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.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The End

This blog has been running for over a year and apart from exposing and embarassing SABP's executives as incompentent and dishonest , the quackademics from SCMH as corrupt manipulative idiots and the statutory bodies and structures which are supposed to monitor SABP on behalf of patients and the public as totally useless we havent really modified anyones behavior.

So, its time to move on.

Not sure if people just want the blog left here or deleted , e-mail your preferences here

This ending reminds me a bit of that scene in War of the Worlds where the aliens are all dead and people survey the destruction around them and start to think about rebuilding their world and the narrator cuts in to say "It wasnt any human weapon that destroyed the menace but the small things of nature" this case though the aliens simply wandered off to leave the earthlings to fuck things up for themselves.....again.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Smash the Glass Ceilings, Ignore the Official Stone Walls

Jonathan Naess is a manic depressive, very successful legal partner with city firm Nabarro-Wells and Co and founder of new MH recovery model iniative 'Stand to Reason'. Jonathan was recently described by the Guardian's MH correspondent David Brindle as 'Mental Health's Voice of Reason'.

Jonathan hopes his organisation Stand to Reason will address workplace stigma and discrimination and smash the glass ceilings that he believes workers with MH issues face. In the Guardian article and on his website Mr Naess explained how he equated Stand to Reason with Stonewall, the political pressure group that campaigned for gay equal rights for 14 years and then in 2003 , after many of its political aims had been achieved , became a registered charity and adopted a less political and more educational role.

I entered into correspondence with Mr Naess because the Guardian article presented him as a maverick independent service user activist when in fact he has very close links to the system. This type of misrepresentation has now become very common in MH circles , for some reason the well connected feel they need to dupe people and underhandedly network outcomes rather than explain their case and take other peoples points of view on board.

Because of the comparison to ' Stonewall ' he made , its there on the Stand to Reason website too, I questioned Jonathan about the way the officially favoured and relentlessly pushed recovery model was creating a new form of 'stigma and discrimination' for MH services users who could not conform to it. Rather than being abstract I pointed to a specific example involving the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, my local Trust and one Mr Naess has been officially involved with for some time.

Mr Naess responded in the regal ' We' You should be able to pick up the gist of the exchange and problem here.


With respect, you have long been involved with SLAM , you are a Research Associate at the Institute of Psychiatry and you are professionally involved with the Institute/SLAM's Professor Graham Thornicroft an expert in 'stigma and discrimination' so the problem with your' we ' is that you do not appear to be independent enough from the establishment, as Stonewall orginally was, to effectively challenge it when the discrimination and/or inequality arises from its actions.

Off ward, SLAM makes no effort to ensure the basic financial security of service users who do not conveniently fit into its officially favoured recovery model .

( There is no MH specific benefits advice or support in certain boroughs within the SLAM catchment area)

For those who can recover SLAM funds training and employment projects and even plans 'recovery' orientated art exhibitions with initiatives like yours ( Stand to Reason is planning to partner a recovery arts event with SLAM) so it isnt as if the institution lacks the money to provide equality of service , it simply restricts its concerns about financial security and its relationship with the mental health and well-being of its service users to the world of work and thereby makes a conscious decision to really stigmatise and discriminate.

Stonewall did not just campaign on behalf of employed gay people Jonathan!

As for feedback, this is not feedback, it is criticism , as to date, with Stand to Reason you have simply replicated the top down decision making of institutions like SLAM as in addition to trying to sidestep the discrimination and inequality of service perpetuated by SLAM because your project enjoys some type of favoured status there is no participatory capacity designed in to the Stand to Reason website to allow ordinary service users to engage in anything but private e-mail exchange with you or talk to or contact each other ( on the site ) to discuss the aims and objectives you have set out on their behalf.

I'm sorry but you appear to have simply rotated the Stand to Reason iniative around yourself and attempted to re-create the work environment and meetings culture you are familiar with in the city to ensure you remain within your comfort zone : power breakfasts, evening events and round table meetings completely ignoring the fact that the internet is a participatory not top down medium and that very many MH service users are not as mobile, confident enough around other people or even as able to get up in the morning as you are. Many also find the meetings culture toxic.

How do you relate to them Jonathan?


Des Curley

My message bounced back. Mr Naess is broadcasting but not receiving. Whats new?


