Service user involvement
Service user involvement in LiveWork has been an integral part of the LiveWork project since 2005. Kath Lovell, of Emergence CIC (see under our Partnerships section) provided expert by experience consultation to the project until 2009, now we are pleased to welcome Service User Consultant, Jenifer Dylan, to the team.
Consultation consists of providing guidance and best practice models for service user involvement in a variety of different ways:
- Attending the monthly PD Operational meeting.
- Commenting on and providing input to various documents arising from this.
- Input into evaluation and research.
- Input into staff interview schedules and being part of the interview panel for new staff positions.
- Input into publicity around training.
- Contributing to the content of training materials.
- Taking part in conference presentations.
- Providing guidance on establishing and maintaining local service user involvement.
- Providing network contacts in the area of service user and carer involvement.
This ongoing consultation has strengthened the presence of service user involvement within the project and facilitated an equal partnership with Emergence. Such partnerships model the shift in attitudes the project promotes and enables organisations receiving training, staff involved in the project and Emergence staff to develop skills in unison. This method of joined up working, and the skills targeted by the project directly reflects those championed in the paper "PD: No Longer a Diagnosis of Exclusion" (NIMHE, 2003).
Since April 2010, LiveWork has formed a partnership with Emergence in the joint delivery of the Awareness level of the Knowledge and Understanding Framework across the London region, which far exceeds the initial project remit of staff within the local area. In 2013-2014 LiveWork and Emergence have received funding to deliver training to 200 individuals but have so far scheduled 18 training courses within London (20 participants per group) to extend far beyond these requirements. Find out more about these courses
This partnership also lead to the joint delivery of a new training package for the new Community Team within Camden and Islington Personality Disorder Service and more recently Jenifer Dylan has been working with LiveWork clinicians to create and implement a training package for voluntary sector housing workers.
Equal partnership between LiveWork and Emergence, including equality in pay and decision making, is pioneering in breaking down staff-service user barriers that may not facilitate the close communication and understanding necessary for effective working and service delivery as well as acknowledging the expertise and contribution that service users make in informing practice. This equal partnership also models the collaborative nature of supportive relationships that the project aims to promote in services for people with PD.
One participant in KUF training states in training feedback that service user involvement is "incredibly useful...a powerful learning aid. It put the theory into practical situations that I could relate to."