Author Archives: Shaping Our Lives

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How are 4Pi national involvement standards being used and what difference do they make in practice?

From NSUN newsletter:

How are 4Pi national involvement standards being used and what difference do they make in practice?!

Service user involvement in mental health has been around for a long time, with different people and different organisations taking different approaches to how this should be done – all with varying degrees of success. Going back a good few years ago, the National Involvement Partnership set about the very important task of developing a set of best practice involvement standards to ensure that more people had better experiences of involvement that really makes a difference. It was crucial that the people informing this were those who had themselves experienced mental distress and / or used mental health services. These people also had invaluable insight and knowledge into what works and what doesn’t work within the world of ‘service user involvement’ because they had been there and done that themselves, experiencing the very best of it, and the very worst of it.

The work of the National Involvement Partnership led to the development of national standards for service user involvement, commonly known as 4Pi. The 4Pi National Involvement Standards were launched and rolled out in 2013. You may have heard myself, and many others, mention them once or twice before!

Recently, we wanted to take stock of where people were up to with these standards – how widely were they being used, and what difference were they making in practice. In the first instance, we decided it would make sense to check in with the organisations that had signed up to them, as well as check out which NHS Mental Health Trusts knew of them and were using them.

We put together an online survey that was completed by 29 people, followed by informal telephone interviews with 9 people who were keen to tell us more, and we were pleased to discover that not only are the standards being used (rather than getting dusty on an actual shelf or a virtual shelf), they are also making a difference!

If you’re interested in our findings please check out this short report. If you’d like to share any thoughts on what we have discovered, please email Angela Newton, NSUN Associate.

Head of Advocacy – Hospice UK, deadline 16th January

Vacancy for a Head of Advocacy – Hospice UK.

Half a million people will miss out on good end of life care over the next five years. Can you help Hospice UK to change that?

Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice and palliative care is working to ensure adults and children living with terminal or life shortening illness receive the care and support they need, when they need it. They believe that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are or why they are ill, should receive the best possible care at the end of their life.

Hospice UK are now recruiting for a Head of Advocacy to help us deliver our ambitious strategy by leading Hospice UK’s policy, public affairs and wider influencing work.

Over 600,000 people die in the UK each year, but not everybody gets the care that they need.  Over the next five years, Hospice UK estimate that half a million people will miss out.  You can help Hospice Uk to change that.

You will bring proven influencing skills and a strong commitment backed up by excellent communication skills to help them achieve their mission and strategy. You will be comfortable leading policy and public affairs activities, and capable of representing Hospice UK in a variety of settings.  You will also be an inspiring leader and line manager who emulates Hospice UK’s organisational values.

The person specification, job description and application information can be found at

Closing date:  16 January 2020

Salary: £53,000 per annum + excellent benefits

First Interviews: Wed 29 January 2020

Second Interviews: Wed 5 February 2020

Disability Rights UK – call for Mystery Shoppers

DR UK (Disability Rights UK) are working with a major retailer in order to support them to better cater for their disabled customers. As part of this, they need disabled people with a range of impairments to mystery shop their stores! They are looking for people with any of the following impairments:
- A visual impairment and use a guide dog
- A visual impairment but don’t use a guide dog
- A hearing impairment
- A wheelchair user
- A mobility impairment but not a wheelchair user
- A neurodiverse condition
They are offering participants £40 vouchers for participating. The store you mystery shop can be local to you. The mystery shop needs to be completed by January 3rd.
If you are interested in taking part, please contact

Disabled and Proud Festival – 30th November 2019

Culture Access invite you to their Disabled and Proud Festival in Woolwich, partly to celebrate Disability History Month ( Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December every year ) and also the UN International Day of Disabled People (3rd December).

There will be workshops from 3 – 5pm and Performances from 6- 8pm.

Further information and to book for the Disabled and Proud Festival

An insider’s guide to working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities Training day – 17th December 2019

This training day is organised by the Romani Cultural & Arts Company.

