Involvement encompasses many activities and it is likely that it will look different for different services. The aim of this page is to be a resource for clinical staff who want to develop an involvement plan for their service. If you are thinking about involving people, the NHS participation resources, Engage and Coalition for Collaborative Care are good places to start researching for information and ideas. If you would like to discuss your plans please get in contact with  

CPFT involvement vision

Included here are ten points to think about when considering involvement 

1.  Involvement is an overarching term for different ways of how we engage people. There are different types of involvement for different situations. Thinking about what you need will help ensure it is successful. Co production is a term commonly used to describe the process when all stakeholders are part of the decision making process.

2. At the core of involvement are the relationships that we build with the people who want to get involved. How will you build this relationship? Who will be the named person who links with them, how will you offer support and supervision? In the same way you would consider what a new member of staff needs to feel valued and part of the team, it is important to consider this when involving people.    

3.  What are the reasons for involving people and what are you wanting to achieve. The National Standards of Involvement (4Pi) will help you think about this. Be comfortable that you may not, at the beginning be entirely sure. It is fine to work with people who you want to involve, to understand what it is that is needed, and good practise to involve people early on. Involving people who have used services and their families will help you consider this from their perspective as well as the clinical perspective.

4. What involvement activities will best achieve what you want - are you looking to establish a service user and carer forum for your service, to hold a focus group , asking  people to be part of a Quality Service Improvement Redesign or governance meeting, to do some pathway mapping or ask for some help around designing leaflets. When looking at service specific issues, the most meaningful and helpful involvement will come from people who have used your specific service. Feedback from the Participation and Partnership Forum is that  "getting involved can make a significant difference to their own well being"

5. If you would like to involve people on interviews, it is best practise to involve people (patient, service users and families) who have specific experience of using your service. This will ensure that the people who use your service are placed at the heart of the recruitment process. An interview booklet has been developed which empowers and enables teams to work specifically with individuals who they would like to be part of their team's interview process. This booklet will ensure that people are resourced to and trained for the interview process and will be available shortly. In the meantime if you would like to include people who have used services and / or their carers on interviews, please get in contact with 

6. Reimbursement. Some activities will require travel expenses, others will require the payment of travel and payment for time. CPFT has a clear policy around payment for involvement activities which is included in the information below. This form should be given to people for them to claim for payment and travel expenses and includes information on how to process claims. Be clear at the beginning what reimbursements you are offering people. If you have any questions around payment please get in contact with

7. Be clear about what you require from the person. Consider what experience are you looking for? If you are looking to address clinical service issues it is best to use people who have had specific and relevant experience of that service. Are there any specific skills that you would like people to have? Are you looking for people to be part of a focused group or to take part in a senior leadership meeting. What is the commitment that you require? Is one person enough? Do they need to have had a DBS and Occupational health screening and what is the length of time you are looking to involved people. If you are looking for people who have had DBS and occupational health clearance members of the  Participation and Partnership Forum have all completed these. Creating an advert to involve people is a good way to clarify your thoughts. An example of a generic advert is included below. For further information contact   

8.  Creating a contract of involvement clearly stating what is needed for the role can help clarify the role you are looking for and understand what support may be needed. This is especially important if the involvement work is likely to be on going as opposed to a one off event. Within the contract of involvement providing clear information about payment and any other support that will be offered is important. An example of a generic contract is included below. For further information contact  

9. Advertising involvement opportunities. Knowing what experience you would like will help identify what is the best way to advertise involvement opportunities. If you are looking for people who have experience of using your services the best place to advertise maybe in the waiting room or by promoting involvement as part of a standard appointment letters. The advert below can be used to promote and direct people to CPFT's involvement page. Members of the Participation and Partnership Forum and CPFT volunteers have DBS and Occupational Health Clearance. CPFT membership can also be used to advertise involvement opportunities.  Other alternatives are to work with established organisations such as the sun network (mental health only), www.healthwatch, rethink mental illness, (carers of people with mental health conditions). Working collaboratively with other organisations who are working with the specific groups you are interested in involving is helpful. If you would like to discuss your ideas please get in contact with

10. Talk to the people who are involved to find out how they would like to be kept updated on progress. This could be in the form of You said - We did posters / flyers. If your service has a webpage on the public website you could use this  to promote the changes that you are making.If you are meeting regularly this can form part of your agenda. 

The page was last updated on 07 July 2020 by carers.editor.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
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Cambridge, CB21 5EF

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