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The Mental Health Reference Group (MHRG) emerged from a public meeting held by Herefordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) entitled ‘Do You Have an Interest in Mental Health?’ which was held at The Kindle Centre on 3rd March 2008.

A copy of the MHRG ‘TERMS OF REFERENCE / CONSTITUTION’ is on an adjoining page.

Mental Health includes Dementia, Learning Difficulties and Alcohol & Substance Abuse.

Membership to the Mental Health Reference Group is free.

MHRG Procurement Project

In September 2009 the Group was approached by Richard Carroll, Managing Director of the Mental Health Procurement Project and tasked by him to run a consultation period with Mental Health Carers, Service Users and Third Sector organisations covering all aspects of mental health, throughout the whole of Herefordshire.

Six workshops were held over a period of 5 months resulting in our ‘Submission Document’ being added in total into the ‘bidding process’ by the Mental Health Procurement Board.

When the final 3 bidders came to do their presentation, ten members of the MHRG were in attendance. Furthermore the MHRG requested that a further meeting to formerly interview each bidder take place and then we would report back directly to the Mental Health Procurement Board. The outcome was completed successfully.

Proposed NHS (PCT) GP Led Walk-In Health Centre - Stonebow Unit Garden

The Group swung into action at the news that Planning Permission already lay on the Herefordshire Council table.
The fight was long and hard - public meetings, petitions and lobbying resulted in justified arguments against these proposals. Health, road safety, safeguarding issues, and above all the use of the garden which is a well known addition to and seen as paramount to the recovery of residents in the Acute Unit.
It is our belief that the weight of public support and opposition helped to have the Planning Application deferred on the due date.
However, 2 years on now, we are still closely monitoring the situation - just in case!

Our Achievements So Far

This year it has been difficult to make progress within our intended plan. It was business as usual (but not as usual, in reality) as the date set for the formation of ‘2gether NHS Foundation Trust - Herefordshire’ was 1st April 2011. Since this date we have been in a period of change, as would be expected. However, we have continued to grow in partnership working and our expertise continues to increase.

For example:

NB: Many of the above are ongoing.

Other Work In Progress

This is as follows:

Memberships of Other Organisations

The MHRG are registered with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Herefordshire Voluntary Action (HVA).

The Group are also represented on the Management Board of Herefordshire Disability United (HDU).

The MHRG would respectfully point out at this juncture that it is, in fact, the only voice representing Mental Health Carers and Service Users in Herefordshire.