum wage requirements by not giving the disabled workers proper employment contracts? In other parts of the above document above you recommend the good practice of a very similar work scheme to those at the Priority Enterprises called Tuck by Truck. In case you have forgotten your own recommendations I would like to remind you of this Tuck by Truck story as quoted in your own guide ‘Paying a Real Wage to People in Work Projects


‘In 2002 MCCH decided to address any ambiguity surrounding the allowance it gave to people with a learning difficulty who attended their services. Since they made this decision they have not looked back and their services have flourished.

At that time, it was not clear whether the existing work-scheme could have been found to be in breach of the Minimum Wage legislation as the guidance for work schemes had not (and still has not as yet) been tested in Court…

Tuck by Truck is one of MCCH’s employment and vocational services. It is contracted by the Local Authority to provide opportunities for people with a learning difficulty to build confidence, self-esteem and skills in a supportive work-focused environment. It also runs a business that provides and maintains snack trays to customer’s offices. Service users are involved in all aspects of providing this service including pricing the goods, preparing trays, checking stock, delivering the trays to customers and cashing up.

The most significant change was to separate the tasks service users carried out into paid and volunteer jobs…This was in compliance with advice MCCH received from the National Minimum Wage office, that ‘voluntary work can be offered alongside paid work providing the work is different and separate and one is not contingent on the other.’

Service users who carry out the paid work are now employed by MCCH as ‘Delivery Assistants’ and have a regular contract of employment, are paid minimum wage and take on the roles and responsibilities expected of any employee in the company.

The benefits of change

The service modernisation was fully completed by the autumn of 2003; since then they have been amazed by the changes that have taken place within the services.

The impact of giving people a permanent contract of employment with real wages has actually led to more and more service users requesting support to gain their own job external to Tuck by Truck. Several individuals have gained full-time employment from local employers and this has sparked another wave of enthusiasm and requests for open employment from others. The delivery rounds have also provided opportunities, customers have been approached, in response to individual service user requests and several people are now in work placements with Tuck by Truck customers.

Other benefits to service users and to MCCH include:

Service Users:

Status as employees; Increase in pay; A clear division between volunteering and employment, where employment is paid at the minimum wage; Payment which minimises impact on benefits with the option to increase hours based on individual choice; A range of individual stepping stones to employment; A real workplace culture which encourages people to look beyond the service into open employment or education.

MCCH

The organisation has moved from a position of risk to one of compliance with the benefit system, employment legislation and best practice; Company policies and procedures are being reviewed to enable the more effective recruitment of people with a disability; The recruitment of new employees has diversified the company workforce; The focus is now on the person rather than just the business; The service has increased its capacity to support individuals into open employment. ‘

The example above highlights the benefits of employing disabled people so why have you neglected to employ any in the Priority Enterprises modernisation? The same document also gives all the details for employing people according to minimum wage rules with the least disruption to benefits. All the 179 disabled workers at the Priority Enterprises could have been employed for even three hours a week each and the cost of this would be little more than the £3 a day payments that were being made before you cut these to nothing. With some flexibility arrangements could also have been made for the disabled workers to spend their hours in employment in mainstream departments of the NHS such as the office, catering and cleaning departments outside of Priority Enterprises so that experience of real jobs in real work environments could be gained.

Although you cite a lot of documents and ‘internationally recognised evidence-based practice’ to back up your ‘modernisation’ I have read enough on this topic recently to know that there is no real consensus about best practice in this area. Even the government itself reports:

Government report accuses charities and public sector of exploiting disabled workers by paying less than minimum wage
03 August 2006 08:05


Public sector and charities flout minimum wage rules when employing people with learning disabilities.

Many employers are paying workers with learning disabilities less than the minimum wage, according to a report.

A "worrying" number of employers – especially local authorities and those in the voluntary sector – are defying National Minimum Wage (NMW) rules by under-paying staff with learning disabilities.

The report, by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions, warned that organisations faced the threat of costly employment tribunals if they failed to apply the NMW.

"The working group is concerned about the worrying number of learning disability employment providers that appear to be in breach of the National Minimum Wage," the report said.

