A groundbreaking study could help to revolutionise the way in which mental health service users and their carers plan their care.
The research is a collaboration between The University of Nottingham’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, the University of Manchester, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.
Funded with almost £2m by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR), the research will examine ways to improve the involvement of service users and their carers living in England and Wales in decisions about their care.
The programme will run for the next five years and will benefit not just service users and their carers but also mental health professionals.
Professor Patrick Callaghan, from the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, who leads the Nottingham arm of the study, said that the work will improve people’s engagement with mental health services.
“Our previous research shows that people using mental health services want to be more involved in planning their care,” he said. “Working collaboratively with mental health service users and carers, we will develop a training package for mental health professionals and test whether this package helps improve care planning.”
The researchers will also produce a tool that measures service user and carer involvement in care planning.
Professor Callaghan added: “We need to know what changes are needed to mental health services in order to improve people’s involvement in care planning, so we will be asking key people involved to find out what helps and hinders service users’ involvement.”
The researchers will share the results of the project with service users, carers, health professionals and policy makers.
Professor Mike Cooke CBE, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We believe this programme will lead to improvements in the quality and purpose of care planning and will be of significant benefit to service users, carers and staff in our services and the wider health community’.