Involvement and Experience Group

Steve Goodwin is an involvement Volunteer at The Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton. Here is his account of the most recent Involvement and Experience Group.
Our Involvement and Experience Group meets regularly to talk about how we are involving people and their experience of our services. In February 2015, Local Services was the focus. They provide a range of community, outpatient, day and inpatient services for all ages, for people with mental health problems, intellectual and developmental disabilities and people who misuse substances.

A number of services were present to explain their Involvement and Experience action plans. The last group minutes reported on the changes being made. This part of the meeting was good from a service user point of view because it gave guidelines on what the issues for the Trust were and their handling of them. I particularly liked the way the Trust is using the Friends & Family Test (FFT) in the respect that it will be beneficial to the Trust and make Friends & Family more integrated in the Healthcare of loved ones. Plus the use of an Involvement Lead in each area of the Trust to develop FFT and for every member of staff to be involved with feedback is a good idea.

The second part of the meeting discussed next year’s plans within Local Services and how Involvement was being carried out in their services. Each individual area spoke about what their plans were for the coming year.

Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) want more involvement with volunteers to help with gathering Service User Carer Experience Surveys (data presented here) and Patient Opinion stories. 

Enabling service users and carers to give unbiased anonymous feedback is, in my view, a huge positive. This will give a boost to the amount of feedback collected and hopefully give service users and carers confidence that what they say will make a difference. It’s all about working towards the goal of Involvement- ‘Changing Services, Changing Culture and Changing Lives’. I really believe this is a very worthy goal for the Trust.

Specialist services (including intellectual disability, child and adolescent, psychological, and substance misuse services) spoke about increasing the use of “You Said, We Did” posters that are displayed on their inpatient units (e.g. here).

What a great way of getting feedback and helping change things for the better for service users/ carers and the Trust! Any form of feedback whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, if it’s acted upon it can only be a positive. I like how they spoke about Patient Opinion stories to champion what is good about the services within the Trust. It is something the Trust needs to talk more about- I believe the Trust does not champion all the great things that it has implemented for service users and carers over the years and how it is constantly striving to enable help individuals with their recovery.

I really enjoyed the “Involvement & Experience Plans for the Future” presentation. It was clear about explaining the Trust’s Goals that are very simple to implement hopefully and will have a huge impact on how Involvement can help the many services within the Trust. As a service user myself, I found the presentation to be informative with clear manageable goals. This will help shape and improve an already dynamic Trust who are positive about Involvement and I can speak about this due to my own experiences with Adult Mental Health services in Nottinghamshire.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the presentation. It was nice to see that as service users/carers we are being listened to by Trust.

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