The government working group on learning difficulties and employment said local authorities needed to work more closely with JobCentre Plus to help more people with learning difficulties find work. By Georgina Fuller

And in another report by the government called 'You can work it out. Best practice in employment for people with a learning difficulty' we see: ‘As services seek to help people find more meaningful activities than sitting around in day centres, employment is acknowledged as playing a crucial role in people’s lives. But success in getting people in to paid work remains woefully inadequate. Instead , services have created a world based on work for which few people get paid. There is a growing variety of training, social enterprises, work-related projects, work experience and volunteering schemes. There are people who to all intents and purposes are working, but who receive little or no payment.

This is illegal unless there is genuinely no obligation to attend and no obligation to do anything.

There are people who are described as volunteering- this conveniently gets around the issue of employment contracts and payments. These situations are exploitative.’

So Ms Lockett you can see from this guide that even the government admits your ‘volunteers’ at the Priority Enterprises are being exploited. The guide can be found at:
www.valuingpeople.gov.uk/EmploymentGuides.htm

We would like you and the managers at SABT to review your decision not to employ the workers at the Priority Enterprises and make them work as unpaid slave labour. I am also sending this to Bob Groves at your employers Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and to your funders at the Gatsby Foundation who say on their website that they wish to help people,especially the disadvantaged, get better lives. The poor disabled disadvantaged workers who have had their £3 a day pay cut to nothing by your 'modernisation' certainly have not had their lives made better at all. In fact they are the only ones in this excercise who are worse of because of your modernisation and that IS discrimination..

Please let us know what you intend to do on this matter and all replies or lack of replies will be published on our campaign blog at http://justice4sabtworkers.blogspot.com/

Yours Sincerely

Jill Goble


Cc: Dr Bob Groves bob.grove@scmh.org.uk Director of the Employment Support Programme DCMH

The Gatsby Foundation contact@gatsby.org.uk

Test Page

This is just a test page as Jill and Silvis are reporting problems with viewing this blog in internet explorer. Blog entries should still be visible through previous post and month sections. Thabks for your patience.

Surrey & Borders AGM - getting there

Here's a map to find your way to the AGM venue. Perhaps we can meet up and coordinate a strategy for leafletting and asking questions. I would also appreciate a lift if anyone is driving from South East London.


map loading...


The Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust's AGM 28 September at 4.15-4.45pm, following the Board meeting in public 2-4pm. Both at Bourne Hall,
Spring Street,
Ewell,
Surrey KT17 1UF
Telephone: 020 8393 9571 for parking details


For Driving Directions

Nearest Station Ewell West - 5 min walk , Rail Timetable/Station Locator Here

Jonny Doesnt Work Here AnyMore Audio

Thought the text version better flagged up the difference SABP and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health are exploting here but maybe I'm wrong.

This is dedicated to Dr Helen Lockett, Project Manager of the SABP Work Services Modernisation Program.

Play

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Surrey & Borders AGM

From Rosemary

There was a question somewhere on this blog about when the Surrey & Borders AGM would be. The date is in the S&B newspaper "Partnership People" on the SABP website - 28 September at 4.15-4.45pm, following the Board meeting in public 2-4pm. Both at Bourne Hall, in Ewell.


Rosemary in Surrey
Mental Magazine



I dont have time right now to link to Google Map through their API and I dont know Ewell that well so it would be great if Rosemary could geotag one of her Flickr images , a notice for the AGM maybe and place it in Ewell using the map function in organizr then I can link directly to it so that visitors to the blog can get directions. A brief note in caption box about best stations, etc would also help.

Rosemary also suggested handing out our Pledge and campaign leaflets at the AGM so to that end here are a couple of flyers about the pledge , with Flyer 2 being editable so that you can chop and change to suit or just use it as a template to raise awaremess of other issues at the AGM.

If we all print out stuff we are sharing the cost of leafletting.

