Training Service User Involvement at Richmond Foundation
On 11th and 12th March 2010, all employees of Richmond Foundation have undergone a two-day-training on service user involvement. The training programme aimed at enabling the Foundation to benchmark, develop and improve the effective involvement of its service users. By the end of this experience, the staff managed to obtain greater knowledge and understanding of service user involvement. The staff was also able to analyse existing mechanisms of involvement so that they can be built on and improved.
On 10th October 2008, on World Mental Health Day, the Foundation dedicated a whole seminar with the title ‘Active Inclusion Through Service User Involvement’. Further to this seminar it was felt that the Foundation needs to reinvigorate such concept and practice within the Foundation itself. Service user involvement is still an innovative concept in Malta, however during this training, it transpired that the Foundation is already effectively involving the users in various ways, however, the Foundation needs to do this in a more systematic way. User involvement needs to take place on three level: individual, operational and strategic. A substantive part of the training was dedicated to ways of measuring the effectiveness of the service user involvement within the Foundation.
The training gave a good opportunity to each and every participant to appreciate the notion of service user involvement across the organisation and moreover, each team was able to draft a plan of how service user involvement could be further practiced within each unit and Richmond Foundation at large.
The training was delivered by Mr. David Crepaz-Keay who is currently the Head of Patient and Public Involvement, Mental Health Foundation, United Kingdom. Mr. Crepaz-Keay is also the WHO advisor on Service User and Carer Empowerment.
The training was funded by the Training Aid Framework which is partially funded by the European Social Fund. The TAF programme is managed by the Employment and Training Services.