Service User and Carer Involvement – Not really a quiet September, Linda!

Linda McGonigle, Service User and Carer Involvement Coordinator, reports that August was a ‘slightly quieter month’ for service user activity and involvement in terms of actual meetings and consultations. However, Linda’s definition of ‘quieter’ is quite obviously considerably more active than most!

With meetings reportedly less demanding for a while, Linda and her assistant (a group member) have been working ‘behind the scenes’ to map out what they thought the Service User Reference Group should look like. They examined the various groups that service users and carers actually participated in, for example the Falkirk Mental Health Partnership Group. Group participation will help determine the membership of the Reference Group. In addition, Linda’s assistant has been busy getting the details of more people who either want to be involved with the group or at the very least receive information from it.

Other activity and news from Linda for September is as follows:

Public Partnership Forum (often referred to as the PPF)
Attendees enjoyed two very interesting presentations – one on Person Centered Care and the other about the work of young carers in Falkirk. Linda is keenly looking for more people to come along to this meeting, so if anyone is interested please get in touch with her.

Scottish Patient Safety Programme regional learning event in Mariott Hotel Edinburgh
This was a very interesting event as there was representation from various health boards throughout Scotland who gave examples of some of the work they have been involved in throughout the last year. Up until now the programme has focused on improving the experience for patients in hospital, however the next module will begin to look more at the community experience. NHS Forth Valley will concentrate on two modules. One will focus on Risk Assessments and the other on Communication at Transitions of Care. Linda is pleased to have secured service user representation on the latter group. More information will be available after the local coordinators have met in October.

Forth Valley Users and Carers Involvement Forum, Stirling
A few days prior to the meeting it was announced the Involvement worker in Stirling was leaving to take up a new post. This has meant a complete change of Service User and Carer Involvement postholders across Forth Valley over the last few months (Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire). Linda hopes that by the next meeting in December everyone will be in post and the group can begin to move forward.

Public Partnership Forum Coordinating Group
Linda attended this group to give a presentation on her role and remit. This instigated a lot of discussion about FDAMH on which there will be a full presentation at the next PPF meeting in November.

World Café Event in the Sensory Centre Camelon
This gave service users and carers the opportunity to have their say on the local Integrated Mental Health Teams and how they would want services delivered in the future.

Housing Consultation, hosted by FDAMH
This consultation looked at future housing needs for older people. This was very well attended and the two facilitators from Falkirk Council were extremely impressed by the feedback and information received.

Reference Group
The Reference Group was a long-established aspect of FDAMH’s Involvement Project in the past. Linda is now re-starting and re-invigorating the group, the first meeting of which takes place at the end of September.

Linda’s enthusiasm and strong support for service users and carers who wish to have their voices heard is very evident. It is no surprise that the events and meetings she arranges are well attended and highly valued by participants and those consulting alike. If you are interested in participating at any level or if you would like to be able to consult with and hear the opinions of local people affected by mental health issues in terms of statutory sector provision, then please get in touch with Linda at FDAMH.

29/09/2014 at 11:22 am