House of Lords Visit
Opportunity Nottingham Beneficiary Ambassador Rob Eagle, along with some of our Expert Citizens recently contributed to a report titled People Powered Recovery. The report was written based on research by Turning Point; and the call for evidence came from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Complex Needs & Dual Diagnosis. Rob was invited to the launch of the report...
As I approached the Palace of Westminster I felt mixed emotions. I was intrigued to soak up some history, and to witness the report launch taking place in the House of Lords Committee Room Two.
On the day we were running late, and tried to force our way through a police line holding people back, so that the Speaker of the House of Commons could ceremoniously pass by on his way to the chamber... don't you know who we are!
During the launch event people spoke about their responses to the APPG call for evidence. This was wide ranging and diverse, yet seemed to be in agreement about the changes that need to be made. Opportunity Nottingham Expert Citizens were able to contribute to the call for evidence via CFE Research, who have delivered evaluation work for the Fulfilling Lives Programme as a whole. The co-chair of the APPG Lord Victor Adebowale CBE thanked everyone for their 'cool' contributions.
The report focusses on the benefits and challenges to 'social action' in complex needs. Some of the benefits are that involvement promotes wellbeing, confidence, skills and 'recovery capital'.
Involvement improves staff knowledge and appreciation of service user's perspectives, leading to more equal relationships, better uptake of services and improved attitudes and practices.
Challenges include the role of stigma, which blocks people being able to access services, and feeds negative ideas about entitlement, recovery and opportunities.
The report acknowledges the challenge that successful coproduction takes increasing amounts of time, money and skills, but it is worth it.
At present an 'inverse care law' leads those people with the most unmet need to get the least help. As there is low investment in involvement there is a poor evidence base for the impact of involvement. A greater emphasis on involvement will lead to a more compelling case for such approaches.
But lived experience cannot be learnt and everyone would benefit from an approach which places lived experience at the centre of service design and delivery.
I was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the evidence leading to this report and fully endorse the conclusion it has reached. The All Party Parliamentary Group has been referred to as a 'Litmus test', where future policy is debated in the present. I hope this comes to pass.