Standard Flyer PDF

Editable Flyer RTF

JoNny dusNt WorK hERe EnYMoRe

oDE tO dR hELLeN LOckETT

HeLl -eN coMe sEE me WErk
GROwiN fLouRS

BeUteFUll

HeLl -eN
TOrK tO mEE
HoLt myE HaNd
WiT PeEter

i ShO HeLl -eN BAwDeRs I diGG
HeLl -eN sMYLle
BeUteFUll

HeLl -eN-hoLD mYE HaND
I Tel HeLl -eN I WErk HeRE
ShEE SmyLLe
I SHo Her MyE FlouRS
BeUteFUll

HeLl -eN gOE tO oFFIZ
I hEre hUr SpEEK BiGG WerdS wIt PeEter
HeX-TERnalizASHUn
MaRJins
CoNTUltasHuN
MoDERniZaSHUn

I mIZZ HeLl -eN
WaREs HeLl -eN?
WyE JoNny dusNt WorK hERe EnYMoRe?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Trust asked to explain evasiveness in answering FOIA requests

E-mail from Jill Goble to Declan Flynn and Peter Kinsey . For anyone new to this blog I should just explain that these two bureaucrats work for the Surrey & Borders NHS MH Trust , Kinsey is the Director of Operations and Flynn is his flunkie. To date these two have gone to perverse extremes not to answer FOIA requests or ignore them.

Dear Mr Flynn

Yes I eventually received my Freedom of Information Act request answers last week.

The letter was signed by Mr Peter Kinsey. He has neglected to answer my questions concerning the Minimum Wage Investigation that is taking place for the Priority Enterprises and to make the details of this investigation public to me.

He also did not answer my question concerning the official status of the disabled workers at the Priority Enterprises and whether they are trainees or volunteers or what? Perhaps you or Mr Kinsey could now enlighten me with answers to these questions?

Mr Kinsey also did not give me the individual sales figures for the Priority Enterprises which I need answering in my questions concerning the enterprises accounts.

I am also addressing this mail to Mr Kinsey in the hope that between you you can see this as a complaint concerning the questions that have not been answered in my FOIA requests and can respond by giving me the omitted answers.

On another matter I am wondering if you know that UNISON publish posters about how disabled people can organise their own workplace unions and other disabled people's rights and I wonder if you can organise distribution of these posters around the Priority Enterprises?

The link for ordering the posters is

www.unison.org.uk/disabled/pages


I would also like to ask what plans SABPT are making to comply with the Disability Equality Duty which comes into force in December?

Yours Sincerely

Jill Goble

Monday, September 04, 2006

http://www.pledgebank.com/JusticeInWork

Good morning,

A while ago our blog owner asked me to write my own blog entries or otherwise
he would demand minimum wage for having to put my many comments up here!

I've been too nervous of taking on this responsibility until now but this morning
I've decided to risk this short entry.

I'm glad to see that 10 people have made the effort to sign to support this campaign at

http://www.pledgebank.com/JusticeInWork

and we'd like anyone who hasn't signed to take a moment to help.

It really only takes a minute of your time to sign.

Thanks Jill

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Modernisation Without Clarity

Its becoming increasingly clear from Jill's research that there is a total lack of clarity regarding the status and lot of the Old Moat Garden Centre workers and every reason to expect that they are being exploited in a way a recent Government report complained about simply to keep the garden centre ticking over until its transferred to the Richmond Fellowship, a Mental Health Charity with, according to its website anyway, no clear stated interest in or experience of working with people with learning difficulties .

The Richmond Fellowship , whose slogan 'MakingRecoveryReality ' flags up a certain bias towards the more able and recoverable, has this to say about itself.

Every year Richmond Fellowship (RF) helps thousands of people to gain a new sense of purpose and fulfilment in lives that have often been devastated by mental health problems, sometimes associated with sexual abuse or drug and alcohol misuse.

RF's roots are in the therapeutic communities that sprang up after the two world wars, helping homecoming soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or shellshock as it was then known; early RF services adapted this model to enable young people with severe mental health problems to live outside hospital, in the community, following a structured recovery programme.

We have come a long way since the setting up of our first service and now have over 100 specialist facilities. These include 24 hour nursed bed units, community housing, workschemes, family units and outreach schemes, all of which are designed to restore an individual's sense of security and purpose.

