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Help in a crisis
Neil Davies
Neil Davies, People Participation Lead, West Suffolk

Neil took up his post in late May 2019, describing his appointment as “a privilege” and stressing the importance of fully listening to the feedback of staff, service users and carers.

“I was inspired when I heard about the role,” he said. “I believe our Trust is moving forward and really wanted to be part of the change. I thought it would be an interesting and exciting project to which I could offer insights gained from my own experience of being helped by our Trust, and from the various careers I have had.”

Neil, who is a retired educational psychologist, has spent the past four years co-producing and co-delivering several courses at the Trust’s Recovery College, beginning as a volunteer before going on to become a staff member.

He said: “PPLs have the potential to make a difference and I’m seeing things I find very moving. I view it as a social role as well as a leadership one, getting out and about talking to staff as well as service users and carers and learning from them so that I can support them effectively.

“I am also fully aware that staff have been through a lot of changes and am determined to support them too. I have been helped by an encouraging welcome from a wide range of people from many departments in NSFT.”

Neil has been working with his fellow PPLs and sharing innovations and best practice, as well as feeding information to the board to drive our Trust’s continual improvement.

He said: “Everyone should feel they have some say in the direction of travel of our Trust. It’s really important to involve service users and carers because they are the ones who can really define quality.

“The feeling of quality comes about when our emotional needs are being met, including connection, empowerment, freedom and fun. Care plans and treatments need to be appropriate and relevant, while fulfilling relationships and good communication are also prerequisites for those we serve feeling they have had a quality experience on their journey of recovery.”