Here, Bev Thornton and Anne Perry tell us all about the Service User Network…….
What is the Service User Network (SUN)?
It’s a monthly get together which service users, carers and staff attend to share their ideas, give feedback and shared experiences which are used to directly influence practice. The main aim of the group is to work hand in hand with Trust aimed at improving services provided.
The events have a very friendly atmosphere which is hosted by two recovery and social inclusion workers, Bev Thornton and Anne Perry, who help encourage service users to give their views on topics that relate directly to the members.
Service users are also encouraged to participate in community involvement events as well as socialising and bringing general queries about Trust services to SUN. SUN meetings are based on the Recovery principles of empowerment, hope and equality, acceptance, choice, actively encouraging interest and participation in doing something meaningful, believing in people. At the same time incorporating the Trusts values of respect, dignity, commitment to quality of care, working together, improving lives, compassion, and everyone counts.
SUN has guest speakers every month to involve and advise the service users giving them valuable information and two way feedback in aiding service users continued personal recovery.
Who are the SUN members?
They are service users, carer’s and staff who represent a diverse community groups. Bev and Anne have promoted the SUN to outside community groups and have established a good attendance from these groups, providing diverse and wide range of knowledge and life experiences.
Current membership is 47. Bev and Anne are continually canvassing to increase membership. They are now looking to establish a SUN in the West of Leeds and in the future the South.
What can SUN do for me?
You can bring your ideas or concerns about Trust Services to SUN and it will be reported to the Trust governance/committee meetings for comment and action ensuring service users issues are addressed and dealt with.
From service users point of view SUN has helped them in their own recovery by giving them a voice, which is listened to and valued. For example changes to the Care Programme Approach were due directly to service user’s feedback, which shows how valued and respected the SUN’s opinion is.
People are encouraged to tell their own stories, which prove to be a positive experience for all service users and unites the group. People are invited to participate in involvement requests from the Trust i.e. interview panels, Psychiatrist training, test ward rounds prior to Care Quality Commission inspections
SUN‘s success has meant that all Trust policies and procedures are brought to SUN for consultation prior to implementation.
When and where does SUN & mini SUN meet?
The first Wednesday of every month 12.45 to 15.00 at St Chad’s Community Hall, Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS16 5JT. Refreshments are provided. Public Travel expenses can be reimbursed.