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Meet the new members – Caitlin Argument and Karen Machin

Each month we'll be introducing you to a new Q member – this month Caitlin Argument, Information Analyst at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Karen Machin, a freelance trainer and researcher with a focus on mental health peer support, tell us about why they joined Q.

Caitlin Argument, Information Analyst, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your improvement journey?

After studying Psychology at Cardiff University, I developed a keen interest in understanding data and now work as an Information Analyst in North Wales. I am passionate about using good quality information to develop, support and evaluate improvement projects.

What attracted you to Q?

I was inspired to join Q for the many opportunities and resources it offers, from hosting networking events to accessing online content – plus I was intrigued by the idea of Randomised Coffee Trials!

What are you hoping to get out of Q?

I am most excited about joining Q to meet individuals from across the UK who are working on similar projects and facing similar challenges. I believe there is a huge amount we can learn from each other by sharing ideas and experiences.

Karen Machin, freelance trainer and researcher

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your improvement journey?

I’ve been involved in influencing change in mental health for many years, from a perspective of lived experience of being a service user and carer. Initiatives I’ve been involved in have been local, regional and national. I’m increasingly interested in how to enable and support a wider range of people to get involved in improving services, whether that’s through encouraging the use of standards such as 4PI or delivering training around peer support.

What attracted you to Q?

Initially I hadn’t heard about Q, but my work particularly focuses on peer support. Not being employed directly within the health service, I wondered if this opportunity was open to me. But I have felt welcomed and included by everyone.

When I found out about the Q Lab on peer support, I got in touch with the team and felt welcomed to join in and attend the meetings. I’ve enjoyed that experience, including learning about creative ways of working and making new connections, so I wanted to continue with Q beyond the Q Lab project.

Over the years, the opportunities I have valued the most are the regional and national opportunities to meet with other service users and carers involved in improvement. I’ve enjoyed the peer support provided by people with similar experiences who are working in different areas, both geographically, as in various mental health networks, but also, with Q, in different areas of health care outside of mental health. There are few opportunities to share learning across different health care settings and I’ve been impressed by the way that Q positively encourages this.

What are you hoping to get out of Q?

I’m hoping that I continue to be inspired from the Q conversations, that I continue to learn from others and am able to contribute back. I value the time out to reflect on my own way of working and finding new ideas from others.

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