Shadow Cabinet Member - Adult Social Care & Health
10/06/2016 10:35:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley
Since taking on my role as Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health I have been quite busy. Reflecting on my new role, I took a visit to the Bethlem Royal Hospital which was founded in 1247 and was the first institution in the UK to specialise in the care of the mentally ill. The hospital continues to provide in-patient care as part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and has been based in south London since 1930.
Situated within the hospital grounds, is a stunning Art Deco building which is now Bethlem Museum of the Mind. The museum cares for an internationally renowned collection of archives, art and historic objects, which together offer an unparalleled resource to support the history of mental healthcare and treatment. Entrance is free and I certainly would recommend that you take time to visit.
On 10th May Studio Upstairs opened its doors. I visited the new studio at 2-4 Park Street, whose main activity is the creation of visual art within therapeutic safe and social space. It has its own gallery and a diverse programme of creative activities.
Studio Upstairs invites you to a free creative session! You can also find out about their new local provision supporting recovery through creativity.
The work of the therapeutic studio is run by HCPC registered Art Psychotherapists and combines therapy, art education and social support in one holistic package. They accept referrals from NHS, Social Services as well as a limited number of self-referrals. Do take a look at the gallery – it is only around the corner from the Town Hall.
The Carers’ Information Day at Fairfield Halls proved to be a great success. I had the opportunity to talk to many of the stand holders offering support to the community and spoke to Cllr Simon Brew who volunteers offering IT support to those who struggle with new technology but want to keep in touch with friends and family and take advantage of many of the value for money opportunities offered by using online services. I know residents in my area struggle with IT and as a result become quite isolated. Well done Simon.
My work also includes a position on the Health and Wellbeing Board and I was delighted to be appointed Vice Chair of the Board alongside Dr Agnelo Fernandes, who represents NHS Croydon’s Clinical Commissioning Group. I look forward to working with the executive in this important role. There are some quite worrying local statistics and inequalities in the borough and our agenda focuses on tackling these issues. Croydon has around 20,000 people diagnosed as diabetic which costs the CCG around £123m per year. Well over half of Croydon adults are overweight or obese and nearly a quarter of Croydon’s children in reception and over a third in year 6 are either overweight or obese. Three out of every five people aged over 60 suffer from long term conditions taking half of all GP appointments and nearly 2/3rds of planned hospital appointments. There is a nine year life expectancy gap between Croydon’s best and worst wards. We are looking at a programme that seeks to improve population outcomes and experience as well as creating conditions for a more financially sustainable local healthcare system. This can only be achieved through actively promoting and encouraging prevention, self-care, self-management and shared decision making among the population to increase independence and responsibility for health.
Cllr Margaret Mead and I signed a pledge alongside representatives of the British Heart Foundation on 15 July 2013 to make Croydon a Heart Town. Now in its third year we can reflect on the work undertaken to increase awareness and provide education around how to prevent heart disease with a particular focus on schools and workplaces. The annual report formed part of the H&WB agenda and I would ask that all of you think a little bit about your own healthy lifestyle. I am trying my best to do a little more exercise and refrain from too many treats but it isn’t easy!