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The People’s Voice Project

This project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, looks to ensure the voices of disabled and older people and their families are heard. It facilitated a better understanding of advocacy, co-production in mental health and the way we work with families and carers to support people.

The People’s Voice Project

All the work has been co-produced with those who use services. It is divided into three strands.

  • Development of an outcomes framework for advocacy that will help advocacy providers evidence good practice, and commissioners and people who use advocacy know if an organisation is delivering good outcomes for people.

NDTi research identified there is currently no substantive body of evidence around the impact of advocacy – either positive or negative. An outcomes framework will help to address this challenge and help show the value of good advocacy. 

  • Promote better understanding of coproduction in mental health so that services can work in partnership with people who use them and ensure they are more involved in decision making.

Coproduction is an important principle. All decisions taken by services about the lives of the people they support should include them as part of the decision-making process. We will create simple practical support materials on coproduction for people with mental health issues. This will include a publication for services to explain how coproduction can work well in mental health. There is a growing body of evidence to show that involving people in decision making about their services not only produces better outcomes but also reduces service demand and saves money.

  • Combat the continuing marginalisation and exclusion of families and carers from the current health and social care service reforms.

The Care Act introduces the notion of ‘parity of esteem’ between people who use services and carers, creating an entitlement to information, advice, assessment and a support plan for carers themselves. There is widespread concern that local authorities are not focusing on families – particularly in terms of the implementation of personalisation and personal budgets which are at the core of current changes in the social care system.

We have worked to create a consensus on how to maximise the potential of the Care Act so that families/ carers can have their voices heard and be positive partners in delivering personalised care. 

Access to all three of these resources can be found on the right hand side of this page.