We established CHARM, in September 2020 following the concerns we had been raising about the lack of meaningful consultation and co production that took place regarding the redevelopment of Park House in Crumpsall, North Manchester as a single site psychiatric hospital. We opposed this development because we believe that a single sited hospital based model of care would not meet the needs of people in crisis in 21st century Manchester.
We analysed the situation in Greater Manchester and reflected on the policy changes that are currently being addressed by the Department of Health including: The Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults; the Mental Health Bill 2022; and the Long Term NHS Plan.
Our intention was to commence a process to identify the needs and solutions facing Greater Manchester through an independent process where all stakeholders could feel they were equal partners in the development of a vision and strategy with a whole community systems approach.
We did this in a spirit of collaboration and to honour the commitment we made to the many individuals and organisations that have supported our letter to Andy Burnham and to find a way to get these concerns addressed.
Our demands were not new ones. Many of these demands for justice and rights were made in the 1980s, we know because many of us were there. Nearly 30 years later, how much longer must we wait for change? (See Innovation in a backwater: The Harpurhey Resettlement Team and the mental health services of North Manchester, 1982–1987).