The Royal College of Psychiatrists is seeking patient representatives (two in total) to join the Alcohol Care Team Innovation and Optimisation Network (ACTION) as Workers. The successful applicants will have lived experience of alcohol dependency and the use of hospital-based alcohol care teams or experience caring for someone with alcohol dependency who has accessed hospital-based alcohol care teams.
The Patient and Carer Representatives will be an integral member of the Network working with the project team, to support the various activities of the project and advocating for the patient and carer group.
ACTION is a quality improvement project that works with hospital-based alcohol care teams in England.
The main aim of the project is to set standards for and improve the quality of care in alcohol care teams and to provide a platform to connect services throughout the UK, to share good practice and to enable teams to learn from each other. Teams are put through a supportive process of self- and peer-review to assess how the service is performing against an agreed set of quality standards.
The main stages of the project are outlined below:
Setting standards for alcohol care teams: The standards provide a framework on what a good service looks like and are used to measure quality.
Who decides what goes into the standards? The standards are developed by looking at existing guidance and by consulting with experts in the field, including staff, patients and carers. This will sometimes involve a large meeting where people discuss what should and should not be included.
Teams then go through a self-review period: at this point services mark themselves against each criterion and the project then obtains feedback from staff and patients from questionnaires based on the standards. The team has 6 weeks to complete this.
Teams then receive a peer review: This involves alcohol care team staff and a patient or carer representative virtually reviewing another alcohol care team service to interview people and take part in group discussions. People taking part in peer reviews, whether clinicians, patients or carers, all receive full training and support from the project team. These are half a day long reviews which follow a clear structure and are facilitated by an experienced lead.
Teams will then receive a written report – The ACTION project team write reports which summarise the achievements of the service as well as areas they need to improve upon. The reports are sent back to the service so that they can learn from the findings.
Advisory Group - Each network has its own Advisory Group comprising of professionals who represent key interests and areas of expertise relevant to the network, and patients and carers who have experience of using the services the network focuses on. The purpose of the group is to advise and further the work of the network.
Learning events – The project holds events so that people working in alcohol care teams can share ideas and help each other improve ways of working. Patients representatives are often involved in these events, with the potential for dedicated workshops being run by patients about their experiences and how this can support service improvement.
The patient / carer representative role within the Network
The views, ideas, skills and experience of people who have used these services are vital in every part of our work. As part of this role, you will be closely involved with the Network and particularly with the project team, to engage the wider membership and partner organisations in advocating for the ACTION patient group.
Successful candidates will have recent lived experience of alcohol addiction and alcohol care teams or experience caring for someone who has alcohol addiction and accessed alcohol care teams will contribute to the network by attending and contributing to the peer reviews as patient or carer representatives. Opportunities may also arise for involvement with the Advisory Group, standards development, annual conference and other events.
RCPsych has developed a high media profile and is a leading organisation in terms of equality and diversity. It was a recent winner of Charity of the Year at the European Diversity Awards. This is an excellent opportunity for patients and carers to contribute their perspectives on important mental health issues relating to technology and be part of our ongoing strategy and communications development.
Please complete the enclosed application form and return it with an updated CV to HRrecruitment@rcpsych.ac.uk.
For more information and instructions on how to apply, please download the following documents:
We welcome applications from all sectors of the community.
The College is an Equal Opportunities Employer. Charity registration no. 228636
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