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The People’s Voice makes itself heard at the House of Lords

Published: 28/07/16

3 impactful sets of materials were launched at the House of Lords this month as part of our “People’s Voice” Programme.

The People’s Voice makes itself heard at the House of Lords

Thanks to funding from the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, the resources were co-produced with people who access services to help and support change makers within the health and social care sector. David Brindle, Chair of NDTi, said that the three sets of resources would have a “significant impact in ensuring that the voices of people who use health and social care services are not only listened to but are acted upon”.

The event was hosted by Baroness Judith Jolly, who with her policy experience in the Health and Social Care sector welcomed the materials saying “we’re still not commissioning terribly smartly” and said it was important to "listen and learn from what has gone before". The materials comprise: A standardised Advocacy Outcomes Framework; A toolkit for Co-production in Mental Health; and A guide document exploring what works in supporting carers through the Care Act.

During presentation of the materials, Gail Petty, Rights and Advocacy Lead at NDTi, explained the importance of a these new advocacy materials during a time of continued austerity: 
“The advocacy sector is feeling the pressure at the moment and this standardised framework can help us demonstrate and evidence the true power, effectiveness and impact that advocacy can have to individuals, their communities and the sector generally… we’re looking forward to sharing this new approach at the national advocacy conference in October”

Meena Patel from NDTi explained why the toolkit for Co-production in Mental Health was necessary now saying 
“sometimes when you put the right people together in the room magic doesn’t happen… these resources have been developed to help people understand the real challenges that can be experienced and how to take the right steps to achieve genuine collaboration”

SpeakerDr Sarah Carr echoed the sentiments adding 
“These resources are timely with the Department of Health and the NHS policy strategies like the 5 year Forward View for Mental Health and the Social Work for Better Mental Health both citing co-production as essential...one of the strongest messages that came through in our evidence from the frontline was that real transformation in services came about because of co-production… it was a necessary step for meaningful change”

The event was brought to a close with personal experiences shared by Marlene Thomas who has been a carer for 10 years and Chris Whiley from Carers’ Resource. Marlene explained why it was important to consider the specific help that a carer needs.

"For the first 7 years I didn’t realise I was a carer, I just got on with it…I thought people would help… I became depressed” it then took a whole year after receiving a help leaflet before Marlene sought help. “I hadn’t done my nails for 7 years. I’d stopped going swimming and doing other things that I enjoyed. The “time for me” groups at Carers’ Resource helped me to understand what my needs were and that these were different to the needs of who I cared for.”

Chris added that this was still a typical scenario:
“We know that people find it difficult to identify as a carer… we must think about the information that helps them think about themselves and not just the needs of the person they’re caring for…We’ve really enjoyed being involved with this piece of work, it’s really made us think and learn about what we do”

All three sets of resources are now available to download here and have been produced with the kind support of the Esmee Fairburn Foundation.

For further information about our work on Advocacy, Mental Health, Co-production and Support for Carers please contact us.

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