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Lambeth partners unite to discuss personalisation

Lambeth residents talking of their experiences of mental health services and a local theatre company formed part of a lively and successful conference for adult mental health users, carers, staff and voluntary organisations.

Titled “Personalisation in Lambeth; what’s it all about?” the launch was co produced by users and carers and support organisations including Vital Link, Mosaic Clubhouse, Fanon Resource Centre, Disability Advice Service Lambeth, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the Social Inclusion Hope and Recovery Project, Lambeth Council’s Adult and Community Services and NHS Lambeth.

The Personalisation Launch modelled best practice of true co production, whereby service users, carers and support organisations came together, with an equal say, to steer the development of health and social care. Lambeth’s mental health communities are committed to taking personalisation forward through co production.

“The main aim was to bring people together to feel inspired and learn more about personalisation, self directed support, and to share creative ideas and opinions to help us develop the personalisation agenda in Lambeth in partnership with the community we support,” said Jo Cleary, Lambeth Council Executive Director of Adults and Community Services.

Personalisation means thinking about care and support in an entirely different way, putting people first, rather than services. Self directed support and Lambeth’s Personal Health Budget Pilot are two key ways Lambeth residents can now personalise the support they receive.

Keynote speaker, Lambeth Divisional Director, Strategy and Commissioning Helen Charlesworth-May, spoke of the tight and challenging times ahead. “We will need all our innovation and creativity in order to deliver this vital agenda without compromising on best practice,” she said.

The launch used a variety of mediums to encourage an understanding of what personalisation is all about to 150 attendees. Theatre Company ‘Crow Theatre’ delivered a reflective dramatisation on some of the challenges faced by both service users and support professionals. Local people shared their stories about person-centred support planning and recovery journeys through presentations and through art and poetry.

Seona Gordon, a key representative of Lambeth’s Self-Directed Support programme commented, “the true involvement of service users had an enormous impact and the vibrancy and enthusiasm in the workshops in the afternoon was inspirational”. The workshops offered the opportunity for people to get involved in sharing their ideas, focusing on support planning, assessment, culture and inclusion and personal budgets.

“These interactive workshops allowed us to learn from each other. We will use this information in the development of the Personalisation agenda in Lambeth,” explained Jo Cleary.

The day was summed up by Karen Hooper, member of Vital Link one of Lambeth’s service user and carer engagement organisations, “It was so good to see so many service users together discussing inspiring and imaginative new ways of finding and gaining support through personalisation. Thinking out of the box at the launch meant that rather than leaving the day with lots of information leaflets, I left with new ideas.”

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