News – User Involvement & Consultation

Forth Valley User and Carers Forum Update

This Forth Valley wide forum is attended by members from Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk. At the most recent meeting in August forum members have agreed to focus on key issues which affect everyone in mental health. A rolling programme of topics including the Triangle of Care have been identified. The group have agreed that they would like to hold an annual event which will showcase all the good work they have undertaken. Rebekah Moore from See Me attended the latest meeting in August and gave a very useful update, not only on the work of SeeMe, but also the different funding streams available to organisations. This funding is aimed principally at helping organisations or groups tackling discriminatory practices and ideas that people come up with must be innovative. The forum is hoping to identify a project in the very near future.

Tag: User Involvement & Consultation
02/09/2015 at 6:48 pm

Involvement Group leads with trailblazing projects

FDAMH’s Involvement Group is making its mark undertaking valuable projects that will help to improve mental health services. Meeting regularly, the group is attended by a very dedicated group of volunteers, all with valuable experiences to draw from to inform their work with the group. As reported previously the main project for the group at the current time is the service-user led audit of FDAMH using the Scottish Recovery Indicator 2 (SRI 2) — to assess how recovery-focused FDAMH is. After reviewing publicity materials and issues of staff training and development, the group is about to embark on interviewing staff.

The SRI 2 project was further boosted recently thanks to a very useful meeting with Robert Stevenson, Network Officer from the Scottish Recovery Network. Robert reported that FDAMH is the first organisation in Scotland that has asked its members to evaluate its services. He is very interested in following the group’s progress and will give support as required. The Network are hoping to learn from the group’s work and it is hoped in the future the Involvement Group will be able to run a workshop at a conference being planned specifically around the SRI2 tool!

In addition to the audit, the group would also like to establish their own identity by developing their own logo, so work on this is underway. Group members have also been evaluating their training needs and are working on a plan to attend to these. Finally the group will be involved in producing a Carers Information Pack to help FVRH Mental Health Unit meet its ‘Triangle of Care’ commitments (see separate news story).

If you are interested in finding out more about the Involvement Group or how to get involved yourself please contact Linda McGonigle at FDAMH.

Tag: Local Services, User Involvement & Consultation
02/09/2015 at 6:45 pm

Supporting the Triangle of Care

FDAMH’s Involvement Group are delighted to have been asked to contribute to a new initiative at Forth Valley Royal Hospital (FVRH). The ‘Triangle of Care’ is an established set of guidance which helps mental health service providers ensure that carers are fully included and supported when the person they care for has an acute mental health episode. Currently the guidance is being tested within Ward 3 of FVRH’s Mental Health Unit before being rolled out further. The guidance lays out a set of standards to achieve better partnership with carers and its intention is to promote safety, support recovery and sustain wellbeing.

Linda McGonigle, Service User and Carer Involvement Coordinator, and Neil Sowerby, Family Support Worker, have met with staff at the FVRH mental health unit to help establish what support FDAMH can offer to ensure that certain requirements of the ‘Triangle of Care’ are met. Consequently FDAMH’s Involvement Group will be using their extensive experience of mental health services to assist in the development of a Carers Information Pack which will be given to carers when their family member or person they care for is admitted to hospital.

FDAMH welcomes this very positive step, our own Family Support Service recognises the huge significance of families in recovery and is also keenly aware of the impact mental health problems can have on all family members.

This is an excellent example of partnership working between two organisations and everyone involved is looking forward to seeing this project develop.

Tag: FDAMH, Local Services, Mental Health, User Involvement & Consultation
02/09/2015 at 6:32 pm

FDAMH welcomes audit by people who use its services

Members of the Involvement Group have been working very hard recently, preparing for quite a major project. They are going to examine the services that FDAMH provides using the Scottish Recovery Indicator 2 monitoring tool (SRI 2) which is made available by the Scottish Recovery Network (SRN).

Recovery is all about the individual journeys that people with mental health difficulties take in moving forward towards a better future, and how the people supporting them can work in partnership with them to help make that happen. The SRN is very keen that organisations should make recovery a central focus of the work they do, and that the good work that is already being done in that regard should be recognised and acknowledged. To do just that, the SRN has created the SRI 2, a method to measure just how recovery-focussed an organisation is.

The first task faced by the Involvement Group was to prepare and undertake a presentation to FDAMH’s staff so they would be aware of the SRI 2 tool and how it would be applied. Gordon and Karl undertook the responsibility for this.

Gordon felt that “Having joined a passionate and active group, it actually adds an extra depth of purpose being involved in such a relevant and worthwhile project. I certainly don’t feel like internal affairs checking up on something, I feel more like a champion who is taking something good and trying to make it better.”

Whilst Karl observes: “Perhaps fortunately I had some experience in putting together presentations from my previous career to draw on, however, it had been quite some time since I’d been called on to use those skills. I agreed to come up with a draft of some text for the presentation, but I wasn’t entirely confident I’d been on the right track. Fortunately Gordon and I seem to work quite well as a team and together we were able to polish up the rough first draft into something effective.” But the whole project is very much a group effort — as Gordon rightly observes: “I think each and every member of the group has a part to play and are all participating in it enthusiastically.”