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Softools Contract FOIA Update

Received this communication from Paul Mitchell , the Surrey & Borders Partnership MHS Trusts Corporate Spin Doctor the other day. There seems to be a flurry of (un)official activity behind the scenes re. Softtools-gate so perhaps I'll be legally forced to apologise for telling the truth . Who knows...

Mr Riseborough and Mr Mitchell are very well paid public officials so read the footer of the communication to gain a better idea of the lengths these corporate types will go to pull the wool over peoples eyes.

Paul Mitchell
date Jun 15, 2007 4:34 PM
subject Complaint and FOI request

Stanley Riseborough is not in his office today, but has asked me to make sure you are sent the following:

Re: Complaint and FOI request

In my email to you of 11th May I said that I would come back to you with the outcome of the next stage of the process by today. Unfortunately, this will not be completed until the end of next week. I will therefore contact you on Monday, 25th June 2007. Please accept my apologies for the delay.

Yours sincerely

Stanley Riseborough

Director of Nursing and Service User Involvement

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error please notify the sender and delete it immediately.

Any information, statements or opinions contained in this message (including any attachments) are given by the author. They are not given on behalf of the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust unless subsequently confirmed by an individual, other than the author, who is authorised to represent Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Request for Information from Surrey PCT

Diane Woods
Director of Commissioning
MH and Learning Difficulties

Dear Diane,

I spoke to Emmanuel Gbetuwa Mental Health Commissioning Manager on the 23rd May 2007 and he confirmed that the Richmond Fellowship had submitted revised proposals for running the Old Moat Garden Centre , agreed that this information should be placed in the public domain and stated that he would get back to me within days to provide me with a copy of the proposals or an explanation why he could not..

Emmanuel appears to have forgotten to do this so would you please :

1.provide me with a copy of the revised proposals submitted by the Richmond Fellowship


2. explain the extent of public consultation there has been over the Richmond Fellowships new plans for the Old Moat Garden Centre

as with this matter dragging on for over a year now at great public expense I am sure you understand the need for greater transparency and accountability .

Please treat the above questions as FOIA requests.

Thank You

Des Curley

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Letter to Chris Grayling MP

to GRAYLING, Chris
date 13-Jun-2007 14:37
subject Re: Hospital Campaign

Dear Chris,

I have been following your campaign against the closure of Epsom's impatient and maternity services, I've been copied in to developments, and hope you and everyone else involved in the campaign manage to force a rethink during the public consultation process. That is, if it doesnt turn out to be yet another ' consultative' sham.

You will recall that the Surrey and Borders & Partnership Trust was forced to do a very embarassing u turn over their treatment of the Old Moat Garden Centre workers . This shows that public opinion does matter and can make a difference on the other hand it has been over a year since SABP and the Surrey PCT announced plans to ' modernise' the Old Moat Garden Centre and yet we still do not know what their new plans for the centre and its workers and users are.

I have repeatedly asked the Surrey PCT to make public the revised proposals for the centre submitted by the Richmond Fellowship earlier this year, proposals there has been no public consultation about , but the PCT refuses to place this information into the public domain.

The Richmond Fellowship is the sole bidder so there are no commercial confidentiality issues .

The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (SCMH) academics who were involved in this modernisation process received over £40,000 in public money. One of those academics, Dr Bob Groves also sat on and advised the Remploy Taskforce that recently decided to 'mainstream' away over 2000 disabled peoples sheltered Remploy jobs . This was also done in the name of modernisation without the disabled workers being consulted at all.

Dr Groves is seconded to the DWP and also exercises massive leverage within NIMHE, a useless but powerful Government quango set up by SCMH, ( costs million £60 and rising ) so what is actually driving these top down decisions isnt Dr Groves' self proclaimed 'world leading expertise' but his and SCMH's slavish , unobjective and non independent blind allegiance to politically correct Government policy.

The Government politically objects to sheltered employment and has decided that everyone must be subject to market forces, irrespective of whether people can actually cope with this.

The ongoing situation with the Old Moat Garden Centre is evidence that this Government, NIMHE, SCMH and some of the other major disability charities are more interested in pushing their dogma than its impact on disabled peoples lives.

Changes to public services should be made after the experts have thought them through and meaningfully discussed them with service users and the public , not before as here.

Your constituents are currently paying for the chaos SCMH left behind at SABP , whereas Dr Groves and his fellow SCMH academics and associates are rushing ahead to pick up their next publicly funded paychecks for advising public services to 'mainstream' their complex employment and therapeutic activities problems away. This approach is fraudulent, reckless and wrong.

