A range of networking activity took place by the Healthwatch Isle of Wight team to understand how the 'whole system' of mental health provision is working at present, and any ways in which it might be changing.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight aims to put the voice of people using services at the heart of all that it does. The growth of recovery-based activity in the third sector opened up possibilities to work together on a participation event.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight and the Isle of Wight Recovery Partnership therefore held 'Working Together - Listening and Recovery in Action' at Newclose Cricket Ground in June 2015. The task was to explore collaborative working between people who have used mental health services, unpaid carers and professional workers. Presentations and discussion gave an opportunity to exchange ideas and find practical and positive ways forward.
The partnership event at Newclose was an important landmark in the adoption od recovery-based approaches on the Isle of Wight. As intended, most people there had experience of using mental health services. A number of carers and paid workers attended, including service managers.
A positive tone of co-operation was set, which promises much for the future. It was notable that a number of service managers attending the unstructured opening session chose to stay to the end, and spoke positively when invited to give their reactions. People from various agencies voiced optimism that a move to a recovery focus could lead to positive change throughout all services.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight would urge the public to continue sharing their experiences of local mental health services as they will continue to monitor the services throughout the current period of review and development.
The full report and the 5 recommendations is available here.