Meet the team: PATH Team (Psychosis Assessment & Treatment Hertfordshire)
Continuous Improvement Lead
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
- England - East
- James Holland - Inclusion & Engagement Team Manager
- Hollis Dixon - service user with a lived experience
- Ann Raines - carer with a lived experience
- Lauren Dennis - PATH Service Manager
- Jo Edwards - Service Line Lead
As a Trust with a long and varied experience in service user involvement and provision of recovery based opportunities we are keen to take this to the next level with Peer Support.
Our idea is to trial the embedding of peer support workers in our PATH EIP team. PATH is our service for First Episode Psychosis and we feel this would be a particularly good place to trial this as, from feedback and experience in the past of utilising peer support volunteers, we know that people experiencing psychosis find this a particularly dynamic type of support; in having someone who has ‘been there’ as one of their supporters.
With PATH, we operate a ‘mini-team’ working model. The Service has a total of 18 mini teams in place across the county. In simple terms, the mini team model works by assigning three professionals, to work together with a case load of 35 people which enables them to provide more targeted multi-disciplinary support to people experience a first episode of psychosis. We would like to trial adding peer support to some of these teams to provide a lived experience aspect that is not current available in the existing structure. We would compare this against parts of the service without this to see what additional outcomes we get.
This would include using self-reported recovery measures (such as hope indexes, quality of wellbeing etc.) to indicate the impact of peer support across the trial as well as asking people to opt in to providing more qualitative feedback via our peer experience listening service (our evaluation tool that utilises listeners with a lived experience to gather feedback from people using services).
From our initial engagement with service users and carers we know the following is important, particularly when thinking about psychosis:
With peer support it can help a service user to feel that there is someone without the same clinical agenda – which helps someone acclimatise themselves to a service through the peer’s lived experience.
Being listened to by a peer can help with hope and understanding about the pathway and also encourage people to become more proactive in their own recovery.
As one of our Experts by Experience said, “when having an assessment, there can be a feeling that you’re malfunctioning – hearing from a peer early on would be validating and the conversation would be more natural.”
How you can contribute
- We are pleased to hear any thoughts from the Q community about suggestions for improvements to this proposal or any other ideas where we may benefit from utilising peer support across these services.