Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Abida Hussain and I fetch up at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Glenfield Hospital an hour or so before our appointment at the Belvoir Intensive Care Unit, where we're scheduled to deliver one of our briefings on the NHS Staff Multi-Faith Resource this afternoon.

This is the second time we've been booked to visit Belvoir ICU. On our first visit (13 January) there had been some miscommunication and our visit hadn't been entered in the ward diary, so we couldn't deliver the briefing. We thought we should call in early this time, to make sure that we're in the diary for today. We're not. Faced with rescheduling again, we decide to come back at 1400, the time we'd booked, even if it means we'll only be speaking to a couple of staff members today.

In the meantime, we head for the Involvement Centre, to get a coffee and kill some time till our meeting at Belvoir ICU. This turns out to be serendipitous. On entering the Involvement Centre, I'm pleased to see Grant Paton (photo above, at his post), whom I've known for years now, from my time at Network for Change, who is volunteering here. He sits with us and talks about the Involvement Centre, with lots of enthusiasm. We're joined by Louise Maine, member of staff in charge of the centre. Over the next 20 minutes or so, we agree that we'll come in and do one of our briefings on the NHS Staff Multi-Faith Resource for the volunteers in the Involvement Centre (actually, two such sessions in the next few weeks). We also float the possibility of us providing briefings for the groups and organsiations who support the Involvement Centre, such as Genesis and LAMPdirect.

I promised Grant that I'd big up the Involvement Centre on the blog, so here it is:
Who is the Involvement Centre for? Everyone.
What is it? A place where people can meet and work in partnership with LPT to improve services.
Where is it? At the Bradgate Unit site.
Why have one? Because service users, carers and local groups asked for an involvement centre.
What's in it? Coffee shop, desk space, meeting tables, wi-fi access, information on services and all issues that people may want to know about who are seeking care and treatment.
Who will be there? Volunteers, service users, carers, local groups.
What will it offer? PALS (Patients Advice and Liaison Services), meet the manager, gather people's thoughts and opinions.
Do I have to go to the centre? It's up to you. It's not a day care centre or a drop in centre. It's only the second in the country.
Yes, but what does it do?
  • it provides a dedicated space where the service user and carer groups can book space, meet, network and use shared facilities.
  • it will support commissioned service user and carer groups to develop in-reach and out-reach services
  • it will support the development of social enterprise groups and provide opportunities to network
  • recruit people to become Foundation Trust Members
  • recruit people to become volunteers
  • offer opportunities for people to engage in arts and sports
  • provide access to Patients Advice and Liaison Services
  • provide access to Welfare Rights and benefits services
  • provide access to Spiritual and Pastoral Care services
  • provide access to advocacy services
  • provide access to employment facilitators
  • provide information on local groups, services, education, employment
  • provide information for people's health and well-being and host "Let's Talk About Health" events
  • signposting people to available groups and support that may need to be language, faith, age, culture and sexuality specific
  • work with service users and carers to develop and undertake questionnaires, surveys and research projects which will serve to improve care services
  • provide a variety of ways for people to express their views, e.g. electronic, 1-1, meetings, groups, advocates, PALS, "Listening and Working Together" events

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