Engagement and Involvement
We work with our community to share the opportunity to shape their local health and care services in Northamptonshire.
We work with our community to share the opportunity to shape their local health and care services in Northamptonshire. By involving our community, we are more likely to get things right. We are all on this journey together so listening to everyone’s views is important to us.
The first step is to complete the sign up for engagement and involvement form and then we will be in touch.Sign up for engagement and involvement
The term 'co-production' describes working in partnership by sharing power between people who draw on care and support, carers, families and citizens. Click below to find some truly inspirational examples of coproduction.
This is my journey…
I first heard of the Participation team after attending a recovery college session as I was approached by others at the course to ask if it is something I would be interested in joining as it included tasks and projects, I was eager to achieve and decided Participation would be a good step to achieve these.
I signed up to Participation in the middle of November 2022. My reasoning behind this was that I've always been keen to help improve services and improve all areas surrounding mental health. I have spent years in and out of impatient settings, appointment after appointment with different teams, and I am eager to improve things I felt were helpful but to also speak out and change the things that weren't very helpful. I also have personal goals, one of these being able to attend different things, ideally schools, to help educate from my own experiences and to help those that struggle like I used to. This is a project that by joining Participation, I can learn skills, gain experience and begin to plan these goals. Joining with participation allows you to have the ability to learn and grow to be able to do these things. Participation provides an array of activities that are offered to get involved with. Some that I have personally attended are the Young Advisory Board. The Young Advisory Board is a chance for young people to come together and do multiple things. This includes coming together to chat and create new friendships. It also allows the young person a chance to have a voice and say when it comes to young people's mental health services. For example, the Participation lead will be sent content wanting to be used by services e.g., website lay out and accessibility, worksheets, or information sheets the services are keen to use and us young people come together, either virtual or face to face, and allows us to amend these things and to also have our say, especially for those with personal experience of the services. It feels incredibly rewarding. Depending on interest, goals, experience or even age, there is a lot of pathways that can be taken, for example i have spent time on a lot of interview panels for roles within the NHFT (Northampton Healthcare Foundation Team) which, personally, is a pathway I was incredibly interested by and also gives me experience for roles i would like to advance with in the future. There are also activities that are provided at certain times, for example at Christmas time we all came together and went bowling.
I am currently involved with projects within Participation, one of these, as mentioned before, is getting involved with interview panels for different job roles. This is incredibly rewarding for me as I am incredibly keen to help improve services for those who need it. Participation also allowed me to reach other pathways with different teams, due to my age and experience, and am starting to achieve my goals.
My experience with participation has truly changed me for the better. It has helped me build my confidence immensely. When I first joined Participation, I was incredibly anxious. I even struggled to attend things with Participation due to severe anxiety and would often be struggling with panic attacks when attending, however when I arrived, I was always welcomed by the warmest people, and I felt accepted somewhere. I got to create new friendships, I was able to improve my confidence hugely, often worried about the interview panels, thinking I wasn’t ‘professional enough’ however, everyone is so welcoming, and you just take things at your own pace. I think that is one huge benefit about Participation, you get to decide how much or little you do or contribute, ideal for those who want a confidence boost or even to help you work around your current schedule. Due to the fact i have spent most of my life battling a war inside my brain, I have been provided with support and guidance, therefore I am keen to give back what I can, and Participation has given me that chance. Not only that, but a place I feel welcomed and accepted.
UHN launched the ‘UHN Patient Engagement Pool’.
This will ensure that people with lived experience and their carers, are key to any new service developments across the UHN group.
It is so important, that patients feel that their voices are heard, and that as healthcare providers, UHN ensure that public engagement is at the forefront of any service redesign. This will ensure that the care provided is appropriate for patients’ needs.
The Patient Engagement Pool was launched on 1 April 2023, patient representatives have been recruited across the County. Each patient has indicated which service is of interest to them, and so any upcoming projects within those areas will ensure that patient representation is part of their framework.
The UHN Patient Engagement Pool offers a safe space for patients and their carers to share their experiences and help to shape services for the future.
Using lived experience and coproduction benefits all parties. Lived experience to shape services supports the participant to develop personal skills and can help build confidence.
It also helps the service understand what matters to those that use it, this can also support with ensuring that services are more sustainable, improves accessibility and makes professionals more receptive to patients needs and opens a two way dialogue.
Co-production is at the heart of everything St Andrew’s Healthcare does, and they are proud of how patients, staff, volunteers, carers and stakeholders work collaboratively to ensure everyone has a voice and is herd.
Even the coproduction Network’s logo was designed by a person in their care after patients and staff were encouraged to submit entries. The Network was created to highlight and celebrate good examples of co-production practice across the Charity.
Coproduction means working together as equals and making best use of their strengths to find ways of doing things that benefit everyone.
A fantastic example of coproduction is patients working with the people around them to help break down the stigma associated with mental ill health. Some patients, who are towards the end of their recovery journey, choose to waive their anonymity and talk publicly about their condition in a bid to raise awareness.
One particular person in St Andrews care, who is living with Huntington’s disease and was sectioned when he attempted to take his own life, is now living semi-independently in St Andrew’s community housing. He has given multiple interviews about his journey, even appearing in a national newspaper. Just recently he spoke to a breakfast seminar for clinicians where he talked about early symptoms and the importance of listening to patients.
