Hello My Name is Jonathan


Jonathan Wright
Jonathan Wright

Hi my name is Jonathan and I am the Involvement Centre Manager in Nottingham.  What does it mean to manage an Involvement Centre?  Well the answer is varied and never the same!

My job is not boring, sometimes challenging and can be very rewarding.  I often think of myself as having three bosses, my line manager, the Trust and all the volunteers that I work with and have a duty to make sure they are heard.

The reason I come into work is to improve and change services for people that receive them.  Which I believe is the main reason everybody in the NHS comes into work.  We (staff) just sometimes get a little pressured to deliver on targets that don’t always work for the person that is in front of you that day.

I hope the work we do within Involvement means that we can deliver on those targets without forgetting what is most important to those that receive treatment and care.  The care part is really important; the NHS is a world leader at ‘treatment’ but sometimes we fall down on the ‘care’ part, and its’ then that people feel dehumanised and frustrated.

Let’s talk to each other, find out what we all would like.  Be honest about what we can do, and completely honest about what we can’t do.  Ask ourselves ‘would that feel ok if it was my Mum being cared for’?

Involvement gives us a chance to stand back and think about services in this way.  We should always listen, but more importantly we should all be part of the solutions that we find.

That’s why I come to work – and not everyday is like that, but enough are.

If you’re interested in being a volunteer email: involve@nottshc.nhs.uk or call

0800 052 1415

Who Takes Care of the Caretakers Daughter? By Michael Osborne

Michael Osborne

In this blog I want to discuss the role of the mental health patient, their carer and any staff of Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

They will be called:

The patient. The carer. The clinician.

Please note that the term clinician may be a different person each time. The patient is taken care of at various times and places by the carer and the clinician.

Who should the patient care for?
They should take care of themselves as the first option. Often of course, they do not take care of themselves. It would solve many problems if they did especially for the carer and also the clinician and of course for themselves.

The patient should also take care of the carer.

This is part of the very emotional relationship between carer and patient. The carer/patient relationship can be challenging and this situation would be described and understood better by a patient and their carer.  However I will have a try!

The patient is often dependent on the carer but sometimes finds that very irksome and restrictive. The patient also can feel guilty about the physical and emotional strain they put on the carer. They do not want to be a burden. The patient is often more distressed by making the carer suffer.

Whilst the carer though loving the patient can feel anger at having their lives taken up by caring, this gives guilty feelings too. Often carers are angry with the illness and also with the clinicians for failing to find a cure.

Question: Should the patient help the clinician? (Discuss). I feel they should. When someone offers help either in friendship, physical care, advice or medication they should be helped and respected. However, the patient does not always want to be helped and may believe the treatment they are being offered is unhelpful. This can create conflict and distress to both.

But what happens when the carer joins this pairing?  Do they side with patient or the clinician?

The Carer frequently lacks information from either person to decide.  They end up with a double conflict of duty to the patient or their faith in the skills of the clinician.

All parties end up distressed and frustrated.

My proposal to improve the problems discussed in this blog is to increase communication and to encourage more of it; actually lots of it!

Communication between patient and carer I see as being very important with the same emphasis on carer and clinician whilst balancing this with the vital communication between patient and clinician.

The clinician may believe that the carer knows how to treat and take care of the patient. The clinician may believe that the patient knows how to treat and take care of the carer.

This is often not the case.

I believe a clinician should help and advise the carer in how to care for the patient.

I also believe a clinician should offer support and advise the patient how to care for the carer. (Discuss)

So often, the patient and carer don’t know whether to have faith in the clinician. Sometimes they get different perspectives from different clinicians.

Friendly, informal meetings should be the norm between patient, carer and clinician. They should all agree to discuss how to treat each other, how to care for each other and of course discuss the medical care together. Friendly communication can resolve a lot of problems.

Do not underestimate the power of the spoken word. Use it frequently and well.

Michael Osborne is a service user and volunteer with years of experience as a well respected member and champion of involvement within our NHS Trust.  Michael is generous with his time and always listens to others who may need support, often putting others needs before his own.

Michael is a passionate and keen advocate of open dialogue and invites you to a discussion. Please share and comment on his blog article.


ALAN COOMES   Involvement Volunteer

Alan C edit

I attend the Spirituality Forum at Highbury Hospital, it is run by the Rt Rev Dr Paul Quilter and Katja Milner from the Spirituality and Pastoral Care Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

These sessions run for two hours once every three months where we hear from Paul and Katja as well as other guest speakers.

At the last meeting we had a guest speaker – a mental health liaison nurse from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.  He spoke about someone’s personal story and the importance of listening to the service user. Each Forum is different and is linked to the topic of spirituality.

