Involving the Involvement Centres in Research!

It was an honour to be guest speaker at the Involvement Centre at Duncan Macmillan House and the Rosewood Involvement Centre. I was joined by my colleague Dr Oonagh Meade. On both occasions I presented some of the findings from my recently published paper on service user perspectives on mental health care planning [1].

As a service user myself, working on a care planning programme of research it was reassuring to be welcomed so warmly and to share what we’ve been up to!

The Involvement Centres have been influential in publicising our research studies and took part in an interview study asking for service user’s experiences and user involvement in care planning.

We ran a questionnaire helping us to develop a new tool to measure user and carer involvement in care planning and will be used in future research studies where it will be developed into an audit tool to help NHS Trusts to measure quality user/carer involvement in care planning.

My paper draws together the information gathered from service users in the interview study which have been summarised through a framework with 10 themes of user involved care planning.

It was encouraging to see lots of nods of approvals when meeting with the centres as I went through the findings but it was also disheartening to hear that many service users still feel side-lined in the care planning process. Some people don’t even have an up to date care plan. Many service users don’t know that they can be involved in care planning. This is why the research was being done in the first place.

On behalf of the EQUIP research team, I would like to thank everyone who completed a questionnaire, took part in an interview or promoted the studies. We really value everyone’s input and time and energy; we really couldn’t have done it without your partnership in this!

If you would like to take part in a new EQUIP survey about mental health care planning please visit:

Andrew Grundy (Research Associate, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham)

[1] Grundy et al., ‘Bringing meaning to user involvement in mental health care planning: a qualitative exploration of service user perspectives’ Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing (Dec 2015)

[2] The EQUIP project website can be found here:

This blog-post summarizes independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (grant reference number RP-PG-1210-12007). The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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