Created on 8 August 2017

Helping to embed service user involvement in Trust culture

Enable East has played an integral part in the development and implementation of an NHS Trust’s ground-breaking programme which aims to truly ensure that patients and carers are at the heart of everything the Trust does.

In line with NHS values, Devon Partnership Trust wanted to allow patients, families and carers to be involved in, and consulted on, all decisions about their care and treatment, supporting the people using the services to drive and shape them through developing a genuinely inclusive organisational culture and environment.

Led by Enable East, the process began in 2015 with a steering group of people with lived experience undertaking a review of the existing involvement within the Trust. The report found that while there were many examples of good practice, there were opportunities to do more.

The outcomes of the review helped shape the ‘Together’ delivery plan – outlining how the Trust would implement its plan to make their vision a reality. The ‘Together’ project brought all the various different dimensions of involvement into one simple yet powerful organisational commitment – for the Trust, its patients, families and carers to work together in everything they do.

Over the last year, practical steps have been taken to allow those with lived experience to really help shape the services offered by the Trust. A Together Delivery Group has been formed to implement the project throughout the Trust, with strong representation from people with lived experience, carers, user representative groups and staff. Enable East developed and published guide for staff based on best practice, to help them implement Together more effectively, and a handbook is being co-produced for people with lived experience who are working Together. We have supported with reviewing the Trust’s policies for payments to people working Together, and through the Delivery Group have explored best practice around the Trust. Examples of working Together are being recorded and displayed around the Trust so that everyone is able to see the commitment of staff and the extent of Together involvements locally.

Enable East has also ensured that the ethos of service user and carer involvement is embedded in the culture of the organisation through a series of workshops and training programmes. Together induction sessions have been held for operational and corporate staff, and more are planned. Staff have received training in approaches such as working collaboratively with patients and carers in the development of their own care plans, and there is now an annual award for ‘working Together’, in recognition of the achievements of both staff and the people with lived experience and carers that they work with.

Read more about Together here.

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