As well as each service’s own Recovery and Outcomes Group, there is a network around the country of nine regional groups. These take place every three months in March, June, September and October. The meetings take place in the following areas: London; South East Coast; South Central; South West; East of England; East Midlands; West Midlands; North West; and Yorkshire & Humber, which also includes the North East region.
There are usually two meetings a week during each period, meaning that some meetings take place in the month before or after that month. The meetings are held either in a secure service or in a community venue – the Yorkshire & Humber/North East meeting for example always takes place in a community venue.
The meetings are usually held from 1pm-3.30pm or sometimes to 4pm with lunch beforehand at 12.15pm. As well as this, there is a break at around 2.15pm for 15 minutes or so, so plenty of time to meet people from other services! Meetings are kept as informal as possible, and it’s fine for people to come and go if they need to.
We encourage attendance from at least two service user recovery leads and two staff leads from every secure service in that area – but we always welcome more people if more want to come!
Each region has a staff Regional Lead and we are hoping soon to have a Service User Lead from each region too, to help with the organisation and running of the meetings. The Leads also sit on the national Steering Group that meets quarterly in Birmingham after all the regional Groups have been held.
There is a National Service User Lead, Ian Callaghan, who co-ordinates and facilitates the regional Groups and who co-chairs the national Steering Group with Mick Burns, a senior commissioner from the Yorkshire & Humber region. Mick has been a great supporter of My Shared Pathway and the Recovery and Outcomes work from the beginning several years ago.