Service User Involvement
Service User Involvement
The Foundation Trust is committed to the principle of involving service users in a meaningful way in the planning, delivery and organisation of its services. The philosophy behind this approach is that, in order to provide a high quality service that meets individual needs, it is vital that the views and perceptions of people on the receiving end of the services are taken account of, valued and acted upon. Not only is this required by Government policy, but it is also the Trust's wish to create a culture of partnership, participative decision making and collaboration.
The Trust has developed a service user involvement strategy. The backbone of this strategy is the idea that service users have involvement in their own care, accompanied by timely and sensitively given information, advice and education from professionals.
Update on service user involvement strategy aims and objectives, August 2012
Please click here for an update on the service user involvement strategy aims and objectives.
Service User Involvement Strategy
Please click here to read our strategy.
We believe that service users should be able to expect:
- To be treated as someone who is an expert about themselves and their own mental health
- That staff are aware of all the elements of distress and anxiety that can accompany entry or re-entry into services
- To be asked their opinion
- To have their views taken into account in the decisions made about them and their care
- To be fully informed and involved in the plan that is made for their care.
This is the individual level of service user involvement where service users are involved in their treatment and care.
There is a second level of involvement which is the operational level or the day to day workings of a service. Service users can be expected to be involved in this level of involvement too. This can be done through attending committees, getting involved in consultations, working groups, taking part in recruitment and selection, filling in questionnaires, reviewing policies and many other projects.
This is the area of involvement where service users are most active.
The third level of involvement is the Strategic level; this is where service users are involved in the decisions made about overall objectives and direction of service development as well as broad allocations of resources and overarching policy.
Service users can expect to be involved in all levels of involvement. There are many service user groups that service users can get involved in and the service user involvement Co-ordinator can facilitate this and also steer people in the right direction for training.
A few words on service user involvement from Service users
"Service User Involvement had meant a great deal to me. I have not had a hospital admission for over 3 years. Indeed such is the therapeutic benefit of involvement that it is now part of my Care Programme Approach (CPA). Some of my roles in service user involvement have been attending Foundation Trust meetings and having influence in shaping services, visiting mental health wards to monitor the views of in-patients, attending conferences in places such as
"I have been involved in service user involvement for just over 6 years now. When I started I knew nothing about it and it felt as though it would be a difficult task, it would have been easy to give up however I received a great deal of support and encouragement from a manager that was really supported service user involvement at the time.
Over the years I have received training in many areas and been to many, many conferences and sat on many, many committees. I have also been involved in User Focussed Monitoring. Service user involvement has made me feel valued and respected; I also enjoy the work very much. It has benefited me, it reduces my isolation, I make friends and it gives me plenty to do.
I have gained valuable experience and knowledge from service user involvement, I feel heard in a large organisation. I represent service users as well as working on behalf of the Foundation Trust. Service user involvement is about participation and influencing mental health services."
"After a spell at the day hospital I started doing voluntary work, but the organisation I worked for gave me very little support.
I became unwell again and while staying in a crisis project I saw a leaflet for service user involvement. I went to a meeting and everyone there was in the same position as me i.e. a mental health service user, so I had a lot in common with them. I was able to meet people and make friends, which was invaluable to me at the time. It made me feel worthwhile. I started doing User Focussed Monitoring; the facilitators were very supportive which allowed me to develop my confidence. Eventually I was able to do interviews by myself and develop my communication skills. As a result I have developed many skills and have continued to stay involved in service user involvement. I feel needed and useful without feeling pressurised. It also has a social element, which I would not have known about had I not become involved."