2nd November 2017

In attendance: Rod C, Angela D, Hazel & Dick L, Brian L, Margaret & John I, Brian U, Terry G, Geraldine M, Sue C, Anne R, Maggie E, Tim & Francis W.

1. Apologies: Carolyn D, Zib L, Chris & Lawrie S, Carenza W

2. Minutes of last meeting – 5th October 2017 these are now available on our website

3. Matters arising- there were none

4. Guest speaker – Leah Johnson HPFT
Dick introduced Leah including special thanks for standing-in at the last minute and, in particular, knowing that her baby son was poorly this evening.

Leah began by giving us a little of her background with the trust which began some 6 years ago with the CAMHS service, recently achieving a Masters in Mental Health and as of July 2017, taking over from Sophie Taylor as the Service User and Carer Involvement Manager with the HPFT. This role has a wide remit covering involvement of: young service users and young carers, adult service users and adult carers, peer experience listening plus a range of co-produced projects.

Being newly in post she stated that she is passionate and hungry to learn more and deliver a good service. She identified that the team is currently carrying out a review of all current involvement activities with a view to establishing greater clarity of how performance may be measured, how they support clients and help them set personal development plans and goals (with a Jan 2018 deadline)

She distributed a printed leaflet identifying each member of her team and what their role entailed.

Dick raised the issue of lack of feedback when you sit on interview panels (he has sat on over 400). Leah promised to look at this and how it can be improved

Terry asked Leah to share with us her first impressions of when she took up her post ie what she saw that she felt should be changed, removed or new things to add. Leah began with her intention to make the service better and spoke about making improvements to: the feedback of the team’s impact; better recognise and celebrate carers help; ensure clearer pathways; improving skills of service users and carers.

Dick scored the involvement team as 7 out of 10 – ie good so far. However, he still felt that the trust failed to recognise how difficult it was to be a carer and participate fully in an involvement role. He gave as an example the case of participating in a recruitment interview when the carer may have to cancel at the last minute due to something “kicking off“ at home. They may then be excluded for subsequent panels. He also added that carers should be carefully chosen as some could break down under the pressure of their involvement. He gave the example of a Bipolar sufferer who too readily agrees to participate but later breaks down.

Rod stated that clashes between events of HPFT, CIH and others could be avoided if there were better communications between the major organisations whilst avoiding wasting resources via duplication.

Dick and Terry pointed out that 50 page documents received just prior to a meeting cannot be easily read and digested and asked that the HPFT think about a shorter summary of key points instead. Leah took this on board and hoped to comply.

Francis asked if there was a policy on the role of carers eg is there a job description for carer involvement activities. Leah stated that there was an involvement agreement but it remains fairly general to cover the range of activities but this is something she is looking at to improve. She also stated that the Personal Development Plan format has now been signed off for future use.

5. Dick’s quiz and nibbles
The quiz and nibbles were well received and the 3-way tie was resolved when Tim & Francis successfully answered the tie break question.

6. Any Other Business

Possible speakers – Dick reported that Richard Allen a pastoral care minister from the trust has asked to speak to the group sometime in the near future and this was agree

Dick reported that his recent quiz in Tring was successful and produced the usual £240 contribution to our accounts.

The venue for our Christmas dinner was a choice between two ie the Plough at Leverstock Green, and the Carvery at Kings Langley. The group voted and The Carvery at Kings Langley was selected. The cost will be £10 per head and we are to gather for 7:30 on the 7th December 2017. Please bring some prizes for the raffle which on the evening will be free. For those of you reading this who are not sure that you have told Dick that you intend to come please let Dick Know for sure.

7. Date of next meeting – 7th December as above it is our Christmas Dinner