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Our expert service user group defines successful involvement

Compassion and equality of treatment are the key to successful service user involvement, says the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham (LSL) Fulfilling Lives Expert Service User Reference Group (ESURG) in their first annual review, published today.

The Group’s recommendations include: ensuring that professionals build adequate time and space needed to create a dialogue with people considered ‘hard to reach’; moving away from the idea that professionals ‘know it all’ and remembering that meaningful user involvement is not merely about consultation but involving service users at every stage of service delivery.

Created to support the development of the LSL Fulfilling Lives programme, ESURG  aims to capture the views and opinions of those with experience of complex and multiple needs and to influence positive user involvement in local services. The Annual Report describes how the group was formed and identifies the important elements that make service users want to engage and remain involved in a co-productive relationship with services.

Despite facing considerable challenges initially bringing the group together, the team of regulars now provide an invaluable contribution to every aspect of the development of the LSL Fulfilling Lives programme.

This year’s successes include:

  • Developing a network of service user groups to build collaborative working in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.
  • Creating a wellness questionnaire to assess the experiences of people who access services in the three boroughs.
  • Delivering training to service users and staff across the three boroughs as a demonstration of co-production and shared learning.
  • Case study consultation sessions and co-production workshops with the You First team.

 “We are demonstrating that service users can work in equal partnership with policy makers, commissioners and practitioners to influence the way that services are designed, commissioned and delivered,” says Nash Momori, Service User Consultant at Resolving Chaos. “With skilled support, training and guidance, ESURG is demonstrating that we can successfully challenge some of the power imbalances in service delivery to ensure that service users have meaningful involvement in the delivery of services.”

Download the ESURG 2014-2015 Annual Report here

ESURG 2014-2015 Annual Report - Click here.