A friendly face is the Trust’s People Participation (PP) Lead for the Bedfordshire and Luton community mental health transformation programme.
Sally Wilkin will ensure service users and carers are actively involved in helping shape and deliver the programme to design and test new ways of working, and to help reshape NHS community mental health services.
She is also a familiar face to many.
Sally became involved with the Trust’s PP team in 2014 and in 2018 was successful in gaining employment within the Quality Assurance Team, as the Service User Lead for the Quality Assurance Team.
“Service User and Carer involvement is absolutely key to the success of this programme,” said Sally.
“We need their voices to be at the heart of everything we do within ELFT. ‘Nothing about us without us’ is my key saying.”
She added: “It is their service, so we need to know what they want from it, and what better way to find this than to involve the service users and carers from the very beginning and fully involve them, at all levels of meetings and decision making.”
Sally, who lives near Bedford, will ensure service users and carers are represented and provided with opportunities to give meaningful input to the programme.
The changes within community mental health care will see it become more holistic, with care built around the needs of the individual. It will not just look at a set of psychiatric symptoms but will look at the whole person’s life from every angle, community, hobbies, and their wishes to family – everything around them that can affect their mental health.
It will connect health and social care services, improving communication and avoiding the need for people to ‘re-tell’ their story to different professionals, and build links within the voluntary sector so people can improve their wellbeing through social activity groups and activities.
All ELFT service users and their carers can get involved in supporting the programme, as can any patients registered with the GP surgeries in the pilot sites around Bedfordshire and Luton.
A community mental health transformation group meeting for service users and carers is being held on August 10.