Co production and sustaining engagement
‘We are a community of researchers who got involved in research because the research question holds some meaning for us. We have listened to people’s stories and by making the findings accessible, we feel that we are giving something back to people who have given their time and experience to us within this project.’
Service users and carers have said that what has been important about this approach is that they have:
- Asked a research question that is meaningful to them.
- Designed research tools (inc. questionnaires and interview guides) that are accessible and get to the heart of the issue.
- Discussed issues and contested each other’s perspectives throughout the research process but especially in the data analysis phase.
- Challenged and developed the research process, through robust discussion.
- Challenged the traditional position of the academic researcher as controlling the research process.
- Rewarded the time and experience shared by participants through engaging them in discussion about the findings through a workshop.
- Actively fostered partnerships with the Trust to ensure that the research findings are embedded in new service developments.
- Challenged bureaucratic processes around involving service users in research and develop solutions. For example around service user and carer payment and other forms of recognition.
The project received the Best Service User Involvement Plan Award at the
National Institute for Health Research, Mental Health Research Network,
Scientific Research Conference on the 21st April 2010.
The project was also short listed for the NHS Bright Ideas Awards for 2015.