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:

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)

[2] The EQUIP project website can be found here:

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.

Hello, my name is Mike.

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Mike at the CPA Good Practice Awards

Hello, my name is Mike.  I’m a volunteer at  Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton. I started attending two years ago, when I was caring for a close family member with depression.

As everyone who has been a carer will know, it can be a time to show people how much you love and care for them, but it can also have incredibly negative effects on your own well-being.  The loss of the person you once knew, the fading away of your social life and free time, the increased stress, anxiety and isolation… all this can have alarming consequences for your own physical and emotional health.

That’s why it is essential that carers can have quality time for themselves, where they can be just like anyone else. Rosewood was just such a place for me. When I began attending,  I was unsure what to expect. I was made to feel at home and it was not long before I was fully immersed in the world of Involvement.

Being able to see that there were other people just like me assuaged my sense of loneliness and isolation. Learning that there were others who suffered badly from mental health conditions and recovered to live a normal life gave me hope for the future. I began to attend every session I could.

Making friends and getting away from my caring role was not the only benefit of Involvement. I was able to access a number of training opportunities which greatly enriched my personal and professional development. This included  Involvement Interview Training which consisted of a course learning how to conduct an interview. Once trained, I participated in interviews for potential Trust employees as part of a patient/carer panel. You can learn a lot to use for your own future experiences as an interviewee!

I was able to attend Training sessions to ensure best practice in the workplace such as safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, equality & diversity, manual handling and back care, deaf awareness, and food hygiene and safety.

I have been given the opportunity to tell my story of caring to a number of audiences, including Trust staff members. This is very important to me since you are in a position to advise staff on what works well and what could be done better. Any opportunity to help shape attitudes and practice is vital. After this, I was able to participate in the Care Programme Approach (CPA) training, which involved delivering a presentation.

Training played a part in  finding a role I love where I can use my experience to help others. I began this role in August 2014. Around the same time, the person whom I cared for made a full recovery from their  illness. Recovery is an on-going process, but there has been no relapse and our lives have returned to normal; full of health and happiness.

However, I know that this is not always the outcome; for many people with mental ill-health. It is something they have to face on a daily basis and often for the rest of their lives. Their well-being is no less important than mine. That is the reason why I still volunteer; advocating the role of Involvement in ensuring best practice within the Trust.

I stood for the role of Public Governor in the 2015 elections. To my surprise and gratitude, I was elected for three years!  I’m looking forward to advocating my views, holding the leadership to account, and hopefully inspiring other people in my former position to see that, yes, things can get better. We must never stop working to better the lives of those with mental health issues, and those who care for them.

New Skills as a Rosewood Centre Involvement Volunteer and Recovery College Peer Volunteer

Rosewood Garden
Rosewood Involvement Centre

By Tracy Turland

Hello, I’m Tracy and this is my first ever blog! I have been an Involvement Volunteer at the Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton since July 2013, a carer for a friend and more recently a Peer Volunteer at the Recovery College in Nottingham.

After finally graduating from the first in-house Peer Support Worker training in September 2015 I felt that I was at a crossroads in my life. This was a landmark for me as it took three applications before I got on the course!

I like to keep myself busy but realise I can’t do everything and please everyone all of the time. During the course my resilience and control were tested whilst waiting for a post of ‘Peer Support Worker’ to be advertised. It was a typical Friday afternoon meeting at Rosewood when Nigel Groves, Rosewood Centre Manager approached me with his usual sunny disposition. He always senses when something is troubling me, perhaps it’s because all too often I wear my heart on my sleeve! He offered me a review meeting to discuss my hopes and goals. These take place every three months and every volunteer in the Trust is entitled to one.

Nigel really listened to me. We devised a ‘Personal Development Plan’ and looked at training via the Trust’s Learning & Development programme. Together we agreed what to do after the Peer Training. I used the Trust’s intranet and requested different training via Outlook.

I attended the ‘Coaching Skills for Recovery’ last October with other NHS staff and volunteers. The tutor is a personal life coach. She gave me the tools to enable me to identify my own action plan. I completed a ‘Wheel of Life’ which focuses on important areas of your life which you want to change including career, creativity, spirituality, family, community, learning, health, social life, finances, personal & physical development and home.

On reflection I can see that I had the answers all along, the unconscious mind in spite of itself will come up with the answers. Sometimes, you don’t have to take any action; instead you have to walk away from a problem or situation.

I then met with Helen Brown the Recovery College Centre Manager to discuss becoming a Peer Volunteer and attended a Volunteer’s Induction session at the college. Helen gave an overview of the structure and explained about supervision and reflective practice with Angela (College Volunteer Co-ordinator). I completed a’ Wellness to Volunteer Action Plan’ and identified that I wanted to co-deliver a ‘Creativity and Recovery’ course with Scott and Debbie.

I work part-time as an ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) Tutor and learnt a new creative skill recently called ‘Zendoodle/Zentangle’ designed to relax, relieve stress and help inspiration as well as playing with dough! The group was a mixture of musicians, artists, poets and a jewellery maker. I used my teaching experience to present different activities on the ‘Creativity and Recovery Course’ and gathered ideas from course members.

