An exciting new beginning in how Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) engages more effectively with people who uses its services has been marked with the launch of its first Service User Engagement Strategy.
The new strategy was officially launched today, 1 July, and will shape the Trust’s engagement activities during the next three years.
Engaging with people who use public health services is essential for the NHS and national guidance actively encourages the involvement of service users in the development and delivery of local services.
Success is built upon proactive, regular engagement with patients, the public, staff and local partners and effective use of the feedback gained. All this and more is explained in the document, which also sets out the key responsibilities of health service managers.
The strategy has been developed following consultation with a total of 129 staff and 73 of GMW’s service users from across Bolton, Salford, Trafford and the Trust’s Specialist Services Network.
Eight key priorities have been agreed, which are as follows:
- Ensuring feedback is sought from people who use GMW’s services on a regular basis using a variety of methods.
- Establishing communication channels to ensure service users’ feedback reaches service managers and front line staff and that feedback results in service improvements.
- Ensuring decisions and service improvements, made as a result of service user feedback, are communicated to staff and service users.
- Ensuring there is service user representation at decision making forums, meetings, audit and inspections, as well as in the recruitment and selection of staff within all services to ensure service users’ voices are heard and the Trust is responsive to local needs.
- Maximising opportunities to learn from people with lived experience of mental health difficulties by co-facilitating learning and development opportunities both locally and via the Trust Recovery Academy.
- Ensuring the Trust engage with service users in service delivery by maximising opportunities to introduce volunteers, volunteer Peer Mentor and paid Peer Support Worker roles.
- Continuing to support service users to move on and lead independent lives by improving links with the education, training, employment and voluntary sector.
- Continuing to tackle the stigma associated with mental health by sharing service users’ stories and celebrating success.
The Trust’s service leads have now been asked to produce local action plans to detail how they will meet these priorities. In September, the Trust will then launch their new Service User Engagement Recognition Scheme where services will be awarded with a bronze, silver, gold or platinum kite mark for their progress in relation to this agenda.
Bev Humphrey, Trust Chief Executive, said: “We are continually looking for ways to make our services the best they can be for all of our service users, families and carers. We know from experience that the people who use our services are the true experts on how those services should be developed and delivered.
“This strategy sets out our vision for engaging, involving and collaborating with our service users as well as the direction and focus for the Trust and local organisations to work together to bring about tangible and lasting improvements.
“We are committed to ensuring that service users are involved in a real and meaningful way which influences our staff and shapes our services. Our success as a high-performing mental health NHS Trust not only depends on the staff who work here but the people who use our services.”
Iris Emery, GMW Carer Governor, and Joanne Wilson, GMW Service User Governor, said: “We are impressed with the energy and drive that has gone into creating the new strategy, involving service users, carers and staff at events held around the North West and discussions in meetings.
“It is now vital that the impetus is maintained and that the themes of engagement and involvement are taken up by staff and service users throughout the Trust – whatever their role, they have an active part in delivering on the strategy’s potential. If that happens, we really will all be helping our services to be fit for the future.”
Copies of the Strategy will be distributed to local service user groups, and is available on their website: www.gmmh.nhs.uk.