Please note: Early bird booking if you book before the 3rd December 2019.

Date: Tuesday 17th December 2019 (9.30 AM – 5:00 PM)

Venue: First Space Chapter Arts Centre, Market Rd, Cardiff CF5 1QE

Admission: The cost for the day (including light refreshments and lunch) is £162.29 per delegate, if you book before the Tuesday 3rd December 2019 and £183.85 per delegate if you book between Wednesday 4th December 2019 and Monday 16th December 2019. Places will only be secured with a confirmed payment.

Who should attend this training?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in ensuring that their services are inclusive and accessible for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, in meeting the needs of ‘hard-to-reach’ communities, and in addressing the intersection of ethnicity, race, class, gender and inequalities.

It would be particularly useful for those who work in:

  • Academia and Research
  • Accommodation and Housing
  • Early Years
  • Education
  • Environmental Services
  • Equalities
  • Fire, Police and Justice Services
  • Government: local, regional and national
  • Planning
  • Public Health
  • Social Services
  • Transport
  • Voluntary and Third Sector organisations

For further information and to book, visit Eventbrite:

FREE Event: Improving Access to NHS 111 for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, 5th December 2019

NHS England will be holding an engagement event in central London aimed at patients and patient representatives of the deaf or hard of hearing community and commissioners and providers of NHS 111 services to improve the patient experience. There will also be deaf and hard of hearing organisations in attendance, and colleagues from NHS England.

The purpose of this event is to explain how the current NHS 111 service operates and to explore where potential improvements can be made. Information heard on the day will be used to inform developments in the NHS 111 service as we continue to make improvements to the patient experience.

They would like, patients, patient representatives and organisations to bring their ideas and experience of the current service and/or their suggestions for service improvement, and in turn they will answer any questions you may have about what the NHS 111 service can offer.

Date: Thursday 5th December 2019
Venue: Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd, London, E14 4AL
Time: 09:30 – 15:00

Registration for this event can be made from the following link:

Please note that this event is free but is by ticket only, and you must register in order to confirm a place. There are a limited number of spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment. When all places are full, registration will automatically close. Please ensure you bring your ticket with you on the day. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

British Sign Language interpreters, lip-speakers and speech-to-text type interpreters will be present at this event. There will also be a hearing loop throughout as well as disabled access as standard. There will be an opportunity to talk about any other accessibility requirements you may have and dietary requirements during registration.

Travel to this event and other reasonable expenses that have been agreed in advance will be covered/reimbursed. Please email with full details. Rail/underground tickets will be booked by the team for you prior to the event.

If you have any questions or queries about this event, please do not hesitate to contact the team at

York Disability Pride Cabaret Night 2 – 7th December 2019

A FREE cabaret showcase of ‘Disability Art’ through comedy, music, poetry and protest.

Includes performances from the abnormally funny Don Biswas, musical disability rights activist Dennis Queen, and many fabulous others.  The full line up will be announced shortly.

The event will launch York’s 2020 Disabled Peoples Human Rights Forum in memory of the late and great disability rights advocate Chris Edmondson.

The event will BSL interpreted.  Please contact direct if you would like anything to facilitate access to the event for you.

Saturday 7th December, 7pm to 9pm.


Temple Hall, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York  YO31 7EX


Book via EventBrite – 


For more details contact Stephen Lee Hodgkins 07951050153.

NHS ‘Check before you tick’ campaign

This campaign, organised by NHS England and NHS Improvement, aims to help people understand their eligibility to receive free prescriptions and how to claim correctly.

This follows research from people making benefit-related claims who felt they needed more support to understand they are not automatically exempt.

The campaign encourages people to use an online eligibility checker tool from the NHS, which takes less than five minutes to complete. Visit

There is also a briefing document providing advice for those in a position to help people understand and manage their prescription costs.

Helping patients understand and manage their prescription costs