Report shines a light on possibilities for future mental health provision in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea

voice exchange logo

What did we do?

The Voice Exchange was a project we 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 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.

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.


Read the full report (PDF Version)

Read the full report (Plain text Word Version)

In October 2021, we presented the findings to staff at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. Four recommendations were given:

  1. Train and support staff
  2. Embed lived experience
  3. Take a community-wide approach
  4. Keep listening

What’s next?

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.

Ann Sheridan, Managing Director for CNWL’s Jameson Division (covering KCW, Brent and Harrow) said: 

“We wanted a frank and independent view to help us formulate options for a public consultation around mental health services and The Gordon Hospital.  Healthwatch have given us considered thoughts from a variety of sources in what is a thoughtful and frank report. Our next step is for staff to read and reflect on it, to absorb the thinking it identifies to help shape our future – as staff, patients and carers. Thanks very much to Healthwatch for their valuable work.” 

Christine Vigars, Chair of Healthwatch Central West London said: 

Our work with CNWL on the Voice Exchange has demonstrated the importance of listening to people with lived experience of mental health services and the potential for improvement once Hospital Trusts take on board the views of those who use their services. We look forward to seeing the impact of this work in the implementation of the recommendations and to continuing the collaborative work with CNWL on the Voice Exchange in 2022...”

Get involved

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
Voice Exchange
Healthwatch Central West London
07568 398908