It was because of his commitment to co-production and determination that he was recently honoured at the St Andrew’s Healthcare Annual Awards, where he received the Advocate of the Year trophy and a standing ovation.
Dr Inga Stewart, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Research Fellow and Head of Coproduction at St Andrew’s Healthcare, said: “St Andrew’s recognises and values the diverse knowledge, experience and perspective of all partners, and the vital contribution every person can make - whether they be a patient, staff member, carer, or another individual.
“Coproduction is all about working together as equals and making best use of our strengths to find ways of doing things that benefit everyone.”
Dr Stewart is about to launch another piece of coproduced work, which is a care planning coproduction toolkit for dementia.
Supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Stewart has worked with a panel who have both lived and professional experience of dementia. Together they have investigated how best to actively involve people with dementia and their partners in care for future planning. This is to help those living with dementia coproduce decision making with their partners in care.
Additionally St Andrew’s Healthcare has cocreated an organisational coproduction framework with experts by experience and colleagues.
This provides a structure for specific plans that include clear standards and measureable criteria to help describe, monitor and provide recognition for what good coproduced practice looks like.
The Charity’s collaboration commitment extends to partnership and working with other local hospitals in a bid to showcase the available facilities which could be used by their patients.
Supported and commended by IMPACT and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), staff and patients from Berrywood hospital were invited to come along and use the swimming pool at St Andrew’s.
An NHFT staff members commented the session was “really great collaborative work” and a Berrywood employee said using the St Andrew’s swimming pool was going to be an “asset to our activities timetable and a great opportunity for our service users”.
To discuss further co-production opportunities please email email@example.com
Being able to use past experiences and professional background to shape services is key, being able to give back and provide essential guidance to professionals helps creates a sense of belonging. It is also an opportunity to build and develop personal skills.
Robbie's story talks about what the coproduction process is like and the impact it has had.
See Robbie's story below.
Engaging with our community, colleagues and other stakeholders is a fundamental part of how we work. In 2019 we worked together to create a guide to help our colleagues understand and lead engagement activities effectively and productively.
A wide variety of community members helped us develop this guide. By working together, we have defined the most productive ways of engaging our community. The guide is useful for everyone.
You can download our 2019 "Start the conversation" Engagement Toolkit [pdf] 14MB to find out how we work together.
As Integrated Care Northamptonshire we will be working together to build on our good practice and develop shared ways of working. We are working on a Community Engagement Framework which will help us to do this.
You can download our ICN Community Engagement Framework 2022-25[pdf] 519KB which we will further shape and implement as we continue to engage with our communities across Northamptonshire.
Read more about our NHS Northamptonshire ICB Constitution[pdf] 405KB
We give our community the opportunity to shape their local health and care services in Northamptonshire. By involving our community, we are more likely to get things right. We are all on this journey together so listening to your views is important to us.
The Integrated Care Northamptonshire Engagement Practitioners Forum provides a platform for all system partners working with people and communities to work collaboratively, share resources, knowledge and expertise and maximise existing knowledge and insight.
Membership includes the NHS, North and West Northamptonshire Councils, Healthwatch, and the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and colleagues leading on patient experience and co-production. This membership continues to grow.
Following the creation of integrated care systems from 1 July 2020, one of the key areas of focus for North and West Northamptonshire Health and Wellbeing Boards is to support delivery of ‘Place’.
Place is a term used to describe a geographical area that sits under a local integrated care system where planning and service delivery of health, care and wellbeing services will take place. In Northamptonshire we have two Places which align with our two local authorities – West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire.
You can find out more information about our Places and how they are structured here:
Working in partnership with our county’s emerging Community and Health and Wellbeing Forums we have co-produced the Integrated Care Northamptonshire Engagement Insight Library. This is a central hub for engagement insights from across ICN partners and our communities.
This has created a single point of contact and has become an essential resource with the following key aims, developed through co-production:
We now have a single place where engagement activity reports from across Northamptonshire can be stored, making them more accessible to partner organisations and our communities.
The Integrated Care Northamptonshire Engagement Insight Library is a centralised database, containing engagement information supplied by Northamptonshire organisations. It is a single place where finalised engagement reports can be submitted to assist with collaborative system working.
The aims of the Engagement Insight Library are:
The reports uploaded will be visible in the public domain and it is essential that Personal Identifiable Information is not included. Submitted reports must be provided on this basis and the submitting organisation takes responsibility for this.
Access to the Engagement Insight Library is not limited to people living or working in Northamptonshire. All reports submitted should be readily available in the public domain, and therefore could be accessed by anyone, at any time.
Reports will be allocated themes – allocated as tags. These are aligned to the Healthwatch England themes.
The Engagement Insight Library is hosted on the FutureNHS online platform. To access this the user will require a login. A login request will need to be completed, which will generate a sign-up email to the nominated account. This does not need to be an NHS email account.
To add a report to the library please complete this submission form. All reports are uploaded centrally by the Integrated Care Northamptonshire Communications and Engagement Team to ensure consistency with themes.
Working in partnership with people and communities forms the foundations of our strategic approach to developing integrated care for all Northamptonshire’s citizens.
The objective of our Community Engagement Framework is to enable ICN (Integrated Care Northamptonshire) partners to work more effectively together, as it provides a clear expectation for working with people and communities in the design, delivery and improvement of health and care systems.
This framework also supports ICN (monitored via the ICB) to meet its obligations as set out in the NHS 'Working in Partnership with People and Communities Statutory Guidance'.