10 April 2012

Engagement report to be discussed

The findings of an independent review into service user involvement in the Trust by the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) will be discussed at a series of presentations at Jenner House, Chippenham on Thursday (17 May).

The aim of the two hour meetings - at 10.00, 1.30 and 5.00 - is to get feedback on the Report from service users and carers and to seek views on the best way forward, identifying how best to deal with issues raised by NSUN and others so as to tackle weaknesses and build on best practice.

Copies of the Report, which contains 18 recommendations, have been sent to those attending and is also available on both the Trust and the NSUN website.

The Trust commissioned NSUN in March 2011 to undertake the review as a result of concerns raised concerning the level, frequency and timeliness of service user involvement.

The Report notes that the Trust conducts involvement and engagement activity in a number of ways and that there is some good practice. It concludes that processes vary in their success and that there are areas that need improvement.

The Trusts community, engagement and involvement strategy is generally good but the Report concludes that it has served its purpose with too much focus on informing and insufficient focus on active partnership.

The Report highlights for example the value placed on the PALS service, the usefulness of the carers forum and the success of payment rates. It suggests that involvement in redesign was not undertaken in a meaningful way and criticises the failure to fill service user involvement worker vacancies.

The Report - and feedback from other activities - has already been discussed by Trust Board members at one of its regular seminars. Board members concluded that service user and carer involvement is not as central to the Trust as it needs to be and that consideration should be given to establishing a Trust User Forum.

A working group established by the Board which included representatives from SBUs, service users and carers, has reviewed the issues and has reinforced the importance of engagement with service users and carers being placed at the heart of the organisation through effective partnerships with service users, carers and staff.

To book a place please contact Rebecca Peterson by email on rebecca.peterson@awp.nhs.uk, or telephone 01249 468245.

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