Des Curley

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dogs, Fearfulness & the Inconsistency of Being

I have not posted for a while. I'm sorry I hit a real low last week and just couldnt rally to write anything about an issue SABP and the Surrey PCT simply refuse to volunteer information about. They also continue to insist that it has nothing to do with me.

That's the official line. Distance is all.

Five days ago my friend lost her dog Wishie who ran off in Mountain Home , Idaho in the middle of a violent storm. Wishie hasnt been seen since.

I remember my friend choosing Wishie in a shelter in Ontario , Oregon where the wall was lined with cages containing dogs which had been lost , rejected and abused.The place reminded me of my own life growing up in care. At the end of the row were two really mournful long eared King Charles spaniels who whined for attention but howled in misery the moment I stopped stroking their ears. I had to stroke their ears at the same time to stop them becoming jealous.

They were beautiful.

The King Charles siblings , I assumed they were, craved attention but that was ok, they were hurt animals. Stroking their ears and comforting them didnt require an awful lot of effort. But I knew as much as I wanted to take them home that I couldnt save them as I wouldnt have been able to look after them. I can barely look after me. They should have been looked after by people who had more going for them in life.

I hope those dogs were properly adopted. I can still feel their cool drooping velvety ears. I hope they are relaxed and kicking back watching some movie from the couch. yeah, if those two dudes made it to happilly slobbing out in front of the tv, thats ok by me.

My friend chose Wishie - or Flossie as she was then called - whose papers set out how she had been evacuated from New Orleans . I was in the US driving across the rockies when Katrina struck and even got home quicker because Katrina's dying breath blew my plane back acoss the Atlantic that much quicker.

Katrina blew me a taunting kiss...

I was also in New Orleans for the first post Katrina Mardi Gras. I wanted to be. The sun shone, the costumes and freaks outed and the bands played downtown but the devastation wasnt just confined to blocks , it stretched across whole neighbourhoods and states. I remember entering the South through Cairo Illinois , a rapidly decaying town where the great Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet and watching the damage inflicted by Katrina piling up as we got closer and closer to New Orleans. After leaving the Big Easy we drove along the shattered coastline of Lousianna to Gulfport/Biloxi in Mississippi where casino's had been flipped into the air and on to Florida a land of hurricane hit holiday homes for sale. Outside of the devastated urban sprawl much of the once natural landscape had been transformed into writhing orgies of dead trees and debris. If you want to know why Americans watch weather forecasts a bit more closely than we do, go check out the aftermath of a hurricane.

The French Quarter faired well though. As did Flossie.

That first post Katrina Mardi Gras went well. People turned up to party. Flossie got evacuated up to Ontario , Oregon or thereabouts then, through my friend became Wishkah or Wishie and moved on to Nevada a hot, calm and gambling aside, boring desert state and then , weeks ago up to Mountain Home Idaho.

On June 7th the winds picked up and an unleashed storm front hit Mountain Home. Wishie took off. Who can blame her?

Yesterday I created a missing dog poster , posted an appeal on Flickr , set up a Lost Pets group on Flickr and managed to get the local newspaper the Mountain Home News to cover Wishie running off in storm as well.

This took all my energy but I will be back to follow through on the SABP issue later.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Not in great mood to write today. This kinda sums up the last post.

Back story is , I have a Russian Blue ( or at least he thinks he's of noble birth but he has banded tail - see here ) called Ziggy and he's a real schmuck as he catches mice in the garden , brings them into the house and then loses them....

Dont you just hate those people who bang on about cats being so intelligent and mystic....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"Look Now See What You Made Me Do"

Since I mentioned that Softools, the company ran by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust Chief Executive Fiona Edwards husband Mark Edwards had a contract with the Trust but hadnt declared their relationship when talking up the SABP contract to attract work from other NHS Trust's on its website, there's been a lot of interest in the blog from the Buckinghamshire area where Softools is registered and was once based.

We're talking numerous hits per day here.

It may be just a coincidence . I certainly thought so but the other day I absent mindedly mapped out all the hits from the IP in question and the pattern that emerged was of someone commuting from Buckinghamshire to the Surrey & Borders area almost every day .

This person had also logged on to this blog from virtually right outside my home - another coincidence I suppose - and their interest extends beyond the professional as the hits went up over the recent Bank Holiday weekend and they even seem to have checked in with the blog while on holiday in another country.

