David is sharing his struggle with alcohol to inspire others to get help:

Today we are hosting a story from David  from our dedicated Trust  Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust blog. On our Mind

Please read and share his inspiring story.

David had always enjoyed the occasional beer however, as his drinking steadily worsened during a difficult few years, it took its toll on his health. After a stay in hospital, he found himself supported by the Trust’s Alcohol Related Long Term Conditions Team and is now firmly on the road to recovery……… to read more here is   David’s Story of Recovery

Kirsty’s Climb up Mount Kilimanjaro

Kirsty Hilton
Kirsty Hilton

Kirsty works for the Trust at the I.T. Services Walk In Centre  Duncan Macmillan House Health Informatics Service.  

Kirsty and her colleagues link regularly with the Involvement Team. We got chatting  over a hot laptop and found out she was planning a very big adventure!  The reasons for attempting this challenge were inspired by  her recovery from stress, anxiety and depression. 

Here is Kirsty’s story…..

In October 2016, I’m going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet. This will be a 9 day trek on the Lemosho route and will be through Charity Challenge (the same company who ran the BT Red Nose Climb 2009). This is the biggest challenge I’ve ever undertaken and hope that I can raise as much money as possible.

The trip is entirely self funded – something I believe to be important as it means EVERY penny donated and raised will ALL go to Mind.

My reason for doing this as well as my own personal challenge, is to raise more awareness for Mental Health as it’s something I’m so passionate about. I work for the Trust and I know how valuable their Mental Health services are to people. However I don’t believe Mental Health gets anywhere near the support and funding it needs. I want to be a part of trying to change this.

I absolutely love exercise and keeping healthy and most people know this. As well as constantly going to the gym, I walk everywhere and also regularly go walking with family in Peak District amongst other places.

However, there are a lot more people who won’t know that I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety over the years. I was off work for 4 months in 2015 with stress, depression and anxiety, and was a shadow of myself at the time. There were days I struggled to even get out of bed and dressed. I was constantly in tears; other days I just felt numb – not even sadness but just a complete absence of emotion. It’s hard to convey how this felt, but as with all mental health issues, talking about it can be one of the hardest challenges to overcome as it could lead you to feeling a failure and vulnerable.

Through friends, family and my own mental will, I managed to deal with the changes all happening at once in my life, a lot which were out of my control, find ways to manage and am now a much happier and content person. Mental Illness will never go away but I know how I can recognise the signs, manage it and use it to enable me to live my life to the full.

Read Kirsty’s story in full on her blog here




Involving the Involvement Centres in Research!

It was an honour to be guest speaker at the Involvement Centre at Duncan Macmillan House and the Rosewood Involvement Centre. I was joined by my colleague Dr Oonagh Meade. On both occasions I presented some of the findings from my recently published paper on service user perspectives on mental health care planning [1].

As a service user myself, working on a care planning programme of research it was reassuring to be welcomed so warmly and to share what we’ve been up to!

The Involvement Centres have been influential in publicising our research studies and took part in an interview study asking for service user’s experiences and user involvement in care planning.

We ran a questionnaire helping us to develop a new tool to measure user and carer involvement in care planning and will be used in future research studies where it will be developed into an audit tool to help NHS Trusts to measure quality user/carer involvement in care planning.

My paper draws together the information gathered from service users in the interview study which have been summarised through a framework with 10 themes of user involved care planning.

It was encouraging to see lots of nods of approvals when meeting with the centres as I went through the findings but it was also disheartening to hear that many service users still feel side-lined in the care planning process. Some people don’t even have an up to date care plan. Many service users don’t know that they can be involved in care planning. This is why the research was being done in the first place.

On behalf of the EQUIP research team, I would like to thank everyone who completed a questionnaire, took part in an interview or promoted the studies. We really value everyone’s input and time and energy; we really couldn’t have done it without your partnership in this!

If you would like to take part in a new EQUIP survey about mental health care planning please visit: https://limesurvey.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/index.php/187196/lang-en

Andrew Grundy (Research Associate, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham)

[1] Grundy et al., ‘Bringing meaning to user involvement in mental health care planning: a qualitative exploration of service user perspectives’ Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing (Dec 2015) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpm.12275/abstract

[2] The EQUIP project website can be found here: http://sites.nursing.manchester.ac.uk/equip/

This blog-post summarizes independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (grant reference number RP-PG-1210-12007). The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Rosewood Communication Feedback Media Group

The Communication, feedback, media group meets Mondays  10-3 at Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire.

As part of our involvement in publications we often review articles and personal stories for communicating in a public forum. Our Trust monthly magazine Positive and our annual involvement report being just two of many publications. Within an array of subjects we actively promote our achievements and raise issues around service changes and improvements. As a group, we thought blogging about the work would be a good way to share what we do to inform people more openly about the roles involvement volunteers take on.

Some of our involvement volunteers are trained to take part in staff interviews. Recently, we got together to write interview questions for a team leader post at Rampton Hospital. We ask our questions from an Involvement and Recovery viewpoint. Upcoming interviews include a post for a social services manager and a consultant in the forensics division.

The group work on several things at once including ‘You said we did’ posters created from the Involvement Centres quarterly satisfaction survey. The posters list things that are good and also things that can be improved. All comments are reviewed and actioned then displayed in the centre so everyone can see the outcomes of their involvement. Here is some feedback we received from service users and carers.

Listening to you poster
Click for larger version

We contribute to the Trust reports and we are planning to write an article about Patient Opinion and how our involvement volunteers link their roles into gathering feedback. We have been involved in project called the Patient Feedback Challenge where involvement volunteers worked with a staff team from Newark and Sherwood. The project was about capturing and responding to feedback from service users and carers. All of us in the group feel this important work needs to be included in the Trust Annual report.

Our other work involves The Story Shop where volunteers tell a range of stories across mental and physical health on topics like bi-polar, schizophrenia, depression, substance misuse, psychosis and other physical health issues such as diabetes and stroke.

People visiting ‘the shop’ can ask someone to share their personal experience of mental or physical health face to face. It’s a great way to find out about it in a more informal and relaxed way. The Story Shop runs public events in schools, libraries, cafes, colleges and universities. Since the initiative started in 2009 more than 3000 people have shared their stories.

And that’s it for now! Look out for our next update where we will tell you more of what goes on at The Rosewood Involvement Centre.

Rosewood Involvement Volunteers