Karl admits to having been a little bit anxious about the presentation. “It had been a few years since I had actually stood up and given one, so it was a bit daunting.” Fortunately, with Gordon along to provide support and run the technical side of the presentation it all went pretty well on the day. Feedback from the staff was very positive and both felt the presentation had been worthwhile, well-received, and appeared to have communicated the intended message. Karl says “I was rather pleased to discover that I still have these skills, and was able to deliver a presentation to a fairly large group of people. I feel quite proud of pulling that off, and I think that it is quite a milestone in terms of my own Recovery, and how FDAMH has helped to facilitate that journey.” Gordon seemed to have enjoyed the experience too commenting that “The project has allowed me to bring some of the skill-set that I have into play and has increased my confidence and feelings of worth.”

The Involvement Group have now commenced their work looking at FDAMH’s activities through the lens of SRI 2. We’re very pleased that the group have decided to apply SRI 2 to FDAMH and keenly await the results of the audit. Recovery is extremely important to FDAMH and we hope that this work will both demonstrate this and help us to develop further.

Tag: FDAMH, User Involvement & Consultation
23/06/2015 at 3:06 pm

NHS Clinical Services Review Update

We were delighted that so many of you participated in the recent NHS Clinical Services Review, whether it be online or within one of the review groups.

We’ve had some feedback on the review so far, courtesy of Pauline Marland, Patient Experience Coordinator for NHS Forth Valley:

“Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback and suggestions over the last six months to help shape local health services for the future. The key themes identified by staff, patients and the general public so far are broadly similar with many highlighting the importance of good communication, person-centred care, greater consistency in the way services are delivered, more joined up services and better co-ordination. Greater use of technology, better access to services, greater capacity and the need to develop the workforce were also recurring themes highlighted during the engagement process over the last six months.

As part of the Clinical Services Review, a detailed report has also been produced which outlines future trends in the size and age of our local population, estimates future service activity and forecasts future levels of several common diseases and long term conditions. The report, which is called ‘A Case for Change’ examines other factors which affect the health and wellbeing of local people such as poverty, poor housing, unemployment, smoking, alcohol consumption and exercise. This important information and analysis will help inform how we plan and deliver services to meet the future healthcare needs of our local population, keep pace with demand and deliver the Scottish Government’s 2020 Vision for healthcare.

All of feedback is now being carefully considered by the eight individual working groups carrying out the Review, along with the detailed work, research and analysis carried out over the last six months. Each of the working groups will produce a detailed report highlighting their key themes, priorities and recommendations. These will then be used to develop our new healthcare strategy which will set out our plans and priorities for the next five years. We aim to complete the first draft of the healthcare strategy over the summer and it will then be subject to wider consultation and further engagement before it is finalised.”

Linda, our Service User and Carer Involvement Co-ordinator, will continue to keep anyone interested up-to-date with how this is developing and we’ll let you know when any further public consultation on the review opens.

Tag: User Involvement & Consultation
29/05/2015 at 2:50 pm

Mental Health Consultations Update

Bringing attention to consultation opportunities and encouraging you all to get involved is a key strand of our Service User and Carer Involvement Project!

The latest consultation event was part of the current review of NHS Mental Health Services. We were pleased that a number of people attended this event held in February at Forth Valley College, Falkirk. A very positive development was that those who were not able to attend on the day were able to put their views forward either on paper or electronically, helping to encourage the participation of as broad a range of voices as possible.

The Scottish Older Peoples Assembly meeting in Falkirk was organised by Falkirk’s Make it Happen Forum. The event was very informative and the most likely result is that the Make it Happen Forum will opt to join the national assembly. This will provide the local group with a direct link to the Scottish Government and will be an excellent way of raising and exploring the issues that affect older people in particular.

Project Coordinator, Linda, is pleased to have re-established links with the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Mental Health and looks forward to attending her first meeting in the very near future. Meetings take place quarterly and are open to the public. If you are interested in attending please get in touch with Linda at FDAMH.

The Involvement Group is currently putting together a report on what local patients think makes a satisfactory experience if they require to be admitted to hospital. Sometimes quite small or simple things can make a big difference to a patient’s experience. This report will be shared with the Charge Nurse in Ward 3 Mental Health Unit at FVRH and we hope that the information within it will help to inform ward practices.

The next upcoming consultation event is a further visit from Margo Fyffe of the Mental Welfare Commission. Margo will be with us on Wednesday 15th April 2015, having been keen to return following her visit to Falkirk last year. Margo is particularly interested in finding out more about the local third sector and there will also be the opportunity for people to meet with Margo on the day. If you would like to join in please contact Linda.

As usual Linda would be thrilled to see more of you becoming involved and having your say on mental health services and issues, whether you have used services or care for someone who has. There are lots of ways to be involved, so there is no need to be shy. If you’d like your voice to count get in touch with Linda for a friendly chat.

You can contact Linda McGonigle, Service User and Carer Involvement Coordinator, on 01324 671609 or by emailing

Tag: User Involvement & Consultation
16/03/2015 at 9:59 am