Participation and Involvement Strategy 2020-2025

Publication date:
01 March 2020
Date range:
March 2020 - March 2025

Background and key drivers

Why are we doing this?

The NHS Constitution states that service users ”have the right to be involved, directly or through representatives, in the planning of healthcare services commissioned by NHS bodies, the development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way those services are provided, and in decisions to be made affecting the operation of those service” (The NHS Constitution, 2015).

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) recognises the importance of working with people who use our service and is therefore committed to supporting all interested service users and carers to be actively involved in Trust development projects.

The Five Year Forward View also highlights the importance of involving service users and carers in shaping the future of mental health services. It states that:
“Every person with a mental health problem should be able to say: I am confident that the services I may use have been designed in partnership with people who have relevant lived experience”.

In order to compile this strategy and develop its ambition, a working group has been formed to identify best practice and undertake a literature review. During this process we identified the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) 4Pi document that set out National Involvement Standards and a collective decision was made to structure our Participation and Involvement Strategy around these standards in order to facilitate and embed true co-production.

Key drivers- how will we achieve our vision?

“To make a valuable difference to our services by empowering and supporting service users and carers to bring a lived understanding of mental and physical wellbeing to the work of the Trust”

This strategy supports the Trust’s recognition that a structured approach to participation and engagement will help improve and embed lived experience in everything we do. We strive to ensure that this will not only support the improvement and development of services across the Trust but also the recovery and wellbeing of our service user and carer representatives, providing opportunities to develop and/or enhance their skills.

This strategy will support the development of a diverse community of service users and carers who can help us to continually review and improve mental health services. To enable this, KMPT recognises the importance of shifting to a community engagement model to develop strong community links, to work alongside community groups, organisations and other partners to build trusting and productive relationships.

It is our desire to develop a clear structure, with levels of engagement that sets out the roles and expectations of our service user and carer representatives in line with the Service User Payment Policy. It is envisioned that this will create a progressive and clear pathway, for service user and carer representatives to develop their participation skills and work at more senior level within the organisation if they wish to.

It is our ambition to become a leading example of co-production and its use in the development of mental health services. This is in line with the Trust’s values particularly with reference to innovation, respect and working together.