The overall aim of this project was to examine how managers and key decision-makers have responded to user involvement activities in mental health and to identify how they facilitate or impede effective patient and public involvement. This is a novel aim, as there is a great paucity of literature on what the impacts of user involvement activities have been, especially in terms of the ability to shape policy agendas and delivery and the responses of key decision-makers.
Our secondary main aim was to look at the changing face of user involvement in mental health where more ‘traditional’ models may be giving way to more of a focus on individual involvement, for example in the area of personalisation.
Specific research questions included:
- What have been the impacts of user involvement in mental health in terms of service development, commissioning and personal benefit to users? We have the same research question for frontline staff.
- How do managers and other key decision-makers respond when mental health service users ask for changes in services or policies?
- Moving to a more individual level of user involvement, what is the role played by user governors on Trust boards and how do key decision-makers on the boards respond to them?
- What are the implications of the move to ‘personalisation’ in both health and social care specifically in terms of the role of user-led organisations in brokerage and care planning?
- What are the underlying assumptions, beliefs and values held by senior managers about the benefits and drawbacks of user involvement in mental health and how do they individually and collectively respond to, facilitate or impede this?