Expert by Experience Sought in Dudley and Walsall – September 2010

The mental health trust which provides services across Dudley and Walsall began a borough-wide search this week to fill FIVE brand new ‘Expert by Experience’ (EBE) roles.

With involvement of service users and carers high on the agenda, Dudley and Walsall Mental health Partnership NHS Trust is looking to extend its reach into the communities it serves by expanding its current cohort of EBEs.

Lynne Jankowska, who currently performs an Expert by Experience role at DWMHPT, said: "People who have used mental health services or cared for a person with mental health issues will naturally have gained a level of expertise through their experiences.  For some years now service users and carers have been able to become involved with service providers to share their views.  The Expert by Experience role is an opportunity for service users and carers to become involved at Trust Board level.  Experts by Experience are crucial to the board, presenting their perspective and linking the board to mental health issues occurring within communities across Dudley & Walsall." 

An EBE is a volunteering role and those appointed will use their experiences of mental health services – as a service user or a carer of someone with mental health problems – to influence the delivery and quality of services within DWMHPT. They will also help represent the interests and views of other local service users and carers and promote involvement opportunities within the Trust.

Gary Graham, Chief Executive of DWMHPT, commented: “Our vision as a Trust is to be ‘Better Together’ with effective engagement and involvement of our key stakeholders. As young mental health organisation and an aspirant Foundation Trust, we are evolving rapidly and I am determined that service users and carers should play a major role in sculpting our services for the future.

“The overall objective for this piece of work is to improve patient experience, whether this is through our EBEs helping to design and evaluate our services or forging links with local voluntary groups.  DWMHPT is committed to acting on the feedback we receive so that we can offer the best services possible to the people of Dudley and Walsall. By strengthening our EBE team, we hope to strengthen our reputation as an organisation that listens and responds.”

For more detail about the Expert by Experience roles and how to apply, please contact: Kate Montgomery, Membership & Involvement Manager, on 01384 364039 or at kate.montgomery@dwmh.nhs.uk