Service user participation has long been an integral part of the planning process for St Patrick's Mental Health Services (SPMHS) in working to develop and improve our services. As we implement the Changing Minds. Changing Lives. strategic plan, we wish to enhance our engagement with service users even further.
A key part of shaping and achieving the many ambitious plans contained within Changing Minds. Changing Lives. will be engaging and consulting with the people who use our services and their supporters. Of the 17 different projects outlined in our 2018-2022 strategic plan, each of these will involve and prioritise service user engagement.
In 2018, a Service User Advisory Network (SUAN) was established to allow us to consult with and seek the views and opinions of people who have used our services. This aims to expand the great work that is being done by the SUAS.
There are a variety of ways in which service users, past and present, can contribute to the work of SUAN. These include being a member of a Service User Advisory Group for a particular project, or taking part in a group discussion or focus group. Service users are also invited to give feedback online, complete surveys, or discuss issues in person or over the phone.
As part of the planning for the establishment of SUAN, the team at SPMHS undertook a visit to the National Health Service (NHS) Camden and Islington Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom in 2018. The services provided by the Trust include adult mental health, mental health care of older people, substance misuse services and care for people with learning disabilities. The purpose of this visit was to exchange ideas and information, as well as improving our governance and organisational structures around service user engagement.
Between its launch in September and the end of December 2018, 90 service users joined SUAN.
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