New consortium will provide experts for people with mental health disorders
By Catherine Walker
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded a consortium headed by Choice Support a contract to take part in a new project called ‘Acting Together’.
Acting Together is a new partnership scheme that enables CQC to call on people who use services to advise on and contribute to its work. Leading social care charity Choice Support has led a consortium of smaller organisations in a successful bid to provide ‘Experts by Experience’ to Acting Together. These are disabled people who receive or have received social care services. They will bring their own unique insights to CQC’s service monitoring across the whole of England, including consultations; events; gathering the views of service users and/or family carers; reviews and special studies; and site visits to services. They will also help CQC develop its methodology.
The bid beat off stiff competition from about thirty other organizations, including most of the major national players from the wider disability and social care sector. Choice Support’s partners in the successful bid are: VoiceAbility, Living Options, Advocacy Alliance Bedford, Skills for People, Advocacy Experience, Inclusion North CIC, John Hersov and Eve Hersov.
CQC’s Chief Executive Cynthia Bowers says:
“I am very pleased to welcome the Choice Support consortium …....
Experts by Experience are a vital part of the way that we work and regulate; I can not express how important it is to have a user voice on an inspection or in consultation or workshop.”
Choice Support’s Chief Executive, Steven Rose says:
“I’m delighted that Choice Support’s approach, and the approach of our consortium partners, of putting people who receive services at the forefront of monitoring quality, has received national recognition from CQC. The contract will create jobs and valued roles for up to fifty disabled people.”
Much of the successful bid was based on the work of Choice Support’s innovative Quality Checkers service, in which people with learning disabilities help monitor the organisation’s services.
Choice Support Quality Checker Laura Minett says:
"It makes me feel proud that all our hard work as Quality Checkers is being recognised and valued. I am really looking forward to meeting and working with other experts by experience and CQC inspectors. Checking support services and saying what could be better changes people’s lives. We just want everybody to have a good life."
The consortium will provide experts for the following groups
- People with Learning Disabilities/autism
- People with Physical and Sensory Impairments
- People with experience of Detention under the Mental Health Act
- People with Mental Ill-Health