We welcome any feedback from people who have attended the Recovery and Outcomes Groups, both from staff and service users. We will post it all anonymously here. If you have any feedback please let us know your thoughts at: email@example.com.
'I was so scared at first standing up in front of everyone and talking. However, as it was about my very own recovery experience, I was really able to express my views, and as I was talking everyone was smiling. I was so happy that I was able to be a part of this and cannot wait to tell my family.'
Service user, Cygnet Hospital Godden Green
'It was good to get together with other service users and ex-service users to address the current issues. We discussed how holding onto relationships can help.'
Gayle Woodcock - Regional Lead East of England
'East of England region has been holding quarterly meetings with an attendance from approximately 17 sites. This has enabled service users from a large region to network and share initiatives/good practice as well as stay informed about National agendas and current topics within mainstream as well as mental healthcare.
A commissioner is always present and available to answer questions from service users. Service users are encouraged to share their projects/achievements at each meeting and we have had many presentations including:
In addition each meeting gives the attendees the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues and enables a much needed platform for their ‘voice’. Recent topics for debate/discussion have been:
Each group has regular updates from the National Recovery & outcomes steering group. This has enabled service users to understand the purpose of initiatives that they are involved in and contribute to the evaluation of these as well as their future development.'
Lindi Masilela - Regional Lead South-West
‘ As with all Regional Outcomes Groups, The South West Group feeds into the National Steering Group. Both groups meet quarterly and in our Region, we alternate venues, relying on Services who are able to host. We are grateful to a variety of services who have offered their premises to us. At each meeting we usually have feedback from any national or regional initiatives as well as presentations where services are able to showcase Recovery Initiatives. The meetings are a fantastic forum to share ideas as well as to support each other with problem solving. At times we are not able to come up with solutions, however everyone benefits from having a space to ponder issues collectively, and sharing comfort in shared experience.
We usually have an attendance of about 20-25 people, consisting of service users and staff. The region is large Geographically and we have attendees from places such as Cornwall, South Wales and Gloucester. All in all, the meetings are beneficial and a key way of supporting Recovery.’
Jane Clark - Regional Lead West Midlands
'I have been attending the West Midlands and National Recovery and Outcomes groups for approximately 18 months.
It is a privilege to be part of this group and having the opportunity to meet with staff and service users from secure services across the country. I find attending the groups both challenging and inspiring. It is challenging to achieve consistent engagement from the regional services and this has at times been frustrating in particular I feel the comparison with other regions who have a more consistent commitment and attendance and often feel that our region struggles to find a steady momentum. However despite this we do have some constructive and energetic meetings which do give me hope that given time we will achieve a stronger and larger membership.
The group also provides opportunities to network across NHS and independent sectors giving rise to considerations to share resources for the good of service users and their families. An example of this is some initial discussions to explore the development of a city wide Recovery College with St Andrews. The opportunity to work more closely with individual commissioners is helpful and as a group having updates and an opportunity to influence NHS England feels like a worthwhile link.
I am inspired by the work of others and the voices of the service user members who contribute to the groups and enjoy the opportunity to network with others. Often in health care we are poor at sharing ideas and spend unnecessary time duplicating almost identical developments and sharing in these forums is the right thing to ensure that aspects of good practice become available to more people more quickly.'
Rachel Kitten - Regional Lead London
'I became involved with the ROG Meetings when I started working for Cygnet Hospital Beckton. Initially I was attending both the South East Coast ROG Meeting and then the London ROG Meeting when it started just over a year ago. I did not have any expectations about the meetings and was going (with service users obviously!!) to find out more about this group. It has been such a positive experience, firstly meeting Ian, and then finding out what is happening on a national level with regards to recovery and secure care. It gives me hope that the mental health system in the UK is slowly inching its way to a more enlightened and compassionate direction. I feel so privileged to have been approached to be the London Lead and cherish the opportunity to be part of a positive change. Ian is awesome!'