People Participation

People Participation is about working together with service users, their carers, families and staff, giving everyone the chance to have input into how the Trust is run. It's about making services better for everyone.

“It doesn’t just better the life of one, it betters the life of many.” - Participant        

We work with service users, carers, families and staff as part of our pledge to making sure everyone can have a say in how care is delivered and how that could be improved. We call this co-production. We recognise that people who use services have unique knowledge and experience which plays a part in their own recovery and can improve services.  

Why should I get involved?

Man watering plant

Participation will be positive and enjoyable. It will be meaningful, reciprocal, and supportive and enable personal development for all. Everyone will benefit and feel their input is valued.

Here are just some of the experiences that people who have participated with us have shared;    

"Through working with the participation team I realised that my mental health was stronger when I was involved in projects that were creative rather than only focusing on illness, and that it was time for me to spread my wings and fly!" From a service user.    

"They have been really suffering the last couple of years so it was great to see them connecting with others, especially brave with adults, and having fun" - From a carer.    

"Being an Expert by Experience makes me proud, I have never been an expert before but I feel like I am good at something, and I am listened to. I like doing interview panels because I get to help chose the best member of staff for the next patients." - From a service user.    

"Participating has allowed me to see a way out of being 'ill' and to start living again. I have started to believe I might have a life outside of mental health. I am think of applying for a job, and I am more confident in socialising." - From a service user.  

"My work in participation has taught me the importance of involving people with lived experience in the growth of NSFT. I have so much respect for everyone who is working hard to improve Mental Health Services. I love that life has given me the opportunity to be a small part of this amazing organisation. I feel I have grown on a person and professional level by participating. My confidence has increased and I feel the happiest I have ever been!" - From a service user.

What can I get involved in?

Collection of animated people

Participation is your opportunity to share your experience with us. You can become involved with future projects and service developments. You can plan and manage your own levels of involvement and which areas and projects you participate in.

You can view many of our current opportunites to get involved here but there are lots of other ways you can share your experiences and be involved. Click on the areas below to find out more about some of the ways you can get involved.

Friends and Family Test

This is a quick and anonymous way for service users and carers to give their views after receiving NSFT care or treatment. You can do this by completing an online form or filling in one of our paper feedback cards.  

Recruit new staff

NSFT recognises the value of experts by experience in recruiting new staff.

Training is given via a one-off virtual session on Microsoft teams. This gives attendees the skills and knowledge to be involved in interview panels, shaping the future of NSFT staffing.

Sign-up here.

Quality Improvement Projects

Be part of a project team that is looking to improve something we do in the Trust that impacts the quality of care we deliver to our users.

You can support in the decision making as well as provide your lived experience in shaping the changes we want to make.

Working Together Groups

These are project or service-focused groups for anyone with experience of using our services.

They are designed for sharing and generating ideas for service improvement and looking for opportunities for staff, service users and carers to work together. Working Together Groups are held in person and virtually.

Quality and Safety Reviews

Be a Quality and Safety Review (QSR) panel member. QSRs are a way of monitoring patient safety and care quality in community and inpatient settings and services.

Panel members will receive QSR coaching, which includes our values-based method of asking questions and engaging with service users and carers to record their experiences and feedback.

This supports our teams in developing improvement ideas.

Attend our forums

NSFT holds public forums to discuss a broad range of topics such as news, legislation and guidance and updates on services. People can ask questions, share their experiences and discuss subjects of mutual interest.

Our forums are often virtual but can occasionally be held in person. You can find upcoming forums and events here.

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