Inspirational speakers shared their stories about how they are using their experience of health services to improve patient care.
More than 100 people attended our first Co-Production Conference, which was organised by our Co-Production Champions Network with support from our Patient Experience Team.
The event highlighted the importance of working with people with experience of health conditions, their loved ones, and our wider communities to design and develop health and care services, and showcased their valuable contribution to our work.
As well as speakers, there were interactive discussions, and creative activities.
The event was held at Hamptons Sports and Leisure Centre in Chelmsford on Monday 23 October.
The vision was simple – to hold an event that would make the subject of co-production informative yet fun, but also to start a journey of creation so we can all be in the room to work and create a new relationship of collaborative working and partnership.
I think we did a lot on Monday to start this journey.
Also, where else can you have national speakers, pick ‘n’ mix, Lego and such a rich and diverse range of people under one roof? Only in Essex.Mark Dale, Lived Experience Lead for Co-production and Participation, said:
Lived experience ambassadors shared their experiences of using our services and how they are working with us to improve care. They included Jenny Matten, who was inspired by her positive experiences to support us in ongoing work to transform the way we deliver care in our mental health inpatient wards to ensure patients receive personalised, holistic care.
Three peer support workers also spoke about how they have worked with our South Essex Adult Community Psychological Services to co-design courses for service users, train staff to better understand the needs of people with specific mental health conditions, and ensure patients’ voices are heard.
We also had a number of guest speakers who are championing co-production at a national level.
Cristina Serrão, a lived experience ambassador in the Experience of Care Team at NHS England, spoke about why co-production is so important and shared her personal experiences of using health care services and being involved in improving care at a local and national level.
Julie Repper, director of ImROC (Implementing Recovery Through Organisational Change), spoke about how organisations can collaborate effectively with service users.
And Carol Munt, a lived experience patient partner and member of the Patient Leaders Expert Advisory Group at NHS England, led a question and answer session about how people can work together to co-produce services.
Camerados and Curators of Change also supported the event, and a variety of health and care organisations had information stands to explain more about their work.
EPUT has more than 150 lived experience ambassadors and volunteers who support us at every level. Their involvement includes sitting on interview panels, working on projects to co-design and improve our services, delivering training to staff, supporting service users and staff, and volunteering as governors.
If you are interested in becoming a lived experience ambassador or finding out more about how your experience can help make a difference, email [email protected]