Experts by Experience

People who use our services help us in many ways by using their own lived experiences of our services.

The Experts by Experience (EbyE) Research Group is an established group of service users who are regularly involved in many aspects of trust activity as well as in their own communities.

The group meets every month and the members attend throughout the year with commitment, enthusiasm and dedication.

They actively participate with patients, caregivers, partners and volunteers, together with the healthcare teams and are always championing an end to stigma and are constantly raising awareness.

Since its beginning in 2008, the group sought to support health research activity within KMPT by inviting researchers to present their research or proposals to the group for discussion. They also began vital evaluation activities including a number of projects that helped the trust achieve a Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) target in 2009/10. 

Stronger links were forged over time with the support of trust staff from Patient Experience, Research and Development and Clinical Audit and Effectiveness teams. The group has supported evaluations around improvement issues with regard to the trust’s National Patient Survey and there was an improvement in these results during the time that this was a focus for the group.

The Care Quality Commission has previously also welcomed direct feedback from the valued group. The Research and Development team also enlisted the help of EbyE in the naming of their new research centre and the group were delighted to attend the opening event. The group receive training and they are now able to run focus groups and to conduct survey interviews. They have also had Skills for Involvement training and have participated in Time to Talk events and conferences. The group has had two patient research ambassadors in the Clinical Research Network Kent Surrey and Sussex.

Some highlights of how the group’s expertise has been harnessed include:

  • Supporting a service improvement project to look at care coordination in our community using the appreciative enquiry method.
  • Regularly participating in the interview process for Consultants and senior staff as part of the recruitment panel.
  • Supporting an evaluation of Peer Support workers.
  • Ongoing work with the Research and Development team to engage them and through them others, in research studies.

Our members also included award winners! David Cousins, won the Patient Contribution Award at the trustwide KMPT Awards in 2018. The trust is passionate about patient engagement and value the work of EbyE in this area.

The group themselves are enthusiastic about their involvement in helping the trust to learn and to benefit from lived experience. The team has been vital in the acceptance and growth in service user representation and involvement and are keen to welcome new members.

“The best way to change is from within. Service users can be, should be, are involved. The way forward is to say this is not right, but also to be involved to make it right.
We can influence how things will be and learn not to be despondent about the slow pace of change, but be part of the journey of change.” David Hough, Expert by Experience

If you would to find out more about becoming an Expert by Experience member, please contact Nick Dent, Patient Experience Manager or the team on 01227 812137