I would like to thank Nigel and Helen for giving me the many opportunities to enhance my teaching and learning skills. I am looking forward to 2016 and continuing my professional development as a Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust volunteer.

My goal is to become a Peer Tutor and I’ll keep you posted when this happens!

Recovery means living a meaningful life with or without symptoms. It is about inspiring hope, gaining control of your own wellbeing and taking the opportunities you want to in life.

Recovery College Team: 0115 956 0827

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Recovery Strategy 2013-16




BFT Training Day Blog by Trevor Clower – Carer July 2015


Trevor is an Involvement Volunteer and carer. Here is a snapshot of a day in the life of Trevor and one of his many volunteering activities he participates in helping staff to recognise carers and families in the Trust as equal partners in care.

It was a typical Thursday morning, in the Learning and Development Department at Duncan McMillan house, Nottingham with the exception of what was happening in the Purple & Green training rooms organised by Andrea Emmens our Mental Health Family Interventions Coordinator at Bassetlaw Hospital

Yes, it was another BFT training day. We all know what BFT stands for, don’t we? If you don’t, then you better read on, and if you do know what it means, Andrea expects you to read on!  Oh alright then…it stands for ‘Behavioural Family Therapy Training’.

An adventure was about to unfold.  It started with Andrea asking me to come along and help out. Working with Andrea is always an adventure, because if you knew what you what you were letting yourself in for you would probably leave the country and run (it’s a joke honestly!)

There was lots of NHS staff on the course with quite a bit of role play.

It was great to watch and I even got a chance to play someone’s Grandad or was it someone’s Mother? I forget now, but it was great fun! Andrea always plans the BFT courses with humour and imagination; she has a flare for it.

In the afternoon we told our stories, I did ‘my thing’ about the five sequences of events carers can fall victim to when no support is offered. Ingrid, a carer from, the Rosewood Centre in Ollerton told her story and stunned the room into silence. After this, another carer, Bev gave her passionate story that filled the room with emotion making you hang on to her every word. Yes, there were tears and shock and many other emotions in the audience. Life can be raw at times for carers and their families.

It showed how role play is effective in bring training alive. Yes, it was enjoyable to do but more importantly it is a vital part of the course and as Ingrid’s and Bev’s words bought all that to life, they put it into context with the power of their stories. It was a very emotional and worthwhile day indeed.  Well done Andrea and the team. BFT is a great learning opportunity for staff to learn indeed.

Best Fun in Town (Trevor Clower)

June 15 BFT Trainees and Trainers

Being asked to go to a meeting of any kind by Andrea Emmens is always an adventure. This was, quite simply, the best BFT Refresher Day to date, and while you’re all trying to guess what BFT stands for, no it’s not Best Fun in Town, although that does describe the day well. No BFT stands for:

Behavioural Family Therapy, a very necessary service, which keeps families together, while dealing with Mental illness, and keeping people from ending up in hospital.

This was my first BFT refresher day and I was wondering quite what else I would be led into, on top of what was in the programme. This meeting had all the earmarks of being a good day, indeed, it turned out to be brilliant.

After I delivered my bit on the 5 Sequences of Events all Carers fall victim to, Sarah, who was nervous, gave an incredibly moving account of her life with her brother, in her intoxicating Rotherham accent. You could have heard a pin drop as she captivated the whole audience with her brother’s struggle.

Then we had lunch, during which, Andrea pulled me to one side, and whispered that I would be dad in the next part of the Refresher Day Event. I had no idea what she was talking about, but then again I am getting used to being surprised when Andrea gets the bit between her teeth. As it transpired, I was dad to Lauren and her sister Alyson, as we sat together, centre stage, while Andrea and Christine came on stage like the Family Workers from HELL!

We had a whale of a time as Christine and Andrea did as many things wrong as they could during our interview, which felt more like a grilling at the Spanish inquisition! It was impossible to keep a straight face, as some of their antics became more and more bizarre!

After which the audience was asked to state all the things that was done wrong, well where do we start was the first contribution from the audience, the whole play was a catalogue of what you must not do. However, I have to admit the discussion afterwards was both lively and very enthusiastic indeed: bringing the best out of the best in this very experienced audience who deliver BFT during their work.

The day was policed by Tim Constable who represented the management. Tim made a huge contribution to the event and it is clear that managers would benefit greatly by going on a BFT course just as much as carers and family members do.

The whole day went like clockwork and was highly successful since it did exactly what it set out to do, that is, refresh people’s minds and fire up their imagination and enthusiasm.

I recommend this training course to anyone who carers about people and learn how to deal with families head on, and make a positive difference in their turbulent lives.

Guest post from Carol Ward- My training and development

I have attended Rosewood Involvement Centre now since March 2014. In that time I have accessed many training opportunities, including:

      Food Safety


      Deaf Awareness


      Equality and Diversity


      Safeguarding Adults


      Safeguarding Children


      Stress Management


      Customer Care Skills


      Story Shop Training


    Manual Handling and Back Care

And last but not least:

Care Programme Approach Training

The training has played a big part in my development and I continue to learn and grow alongside my colleagues and friends at Rosewood. The many different learning opportunities continue to enrich and support my own mental health recovery. I thank Rosewood for continuing to keep me safe and well during my journey through some difficult and challenging personal circumstances. If anyone was to ask what has Rosewood Involvement done for you I’d say it’s given me my life back.

