‘Your Voice Counts’ was a project to gather the public’s experiences of using mental health services and look at the support that they receive and how it can be improved. The CCG commissioned Healthwatch Hampshire to lead the project over 18 months (completed in early 2018).
The project involved speaking to over 700 local people and local carers who access or have accessed mental health services and support and over 50 voluntary, community and provider organisations who support people with mental health issues either directly or indirectly.
Wide-ranging feedback on services, experiences, successes and commissioning intentions led to the development of United Communities, a forum to ensure that these conversations can continue in a meaningful and sustainable way.
The group meets regularly, pooling its combined knowledge and experience and looking at ways to improve services, working with existing NHS and community resources, and exploring whether other organisations might be able to be involved. United Communities not only involves service users, they also helped design the way it works.
Now meeting quarterly and focussing on different subjects each time, the meeting is regularly attended by over 25 people and provides opportunities for guest speakers, networking, debate and discussion on issues most important to the local community. It also provides an opportunity for commissioners to engage directly on their upcoming projects, changes to services and larger strategic transformation.
We ask those wanting to attend United Communities meetings to register for each meeting. If you are not on the mailing list and are interested in attending, please contact us via: email@example.com.
A large amount of supporting information, including reports and recommendations from the Healthwatch Hampshire work: http://www.healthwatchhampshire.co.uk/yourvoicecounts