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Service User and Carer Council

What is it?

The Service User and Carer Council is a group made up of representatives of the Trust Board, staff, service users, carers and parents. They review developments across the Trust providing feedback from themselves and the people they represent. The council is open, friendly, honest and constructive in its feedback. The key aim is to ensure that the group’s perspectives are taken into account when the Trust plans and delivers services. It also looks to ensure that feedback is sought following service changes to ensure they are improving the quality of care and meeting service users’ needs.

Why was the council set up?

Established in 2015, the Council was set up to strengthen the voice of service users across the Trust.  The Trust has a strong learning lessons culture and recognises the benefits of continually learning from feedback from patients and service users. The Board is committed to involving patients, service users and carers in all aspects of the Trust. . The Council offers a wealth of skills and experience. Working in partnership with the Trust, the council . is an example of  true collaborative working, creating and developing services together that reflect best practice.

Is it confidential?

Yes. All members  are asked to sign an agreement which contains a confidentiality clause. The Council meets regularly and minutes are depersonalised before circulation. If individuals have a sensitive concern, the Trust’s Patient Experience Lead is there to make sure all aspects are addressed.

Does it make a difference?

Yes. The group first met in August 2015 and one concrete example of change as a result is the amendment of the trust recruitment policy. It now states that the trust board is committed to involving service users, carers and other SUCC members in the full recruitment process, from the selection for interview onto final decision making. A second is the inclusion of a service user and carer perceptive talk on the induction programme, which has received very positive feedback. So yes, it has already made a difference.

Can I be involved?

Yes please! We would love the council to develop further, involving more people from all directorates and services. As a group, we want to bring about real change. We are proud to be part of a forward-looking Trust that is committed to learning lessons and developing services that have service users and carers nvolvement in all aspects of its development. If you would like to know more, please contact Veronica Emlyn, Patient Experience Facilitator and Volunteer Coordinator, on 01782 441600 (ext 2480) or email veronica.emlyn@northstaffs.nhs.uk