Someone needs a life....

The timing of the hits also suggest that this individual doesnt commute on a 9 to 5 basis - God, I feel like Lloyd Grossman on through the keyhole here ! - but is a professional who organises their own workload and routinely travels between different sites within the Surrey & Borders catchment area. Perhaps its an executive, academic or high flying paid service user representative....who knows.

In fact, the pattern is so established that it could be used to predict which geographical location the person leaves from and is going to be at on certain days of the week. I could almost meet their train. I wouldnt of course nor publish the map of their movements because it would simply be unethical. It might breach their confidentiality.

Dont get me wrong, I'm not nosy and I'm obviously glad people read and comment on this blog, the more the merrier either for or against it but has anyone ever seen that film Misery, based on the Stephen King book of the same name? You know the one where author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) has the luck to career off the road on an isolated snowy mountain track right on the doorstep of one of his most adoring and stable fans played by the amazing Kathy Bates.

Well, if I'm found with my ankles cobbled or worse any time soon --------- ------------ did it. Ok?

Monday, June 04, 2007

One Year On

This was the first post on the blog in June 2006. Since then the Surrey & Borders NHS Trust has backtracked on cutting payments but the so called ' Modernisation' of the Old Moat Garden Centre has simply resulted in incompetent managers within SABP , Surrey PCT, Surrey County Council , MCCH , SCMH and the Richmond Fellowship wasting public money or funds donated to them passing the buck.

During the same period it transpired that SABP Chief Executive Fiona Edwards and her husband Mark Edwards were underhandedly profiting from contracts between her Trust and his business Softools, a firm that also had a contract with one of the PCT's inherited by the Surrey PCT.

Softools claims to increase visibility of process and efficiency within and across organisations however one year on I dont think its just the workers at the Surrey & Borders Old Moat Garden Centre , who still face a totally uncertain future, who feel short changed.

The Surrey PCT has yet to get back to me with details about the Richmond Fellowship's revised proposals for the Old Moat Garden Centre.

Posted June 2006

Health Bosses Axe £3 a Day Wages

THE father of a man with learning difficulties is furious that health bosses have axed his £3-a-day wages for working at a NHS Trust owned garden centre.

By Joan Mulcaster

This means that for digging, hoeing, weeding, shovelling, planting, moving and potting at The Moat Garden Centre in Epsom, owned by Surrey and Borders NHS Trust, Brian Hall, 44, now gets nothing.

And the same goes for his other £3-a-day job, filling envelopes atthe trust's Office Project in Cobham.

Brian's father, David Hall of Green Lane, Ewell, said: "From very, very cheap labour he and his friends are now being used as free labour - how low can you get?"

Brian, who lives in a trust community home in Langley Vale and others housed in similar homes and also employed in its various commercial enterprises, are having their pay docked as part of a modernisation policy.

Bosses claim this is not a cost cutting exercise.

Mr Hall added: "I am disgusted at this treatment of the most vulnerable members of our society who carry out hard manual work for what is a commercial garden centre."

"News of this was broken at the centre last Friday.

"It was 'we won't be paying you any more' and some of the chaps didn't realise what was going on.

"It is disgraceful that this penny-pinching NHS Trust should penalise these vulnerable, disabled people working for them. Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling said: "It is beyond belief that they save money by depriving the people who work for them.

"They paid them hardly anything and now they are paying them

The Moat House Garden Centre was launched as a showpiece project to be run as a commercial enterprise and staffed by supervised adults with learning difficulties.

However, the £3-a-day pay - described by the trust as therapeutic reward money - compares badly with pay convicted criminals earn on prison enterprises.

A statement from trust director of operations Peter Quinsey said: "Payments are a throwback to the days of large mental health and learning disability institutions when patients were rewarded for work or therapy activities.

"This is now outdated and many mental health institutions do not recognise the practice so the trust has decided to end these payments.

"Work services are being remodelled to reflect modern practices which clearly distinguish between paid work, voluntary work, training and therapy."


Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Spirit of Resistance

Someone sent me this video this morning and after viewing it I couldnt help thinking it's a brilliant example of how collective action can affect outcomes even , sometimes, in what appear to be the most hopeless of cases.. Warning: this video contains some pretty brutal wildlife footage but stay with it.

toolbar powered by Conduit