The Care Programme Approach Training was, for me, the most significant. The training took approximately 7 weeks to complete and its probably fair to say that it hasn’t ended there. Further opportunities following on from the training. The CPA training empowered us all to deliver presentations both individually and as part of a group. And as part of this we have told our own recovery stories to patients at Rampton Hospital several times. Our stories were well received and I hope they gave others hope for the future. Our group presentations were well received also. As part of this we talked about the Mental Health Act, vulnerable groups in society, the CQC 5 key standards and how everyone’s individual right to a proper care plan can keep them safe and supported. The CPA training won an award and I went along with others to collect the award at a Care Co- Ordination Association National Event. I felt very proud to accept this award as a service user and on behalf of other service users. The event celebrated innovation, best practice and research.

Further developments following on from the training are already in the pipeline and myself and other volunteers who took part are looking forward to the next steps including the use of IT – a powerful and increasingly accessible medium for patients within their own homes.

I never imagined I’d be standing up in front of groups of people and sharing my story. But I am. So thanks to everyone for all their support in the process and I’d encourage others to have a go also. If I can do it then so can you.

Rosewood Involvement Centre- what’s on

We have an extremely busy and exciting month at the Rosewood involvement centre.

We have our weekly centre meeting which is held every Friday at from 1 until 3pm. Friday also starts with a garden and music group from 10 till 12. These groups help build confidence and aid the recovery pathway. We serve a small buffet from around 12:15, this is great for catching up and meeting new people. At the centre meeting guests are invited to discuss their roles within the trust and any offers they can make for us to get more involved, followed by debate, and questions from service users and carers. The speakers for April are as follows:

10th April we have some more from New Leaf Smoking- this will be a presentation on tools to help people quit smoking. This links to the Trust’s healthier lifestyles activity and should be an interesting presentation. Our second guest speaker on 10th April is Helen Watkinson, the newly appointed modern matron for mental health and learning disabilities at Rampton Hospital. In the past we have worked with the modern matron from these directorates, they have helped us work with patients on recovery and interviewing. We were also able to join the patient groups and support them whenever possible. We are keen to continue our link with Helen and look forward to her presentation this will be about how she hopes to include service users and carers from Involvement and how we work with patients at Rampton.

17th April our guest is Tracey Rowe, also from Rampton. She is the recovery lead across the whole hospital. She will be presenting what is happening at Rampton relating to recovery and hopefully will bring an invitation for our service users and carers to become involved in any activities relevant to us here at Rosewood.

24th April the new general manager for local services, Adele Bryan, will be attending the centre. Adele was the modern matron we used to work with at Rampton, forming a partnership which was ground-breaking and very successful. We are looking forward very much to working with her in local services and await the opportunities that she will undoubtedly bring. The same day we have the new ward manager from the Lucy Wade Ward at Millbrook, Joe Fox. We were delighted to find out that Joe had been promoted to ward manager since we have worked with him in the past on the Patient Feedback Challenge. Joe was instrumental in making the project at Millbrook successful.

The other core day at Rosewood is Monday when we run our communications, feedback, and media group. This group normally meets from 10 until 3pm. On 27th April it will be slightly different because in the morning we are delivering core training for the service users and volunteers. This is about confidentiality and safeguarding. This kind of learning develops confidence and helps service users and carers to engage with involvement opportunities. With an understanding of safeguarding and confidentiality our volunteers can feel confident when representing Involvement.

We will be attending the Executive Leadership Council meeting on 21st April. The Executive Leadership Council is a monthly meeting of all the top directors and managers in the trust. It is just great to see that service users and carers are invited to attend such an important meeting. We will also be attending the new Trust website launch on 22nd April.

We are hoping to go to Millbrook on 8th April to gain feedback from patients on what a ward round is like for them. This is one of the projects that both Rosewood and the Duncan Macmillan House Involvement centres are working on. Rosewood will be covering Millbrook hospital and also Bassetlaw hospital (ward B2). The idea of this work is to gain feedback from patients, carers and staff to see if ward rounds can be improved.

We will be starting a new piece of work in April for the forensic division linking in to a project called Restrictive Practices. This looks like being a large piece of work for the forensic division and it is important that service users and carers are involved in this. This work will be looking at, for example, isolation, seclusion and blanket restrictions. We will be reviewing the policy and hoping to improve things for patients and for staff.

The Community of Interest for carers will be held North of the county this month at Bassetlaw hospital on 9 April. This group is a great way for carers to be part of helping produce the carers’ strategy for the Trust. The head of Involvement normally attends this meeting and it is of great interest for carers to hear the plans and development opportunities across the whole Trust.

Some of our volunteers at Rosewood have become Care Programme Approach (CPA) champions. They spent several months learning presentation skills with the CPA office staff. This enabled them to confidently present their lived experience of CPA. On 7th April there is an opportunity for these volunteers to be videoed and make a film about any questions likely to be asked about CPA.