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The Needs for Genuine User Involvement


Resources available to Users

  • Office facilities to be made available to users
  • Training in meeting skills, committee procedures
  • Appropriate written information on how to access services
  • Written information on treatment options, including medication and it's side effects
  • Written information on coping strategies
  • Written information on complaints systems and redress
  • Written information on rights including Mental Health Act etc
  • Written information on user groups

Equal access and opportunities

  • Access to real choices for everyone including people from black and ethnic minorities, women and people with diverse needs
  • No discrimination, victimization against users who comment on services
  • apply the articles of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the sections of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to mental health user
  • Information made attentive to users with side affects and other disabilities
  • all information and dialogue between users and professionals easily understandable
  • Natural Justice Policy (The user must be allowed to have an opportunity to be heard, when a accusation is made by a professional, before a decision is made)
  • Respect users confidentiality and consent
  • Equal access to users (Ex-Patients) visiting patients onwards

Structure for involvement of service users

  • Agreed definition of user group
  • User representation on management committees
  • User representation on all quality panels
  • Information bulletins/newsletters for users and staff about current issues, future developments etc
  • Users monitoring services with a process that identifies problems to be addressed by management
  • Staff training in understanding advocacy
  • Paying users for involvement so they do not suffer financial discrimniation and pay expenses out of their own income
  • Consultation policy for users


  • Support for active suer/peer advocates
  • User/peer advocates having a right of access to any users who request an advocate
  • User/peer advocates to be treated with the same courtesy and respect as professionals
  • Appropriate training and support for user/peer advocates

Research and users

  • That all research and evaluation in the treatment should be fed bact to users
  • That users should be given the opportunity to comment and add/amend any questionnaires/research aimed at obtaining user views

This document was compiled by Users and the North Manchester Mental Health Authority (CHC) and updated by the Manchester User Network in 2007