People’s Board Meeting Summary 18/04/19

Personal reflection written by People’s Board member Mohammed Mahboob


The peoples board meetings are rarely dull, and Aprils meeting was anything but that.  Passionate, ideas, concerned and full of alternative perspectives are some of the words that I would use to describe the meeting.
Healthy discussions took place on a number of areas including the CCG communications plan, presentations and linking in with the patients network steering group, activities around the Peoples Board development day and the annual report.  This included a passionate debate on defining the Peoples Board and discussions around our ongoing role.
As an ex carer and someone who has worked with carers, I was looking forward to hearing about the plans and work going into the Carers Support Services and Strategy.  It was good to see that quite a lot of aspects had already been considered in the strategy. I was even more encouraged with the approach taken by Anna Smith (commissioner in CCG) and Tony Sheeky (commissioner in Bradford Council) in listening to our views and including changes in the plans immediately whilst in discussion with us. And that’s not to say there were not many suggestions from the Peoples Board members; these were many and fast flowing, and included the following considerations to name a few:
• Support for transition of young carers to adulthood and continuing as a carer.
• Post caring support (i.e. when their carer role may have come to end for whatever reason.) Often individuals may feel isolated or not know how to move on with their own lives.
• Combined focus on carer and cared for and a wide range of other aspects.
Many carers don’t identify themselves as carers and simply see their act of caring as something one would naturally do for their loved ones. However such carers can be missed out by services and available support.  The impact of this can have detrimental effects on both the carer and cared for. Consumed in duties and delivery of care to the individual(s) they are caring for, many will often neglect their own wellbeing and as a result will suffer hardship and difficulties with their own physical and mental health. It was good to see suggestions from Peoples Board members that the new plans should actively reach out to such carers.
Lead commissioner for mental health services, Sasha Bhatt also dropped in to introduce future work around children and young peoples mental health, one of the key local and national priorities.  This is to be followed up with more formal discussions and input from the Peoples Board, however one of the main points was allowing children and young people to be referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) via other routes besides through the GP and school nurse.  A project has also been initiated to compile an updated directory of all mental health services within Bradford District.  
Cancer is a an illness that invokes fear of loss and hopelessness in most people, however through raising awareness, screening, prevention, continuing research and better treatments, hopefully the fear and feelings of hopelessness can be replaced with cure and quality of life.
It is without doubt that cancer screening, prevention, and treatment is one of the greatest priorities within the Bradford District. This was passionately emphasised by Mike Frazer who also fed back the same feelings and concern expressed by 59 members who attended the patients network and represent patients from GP surgeries in Bradford and District particularly in Bradford City.  Mike argued that the as a Peoples Board we should be challenging the CCGs to treat this as a priority if we are truly to be the Patient Voice for this area.
That’s all for now, but as always, we look forward to your feedback, suggestions and would be happy to answer any queries you may have.

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