Staff and services users are all welcome and there are a variety of folk who attend.  I enjoy these meetings and I try to attend wherever possible as Paul and Katja make us feel welcome. They are good speakers. I thoroughly recommend attending the Forum as I find it interesting, informative, and helpful.

If you want to find out more about this forum contact

Paul Quilter Head of Spiritual and Pastoral Care

0115 9529485


Katja Milner Spirituality Lead

0115 8542289


THE STORY SHOP by JULES – Involvement Volunteer

The Story Shop in Action

It was a lovely Summers Day when we did a Story Shop at Retford Post 16 College on 17th June 2015.  A Story Shop is when you sit with a person or small group and talk about your own personal lived experience of mental health. The aim was to help the students understand about mental health and to combat stigma.

When I tell my story, I feel different emotions and feelings which can help heal me inside.  Telling my story often makes me feel very high but in a positive way.  When I look at the students faces they can looked puzzled and very often don’t know what to say or ask you.  I try to be open and honest and whilst telling my story, encourage them to ask questions to help them understand my diagnosis and what I have been through.

Once I have finished talking, the students sometimes say how very brave I am to tell my story about my lived experience.

I feel that my life has changed for the better. I am looking forward to the future.

What’s on- Duncan Macmillan House Centre, July 2015

So July has arrived along with some beautiful summer weather.  Our first task in the Involvement Centre was to try and turn off all the radiators.  We had a sweltering meeting with Sam Eagling, Service Liaison Manager from our Trust.  The meeting with Sam is part of an ongoing project which is giving volunteers training to be part of the review process for complaints and incidents across the Trust.  To get people involved in this area of the Trust is a bit of a first and we aren’t aware of it happening to such a degree anywhere else in the country.  Although, if you are please let us know as we’re keen to learn!

We’re meeting Sam again on 28 July to start to put into practice the training we’ve had, so more about that next month.

For the rest of the month we have, as always, the Tuesday Meeting from 1pm 3pm where everybody is welcome; it’s also a great place to meet other volunteers, find out what they’re up to and here from guest speakers about some of the successes and challenges across Nottinghamshire Healthcare. Volunteers that have been involved in auditing wards are also meeting up with Paul Theed for a debrief about the whole process and what to consider for next year and then there is the AGM.

The centre closes and like a travelling circus we will be at the Trust’s AGM on Friday 24 July promoting Involvement and all the work we do through the year.  If you’re interested in attending the AGM you need to register here: http://www.nottshealthcareagm2015.co.uk/

An exciting summer, lets hope the good work and weather continue.

GLADYS BOMBEK – Involvement Volunteer Blog No1. 7th July 2015



After being a member of the Nottingham Involvement Centre for over eight years and regularly attending the weekly Tuesday Meeting I was pleasantly surprised to find that this week I was among many new faces.  Not knowing the names of everyone we went around the room and introduced ourselves – I won’t remember all the names BUT I will remember the faces.

We all joined into a debate of how we felt we should be treated as service users – what sort of medication we should be prescribed.  Each person has had different experiences of mental health and received different treatments.  It was an eye opening experience to hear how some treatments worked really well and others not so well.  The whole meeting felt like a huge family get together and we are all looking forward to meeting up next Tuesday and to see what topic we will be discussing.

Never blogged before – but I will be regularly blogging about our Tuesday Meeting to keep you all up to date – this is a new role for me – talk later!

Gladys Bombek

About us: The Involvement team at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust work within the Trust to ensure that service users and carers are involved in service planning and scrutiny of our services, provide volunteering opportunities and support within the Trust and lead on collecting and analysing service user and carer feedback within the Trust.

Anne’s Story – Listen to Carers


“People need to listen to carers. You might hear me, but that doesn’t mean you’re listening.”

Ann, 76, helps to care for her grandson, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder aged 18. He was an inpatient at Highbury Hospital following four admissions within six years.

“Being a carer has taken over my life quite a lot. I’ve not had the relaxing retirement I planned!

When he isn’t in hospital, Ann’s grandson has a flat of his own. “His mum works full-time as a special needs teaching assistant, so I support him at home if he needs me.

“It can be tiring – there are hospital appointments, reviews. A lot of life is governed by visiting.

“But we have a very good relationship. We enjoy walking together. We go to the cinema and he visits church with me when he can. We volunteer at the Trust together as well; the Involvement Centre has been a tremendous support to us both.

“I want proper care in the community for service users and their carers. I’d also like to see an increase in funding for mental health services, rather than a reduction.

“Carers have to have a voice – and be listened to.”

Anne will be part of our first ever Carers, Family and Friends Conference on 7 July –>http://tinyurl.com/ps5b86e Watch LIVE on ‪#‎Periscope‬ using @InvolveT1 ‪#‎cffjuly15‬‪#‎5daystogo