On this website the people who use our services and the staff who make this work possible share with you their unique experiences.


This is what the Richmond Fellowship has to say about its employment and training services.


RFET runs a range of services providing rehabilitation, training, work experience and support into employment. Its clients are people with mental health problems and other disabilities who have been or are at risk of being excluded from the labour market as a result of poor mental health.

RFET offers three main models of service. These three models are:

Supported Work Experience


These services offer supported work experience through in-house work placements that provide a range of work skills, tailored to individual needs.

Support Into Employment

Formerly known as QEST, RFET’s Employment Support teams help people with mental health problems to find suitable training or employment and to gain any help that may be needed in the workplace. People can refer themselves or be referred by their social or healthcare worker. Clients are linked with an Employment Advisor who works in partnership with them to achieve their training and employment goals.

Into Work

Into Work provides an integrated service offering both employment advice and internal work placements and allows clients to receive a truly needs-led service. Where circumstances allow, Into Work is RFET’s preferred model of service delivery. All clients are allocated to an Employment Advisor who, along with the client, develops an action plan to help the client achieve their goals. Clients can access all or parts of the service. If appropriate to their current needs, clients may choose to do an internal work placement in a supported environment. These placements are provided in a modern setting that allows clients to develop skills relevant to the workplace. Clients can later move onto external work placements and/or employment.

Where appropriate clients may decide that they do not need an internal work placement and choose to go straight into an external work placement or undertake voluntary work or be supported directly into employment.

All clients have access to our in-house training programmes, which help clients to further develop their work skills and confidence. The integrated service model offers a service, which clients can enter at a point appropriate to their individual skills and ability and progress through to open employment.

RFET's three models of service provide:

* Work experience in the local community
* Work and employment in commercial settings for people needing long-term support
* Vocational rehabilitation and training
* Career guidance and support into open employment

Click here to see a listing of our services


Given the dishonesty of the Surrey & Borders Trust and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health throughout the so called 'Modernisation' process and the Richmond Fellowship's refusal to address public concern by clarifying its intentions , one senses that the future for the current Old Moat Garden Centre workers is anything but secure.Indeed we already know from Peter Kinsey that some service users stopped working at the garden centre after the £3 daily payments were cut and they were expected to work for nothing.It's also been almost 5 months since that happened so Dr Lockett's notion that the garden centre workers are still training or doing work experience as volunteers is nonsense she just doesnt want to acknowledge their work as productive or profitable.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Undeserving

Update:

The Pledge on the www.pledgebank.com site is now displayed in the All Pledges section meaning its visible to the public now and well on the way to getting this campaign the kind of publicity it deserves and needs.

If you have signed the pledge already, thanks for your help. If you havent, please think about signing it, its a very simple process and your contribution really will help make a difference.

On that score, I know Jill and a number of other people have serious concerns about how the Surrey & Border NHS Trust and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health quackademics handled the so called ' modernisation ' of the Trust's Work Services.

One longstanding criticism of the NIMHE/DWP led and MH wide preoccupation with employment and training is that it sidelines issues of treatment and care and benefits the most able service users at the expense of everybody else , particularly the most vunerable .

Helen Lockett's hardassed self-justification that the garden centre workers £3 payments were unrelated to ' productivity and profitability ' rang alarm bells as it doesnt matter what ideology she drapes her words and actions in (Disability Rights, etc. ) she makes it clear that the ' modern thinking' she subscribes to now requireS funding to be targetted at the most productive and profitable service users and activities, no doubt with ' deserving ' and ' undeserving' labels being very subtly applied to both as well.

So what or who is going to trigger 'payments , recognition and reward' to the not so able?...

By the way, I wrote to the Director of the Richmond Fellowship a few weeks ago regarding her organisations takeover of the Old Moat Garden Centre.

I havent received a response yet. Obviously the Richmond Fellowship , which apparently ' specialises ' in MH employment and training iniatives [evidence please!] doesnt need to pay any attention to ordinary service users, all it needs to do is keep an eye on ' Productivity & Profits'.

My this Externalisation process is pretty lucrative for some...

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