First ever Patients and Carers conference

The College ran its first ever Patients and Carers conference this month.

Although we’ve always involved patients and carers in our work, the conference, and our new model for engaging with them called ‘Working together’, should mean we get an even better patient and carer perspective.

More than 80 patients and carers attended the event and 11 speakers presented, including our President Dr Adrian James and our Chief Executive, Paul Rees.

The conference focused on co-production – the designing, development and commissioning of mental health services by both people who deliver services and people who receive them.

In keeping with the theme, the day was co-designed with a group of patients and carers, led by Mike Crawford, Director of CCQI. Importantly, the patient and carers on the Steering Group, through in depth discussions, designed the approach to the breakout groups and the topics to cover.

In addition we had 10 College staff leads and 10 South London and Maudsley NHS Trust facilitators who made the breakout sessions possible. Supporting the conference were a Chair, three producers and two HR staff who made the event possible on the day.

On the day, the speakers talked about the value of co-production. With speakers bringing the topic to life with real examples of where the model has been used to great success.

Two separate breakout sessions were also organised. The first session enabled a space for patients and carers to speak freely about their experiences. The second session was focused on a topic of choice, with choices made in advance of the conference.

To date, feedback was received from 46% of participants who rated the Patients and Carers Conference at 4.24/5.

In addition Patients and Carers commented on the ease with which they were able to access the event, rating pre-event guidance at 4.61/5 and ease of access as 4.71/5.

The event is the start of our journey – we plan to hold these events twice a year from now on.

And whilst we are told it was a great success, we have also received loads of feedback from patients and carers on how to make future events even better for them.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry