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Together gives guidance on involving service users in the delivery of mental health services

Posted on 09, June 2014

We have teamed up with the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) to produce a briefing on service user involvement aimed at all professionals involved in designing and managing mental health services. Produced to coincide with the NHS Confederation’s annual conference, the briefing defines and outlines practical steps towards genuine, meaningful service user involvement. It also provides definitions of some common terms relating to involvement and sets out why involving service users is now recognised as an indispensable part of designing and delivering mental health support.

Anne Beales MBE, Together’s Director of Service User Involvement says:

“Professionals can no longer overlook service user involvement as an intrinsic part of designing and delivering mental health support. Many ask us what they need to do to start involving the people using their services in a way that is constructive and meaningful. While the will is often there, they are not sure how to get started creating the frameworks, processes and mindset that will facilitate this, or how to maintain involvement long-term. Our briefing aims to let those organisations that have already begun the process assess how they are doing and keep on track, while giving those that are yet to begin the impetus they need to set the ball rolling.”

Sarah Yiannoullou at NSUN says: “We need to keep promoting the individual and organisational value and benefit of involvement and leadership. Involvement has been enshrined in legislation since 1990 and yet we still see limited practice within the system. Other sectors value and invest in involvement and co-production in its true sense and acknowledge the benefits.  We need to work together to create a much needed cultural change in the mental health sector to improve the experiences of people using services and increase efficiency. The rhetoric now needs to become reality.”

You can download the new briefing ‘Service User Involvement in the Delivery of Mental Health Services here.