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29 February 2016
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) has reached the finals for the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA) for patient engagement.
BCCG was shortlisted for the ‘Commissioning for Patient Experience Award’ because of its work in engaging with mental health service users and carers as it prepared to redesign local mental health services find a new provider.
Service users and carers in Bedfordshire were involved in the biggest mental health contract re-procurement in the country which was awarded to East London Foundation Trust in April 2015.
Mental health service users and carers were invited to be involved by taking part in independent panels which met together to ask potential providers questions relating to patient experience. The service users and carers also shared their views and experiences which influenced the design of the new service for the whole county. GPs, voluntary organisations, patients and staff were also involved in order to understand what worked well, what needed to be improved and what needed to change about local mental health services.
Ben Salmons a service user panel member who is now a mental health campaigner said:
"It is fantastic news - huge congratulations to BCCG for being shortlisted for this award. I was so grateful to be on the service user panel and very pleased with the outcome with ELFT getting the contract.
You all did a great piece of work. Personally, it has made a huge difference to my life, getting involved with the service and all the things that have come from it, mainly the Break the Stigma Project. It wouldn't have happened if BCCG hadn't had that patient engagement process. To have the opportunity to get involved with ELFT afterwards has been great, and it comes down to all of you who helped and supported me and other service users in getting involved".
Matthew Tait, Accountable officer for BCCG said:
“The impact of this engagement process shows how important it is to listen to the people who receive local health services and understand what is important to them.
Service users and carers have made a valuable contribution which has helped to ensure that patients are at the centre of mental health and learning disability services in Bedfordshire. The redesigned service has a strong focus on outcomes which improve the mental wellbeing of local people and this approach can transform lives.”
The winners of the Patient Experience Network National Awards will be announced in March 2016.