Enabling the community to shape local mental health services
What did we do?
The Voice Exchange was a project which ran throughout 2021. Commissioned by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, the project focused on speaking with people in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, to explore how mental health services in the bi-borough could look in the future.
As part of the project, we also visited mental health services in the area and met with local people and organisations to listen to the local communities.
We believe that sharing the real experiences of real people will help Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust plan their services in the future. The Voice Exchange was a unique approach to lived experience engagement and it wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of the group members, who shared so many ideas and insights.
The Voice Exchange is a unique approach to lived experience engagement – instead of just looking at what’s working and what could be improved, we are asking members to imagine what future inpatient services could look like in a broader sense. It wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of the members, who have embraced the project via online meetings so far, and have already shared so many great ideas.
Laura May, Voice Exchange Coordinator
What did we find?
Healthwatch Central West London found that existing services often do not work for the people who need them, or for the people working within the provision.
Five key themes were identified during the Voice Exchange: Compassion; accountability; engagement; continuity; and humanity.
In October 2021, we presented the findings to staff at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. Four recommendations were given:
- Train and support staff
- Embed lived experience
- Take a community-wide approach
- Keep listening
The people involved in the Voice Exchange expressed respect for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust for commissioning the project, for approaching it in an independent way and for committing to listening to the findings.
We are pleased to say that the Voice Exchange will continue in 2022 with reflective sessions being hosted for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust staff. Four summits are also planned for the future, to bring together the Voice Exchange members and the Trust in a constructive way to look towards the future together.
We will be hosting public information sessions to share key findings from the Voice Exchange report in 2022. To be kept updated about these events and more, subscribe to our e-newsletter today.
For specific enquiries, please contact Laura May.
Healthwatch Central West London