Making Service User Involvement Effective

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Service user involvement has gone quite rapidly from being a radical idea to an expected part of services, but it is now quite common for people to talk about doing it without understanding or articulating its purpose.

There is no central source of quality control or funding for service user involvement. Regulators have suggested that information, involvement and choice for mental health service users needs serious improvement.

There are a number of useful guides to service user involvement, but little to help people assess whether it makes a difference.

We have developed an audit process that enables organisations to ensure that service user involvement is effective. As part of this process we can:

  • work with existing service users to identify appropriate indicators of effective involvement
  • benchmark involvement to enable organisations to identify current strengths and weaknesses
  • help develop involvement strategies and implementation plans
  • provide reporting mechanisms to build involvement into governance arrangements

This will help organisations ensure involvement makes a constructive and valuable contribution to their development.