We run the local Transforming Care Forum for people in long stay hospitals to talk about their care and their future.  The Forum aims to ensure that people's voices improve the way services are planned.

About the Transforming Care Forum

We have been actively involved in Transforming Care since 2014 when we began doing Care and Treatment Reviews for the NHS (National Health Service).

In the summer of 2016, James Kerrigan (NHS South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group) asked bemix (formerly Skillnet Group) to talk to people supported by Cedar House and The Chilterns, to see if they would be interested to be part of a Transforming Care Forum. People shared what might be important to them in the future, when they came out of hospital. This included thoughts on support, leisure, housing and keeping themselves and others safe.

”Thank you for sharing your experiences and taking part in useful debates. Your participation has provided us with valuable feedback which we can put in to our report, to enable us to make improvements for the future for others. This will help us in the review and design of services commissioned to support them." - Hazel Smith, Chair, Kent & Medway Transforming Care Executive Board

Tina Walker and Keith Wyncoll were then asked to invite three people from each service to join a Transforming Care Forum. This is a meeting every three months for Forum members to talk about their own futures. The Forum aims to ensure that people’s voices change the way services are planned.

“I'm Brian from Cedar House. I have now attended three Forum meetings. One was at The Chilterns, where I was warmly welcomed by the residents and staff. We have also twice received visitors from The Chilterns to Cedar, where we were able to welcome them. The overall experience that these meetings have impressed upon me is the friendliness, positivity in the interactions of meeting new people outside the hospital. It has also been good to be able to talk and to be listened to. It has helped me to have the vision that I could also be able to have a life outside of hospital. It gave me a positive sense of possibility in my life and I look forward to meeting again." - Brian, Cedar House

Why is Transforming Care important?

by Tina Walker

Some people (with a learning disability / autism / mental ill health) who may have done something wrong - are sent to a secure hospital. This is to protect themselves and the public, and to have treatment to help them. But, people are being kept in hospital too long - some have been neglected or abused.

• The Government and NHS say they want to bring more of these people out, to be supported in local communities, but not enough is happening.

• I feel it is important to change attitudes, to value people and give them a voice.

• I want to see more person-centred planning, involving people themselves and better choices in the community.

Glossary and links to more information

Tina Walker is a Director of bemix and a passionate self-advocate who was herself isolated in secure care as a young woman.

Keith Wyncoll works for bemix and is the parent of a child with severe autism and a retired social care manager.

The Chilterns provides supportive accommodation at Westgate on Sea for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs, including mental health issues.

Cedar House is a secure hospital near Canterbury that supports men and women with mental health disorders, learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and complex needs.

Transforming Care is a Government and NHS (National Health Service) programme to help more people get the care they need in the community instead of in hospital.

Find out more about Transforming Care

Care and Treatment Reviews are important to help people get the right care when they leave. About Care and Treatment Reviews A Care and Treatment Review (CTR) is an independent review of a person's care. It checks:

x That people are safe and getting the right care for them

x They have good care plans for the future

x Any problems with their health, safety or care get sorted out CTRs are for people with learning disabilities, autism or both, who are in hospital because of a mental health problem, or because their behaviour is seen as challenging.

They are also for people living in the community who might need to go into a learning disability or mental health hospital. People of all ages can have a CTR. Reviews for children and young people also consider the person's learning needs. Care and Treatment Reviews are an important part of Transforming Care.

Two bemix 'self-advocates', Tina Walker and Ann-Marie Lillis have been involved in CTRs, supported by Keith Wyncoll. Keith as a family carer, is also an expert by experience in his own right and joins the panels when Tina and Ann-Marie are unavailable. 

Find out more about Care and Treatment Reviews 

Review Panels Three people make up CTR Panels: The chairperson, usually the person's NHS commissioner - who pays for their care; a clinical expert, usually a nurse, psychiatrist or other health professional; and an expert by experience - a person with "lived experience" through their own learning disability, autism or both, or a family carer.