Engage newsletter

News for the participation and involvement team

Publication date:
11 March 2022
Date range:
March 2022 - onwards


Welcome to Engage...

Welcome to our first edition of Engage; a brand new newsletter to showcase the hard work of service users, carers, and healthcare professionals. 
We often hear that the people we support and their loved one feel they don’t have a place where their voices can be heard. At KMPT, we are changing this and ‘Engage’, our new, quarterly newsletter, is just one of the ways we are working in collaboration to do this.We hope you enjoy the first edition and out more about our engagement and participation work and also about KMPT too. 

Take 5: KMPT engagement projects

We are always looking for better ways to listen and work in partnership with our patients, their carers and our staff. In 2020 we carried out a full review that looked at  everything including the meetings we held to how you can get involved in the work we do.We are delighted to say that since this time, we have had sixty-five requests from our patients and carers to get involved in a variety of projects. 

Read about some of these opportunities below…  

Engaging our pool: Autumn 2021Over 100 people including patients and carers are part of our engagement pool. These are people who are all interested in mental health who take part in the projects and programmes we develop. Their feedback and experience help improve our services.If you want to find out more or sign up to be a part of the engagement pool, contact us at: kmpt.engagement@nhs.net

Smart self-help: February 2021The PORA self-help tool is a voice-activated tool that tracks the mood and general progress of people with depression in their own homes. We enlisted seven people with lived experience of depression to help develop the tool.

15 Steps Challenge: June 202110 people from our engagement pool signed up to visit a number of inpatient wards as part of the 15 Steps Challenge.Similar to a mystery shopper exercise, teams including staff, volunteers, carers, and service users, visit wards across the Trust unannounced. The challenge really helps the staff across the Trust to see where improvements need to happen on the wards through the eyes of service users.  

Keeping Connected: ongoing We have been improving connections between members of the engagement pool with these quarterly events at which everything from Suicide Prevention and Care Plan Promises to the importance of volunteering for KMPT is discussed in an open forum.Take a look at the dates of our 2022 events below: 

  • Thursday 3 March, 1 - 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 1 June, 10 - 11.30am
  • Monday 5 September, 10 - 11.30am
  • Thursday 1 December, 11.30 - 1pm

Engagement Council: December 2021The Engagement Council provides representation at a strategic level, for engagement across the Trust. They work strategically with the Board and operationally with the engagement pool and care group services. Membership of the council will reflect the Trust’s care groups, patient demographics and the geography of Kent and Medway.

News in depth

Bringing carers together in 2022To mark Carers' Week 2022, we are inviting family, friends and careers to our first Carers' Conference. The conference will take place in June 2022 and  will give interested people  the chance to come together, share experiences and develop further understanding of how family, friends and carers can best be supported when their loved one’s access services here in Kent and Medway.We have set up a steering group to help us shape and plan the conference and are meeting regularly.If you want to be part of this exciting initiative, run in conjunction with Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, then get in touch with Kamila at: kmpt.engagement@nhs.net

Finding real meaning from engaging: Cinzia's story

We spoke to Cinzia about her experiences...Engaging doesn't have to be solely about the greater good. I have found that by participating in the engagement pool, I have benefitted immensely in my own life.  I was previously a service user in mental health, and was motivated to work alongside other service users, carers, and volunteers because I understood what had helped me, so felt I could help others too. Little did I know I was helping myself in the process. It has been a much-needed confidence boost, giving me the chance to improve and develop my workplace skills, and creating strong reciprocal relationships with other service users and staff. 

Initially I began by attending and contributing to meetings and providing feedback - several different workstreams have helped create training and support and a further one streamlined practical issues with engagement. Harnessing my past experience as a teacher to produce a training webinar, I'm working on co-production at the moment, which means patients, carers and staff working together to improve services. Next, I am working on the Liaison psychiatry service, helping people with mental health problems in General Hospitals access better care. I feel very fortunate to be working with a professional, caring group of people, and if you are like me - a hesitant service user or carer - thinking of getting involved with Engagement, don't hesitate. It is interesting, stimulating, rewarding work that is fully supported by peers and staff.

Forthcoming projects 

New recruits needed!We are seeking new members for our Patient Experience, Carer Experience, and Triangle of Care Group, which cover the whole of KMPT. We’re looking for insights from service users, families, friends and carers to support better patient experience.

Patient and carer experience This strategic group ensures there are clear lines of accountability and communication between the group and services, meeting bi-monthly. We want to recruit three to four new members with recent experiences of KMPT’s services.

Older adult stakeholder group This group would like to invite older adult patients with a diagnosis of complex emotional difficulties (previously known as Personality Disorder) or people who are caring for someone with that diagnosis to join their monthly meetings and work together our pathway of care for this group of patients.

Triangle of Care Group Calling all Kent & Medway carers! Do you want to help KMPT achieve better partnership working with service users and carers? Then why not join our Triangle of Care group. The Triangle of Care was developed to address the clear evidence from carers that they need to be listened to and consulted more closely. The group meets quarterly and are conducted virtually. They are not a forum to discuss personal concerns. If you want to get involved, please send an expression of interest to Kamila, explaining:

  • What services you or your loved one are under?
  • Which group you want to join?
  • Why you would like to support the meetings?

National updates, Trust updates and partnerships

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking for residents to support their wider engagement work and hope to launch a new on-line engagement tool in the near future.For more information, contact: kmpt.engagement@nhs.net

Get in touch If you would like to get involved, please contact Kamila Lobuzinska on 01227 812042 or 07917 513426 or email kmpt.engagement@nhs.net