Participation and Involvement Strategy 2020-2025

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

Who we are

We are one of the largest mental health trusts in the UK. We employ over 3,500 staff and work with Kent County Council and Medway Council social care services. We serve a population of more than 1.8 million people across Kent and Medway with specialist service available in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We provide mental health, disability and specialist services. 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental ill health We were rated by the Care Quality Commission as Good and Outstanding for caring. We have 33 silts with 66 buildings. 

Vision - our aspirations for the future

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

Our ambition - what will be different in five years time?

It is our ambition to further drive the development of participation and involvement work to enable us to achieve our vision of service users and carers being equal partners in their care. By supporting service users and carers to use their lived experience to influence the strategic direction of the organisation, we will be working towards a culture within which co-production becomes second nature.

We will actively support our staff to recognise the benefits of co-production and support them to uphold the national standards as outlined in this strategy.

By working to increase the numbers of service users and carers who are actively engaged, we will strive to ensure that those involved are not only representative of the patients we care for, but also are representative of the wider and more diverse population of Kent and Medway.

We acknowledge that not all service user and carer representatives will have the time or resources to dedicate significant time to strategic development work, however for those who wish, or are able, we will endeavour to provide them with the support, training and remuneration that allows them to be as involved as they should choose.

The Involvement Pyramid

As the Trust is able to engage and recruit more service user and carer representatives, it is important to differentiate the varying levels of engagement, and therefore be able to support and remunerate them accordingly.

It is anticipated that the largest number of service user and carers engaged will stay at the bottom layer – receiving the newsletter, engaging on social media and feeding in their views via various channels, as and when they feel able.

This clear development structure will allow service user and carer representatives to aspire, and be supported, to engage at more intensive levels if they wish. We also encourage and support our service user and carer representatives to engage at a national level.

Levels of engagement:

  1. Patient director (not yet developed/potential idea)
  2. Lived experience advisers/patient and carer consultants/participation workers (one developed and paid role and two not yet developed)
  3. Collaboration/Delivery of training/co-facilitating groups/research/project work/work streams (developed and paid roles)
  4. Informed decision making including recruitment, Trust meetings etc (developed paid roles)
  5. PCC/CCC, Experts by experience and other groups (developed unpaid roles)
  6. Stimulating thinking volunteering (developed paid roles)
  7. Information giving and gathering, service user and carer engagement at grass roots level - giving information and gathering feedback (developed unpaid roles)