Appeal for people with mental health problems to help with research

Mental Health
02 Aug 2013 14:45:00.000


Researchers commissioned to transform mental health care in England and Wales are appealing for service users in the Nottinghamshire area to take part in the ground-breaking project.

The team from The University of Nottingham’s School of Health Sciences is working with experts from Manchester University and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to create a system that will involve mental health patients more closely in the planning and delivery of their care.

The researchers are appealing for patients to contact them to contribute their own personal understanding and experiences of ‘care planning’, what user/carer ‘involvement’ actually means to them, and what impact they feel care planning has. This information will then be used to develop a tool to accurately measure user/carer involvement, which is currently lacking in assessing care planning.

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A platform for patients and carers

The Enhancing the quality of user-involved care planning in Mental Health Services (EQUIP) programme is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme and will run for five years. Its recent review of current mental health policy implementation has shown that service users are not being involved enough in the planning of their care even though that has been the aspiration.

Leading the research at Nottingham, Professor Patrick Callaghan, Head of the University’s School of Health Sciences, said:

“These interviews are crucial in giving people on the frontline of receiving and delivering mental health care the opportunity to influence the way that care is provided. Our study will provide a platform for those using mental health services, the people supporting them, and staff providing care, to influence the research and ensure that our end product will benefit everyone involved”.

Valuable opinions

The EQUIP project has already trained a number of service users and carers in research methods so that they can become fully involved in every aspect of this research programme, including interviewing participants. Andrew Grundy, a service-user who was trained as a mental-health researcher especially for this project, said:

“It’s the opinions of service users, carers, and mental health professionals themselves that are vital in improving the future of care planning. I’m really looking forward to hearing people share what has worked well for them and how they feel things could be improved.”

Interviews will last up to 90 minutes and a choice of dates and locations throughout Nottinghamshire are available. If you would like to take part in an interview, or would like more information about the project, please contact Research Associate Andrew Grundy on (0115) 823 0483 (

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

About the NIHR

The NIHR is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence, and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (

This news release presents independent research funded by the NIHR under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (Reference Number RP-PG-1210-12007).

Nottinghamshire Healthcare is positive about providing integrated healthcare services, including mental health, learning disability and physical health services. Over 8,800 dedicated staff provide these services in a variety of settings, ranging from the community through to acute wards, as well as secure settings. The Trust manages two medium secure units, Arnold Lodge in Leicester and Wathwood Hospital in Rotherham, and the high secure Rampton Hospital near Retford. It also provides healthcare in 11 prisons across the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Its budget for 2013/14 is £435m.

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Story credits

More information is available from Andrew Grundy, EQUIP research associate, on +44 (0)115 823 0483,  

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