21 November 2018

Giving young people a voice: QI training for service users and carers

As part of our efforts to take people participation in Quality Improvement (QI) to the next level, the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Bedfordshire and Luton offered two workshop sessions for young people and carers who wanted to work alongside staff to identify and improve quality issues within healthcare. Find out more about the initiative in this blog by Jamie Stafford, Improvement Advisor, and Niki Scott, Service User Participation Lead, CAMHS Bedfordshire & Luton.

Bedfordshire CAMHS workshop driver diagram. Please click to enlarge.

In the workshops we spent time talking about people’s experiences of using CAMHS services and how we might address some of the identified quality issues using QI. We taught people how they might develop QI projects using the Model For Improvement, and following the five stages that we use in East London Foundation Trust. We covered the use of tools like Driver Diagrams, Nominal Group Technique, and PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) cycles.

We spent time discussing the quality issues that people felt CAMHS could address, and talked in-depth about person-centredness, and communication between services, families and young people. The young people reflected that at times they had experienced challenges with both of these issues when accessing CAMHS. We thought about changes that could be made to improve the quality of care, and how we might know that this led to an improvement.
As a result of the activities, some ideas came up, such as to develop the young people’s confidence, ans using the tools we built driver diagrams for these topics, which have since been shared with the service leaders.

Luton CAMHS workshop driver diagram. Please click to enlarge.

The ideas are currently being reviewed by the service with a view that they might be used in future projects, or even be the beginnings of some service user led projects. The young people that attended now feel more skilled and confident to join other projects too.

What is next?

While all the QI training courses that we offer in the trust are open to service users and carers, we now have a range of offerings that are specifically designed to support service users to get involved in and lead QI projects. We intend to run more sessions in CAMHS to ensure that young people and carers are central to improvement work in the directorate.

You can find out more about Pocket QI training sessions for service users and carers here.

Here’s what the experience has been like for Niki Scott, Service User Participation Lead:

“As the Service User Participation Lead for CAMHS Bedfordshire & Luton I have always tried to ensure that young people’s opinions are included in any QI Project we undertake either by being a part of the QI team myself and/or having a service user also attending some meetings. Where it has not been possible for service users to attend meetings I have taken details of the  discussions and ideas back to my groups to obtain their feedback.  This has been the case for two QI projects in Bedford & Luton in the last year and the clinical staff who are part of the projects have fed back that they have found it extremely helpful to have young people involved. However when young people have attended the meetings I have felt that the language/jargon & literature used in the QI process has been quite confusing and overwhelming for someone who has had not QI training.

I therefore spoke with Jamie Stafford, Improvement Advisor supporting CAMHS, about the possibility of rolling out a formal training process for young people so that they would feel more confident and able to be a full part of the QI projects we run. Jamie was extremely supportive of this idea and we therefore arranged for the first training sessions to take place in both Bedfordshire & Luton during the October Half Term break. Jamie designed a poster to promote the workshops and I enrolled five young people in Bedfordshire and six in Luton to attend. We agreed a certificate and feedback form for the service users to receive & complete.

The workshops, which were delivered by QI coach Heather Heseltine, were extremely successful with mostly very positive feedback received from the young people. Some have now expressed an interest in undergoing further Pocket QI Training and a couple who are now under CAMHS may also be interested in supporting QI projects in Adult Services. Having a bank of QI trained young people who have accessed different teams in CAMHS across the whole county will be invaluable in ensuring that young peoples thoughts and opinions are fully included in all current and future QI projects we undertake. Our service users feedback is included in all aspects of our CAMHS development & promotion and it’s fantastic that they can now fully participate in QI projects too.”

Here’s some comments from those attending the workshop:

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  • YesNo
  • 12345
    1 = poor | 5 = great
  • 12345
    1 = not useful at all | 5 = very useful


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