‘Your Voice Counts’ was a project to gather the public’s experiences of using mental health services and look at the support that they receive and how it can be improved. The CCG commissioned Healthwatch Hampshire to lead the project over 18 months (completed in early 2018).
The project involved speaking to over 700 local people and local carers who access or have accessed mental health services and support and over 50 voluntary, community and provider organisations who support people with mental health issues either directly or indirectly.
Wide-ranging feedback on services, experiences, successes and commissioning intentions led to the development of United Communities, a forum to ensure that these conversations can continue in a meaningful and sustainable way.
The United Communities group meets quarterly, to discuss the priority areas of work for both the Clinical Commissioning Group and for those using mental health services. The individuals, carers, representatives from community groups and from statutory organisations help commissioners within the CCG to identify gaps and look for improvements that could be made with existing NHS and community resources.
This meeting is regularly attended by over 25 people and it is important to the United Communities organisers that we listen to the feedback of the group to help form future agendas. United Communities has welcomed guest speakers, provides an opportunity for networking, and facilitates debate and discussion on issues most important to the local community whilst also providing an opportunity for commissioners to engage directly on their upcoming projects, suggested changes to services and larger strategic transformation.
We ask those wanting to attend United Communities meetings to register for each meeting. If you are not on the mailing list and are interested in attending, please contact us via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A large amount of supporting information, including reports and recommendations from the Healthwatch Hampshire work: http://www.healthwatchhampshire.co.uk/yourvoicecounts