NSUN network for mental health is an independent, service-user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give us a stronger voice in shaping policy and services.

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National Involvement Partnership: a history

The National Involvement Partnership (NIP) originated in a contract to evaluate the state of service user involvement within the former National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU)’s programmes and to provide the Unit with service users and carers to do involvement work.

To this end, the National involvement Partnership developed a tool for evaluating involvement within all the programmes of the Unit. Sadly, due to budget cuts, the Unit was closed in 2012 and there was a sense of frustration that the experience and expertise of service users who had worked on developing the tool would be lost.

To prevent this, the current phase of the National Involvement Partnership’s work (which began in 2012) aims to develop an independent service user led national infrastructure for involvement which will be unaffected by the ongoing changes to statutory organisations which involvement had hitherto been dependent on.

The current phase of the National Involvement Partnership’s work builds on our previous work and also on the previous work around involvement standards undertaken by other organisations, such as the Making a Real Difference Toolkit developed by National Institute Mental Health England.

The current phase of the National Involvement Partnership’s work is called Involvement for Influence - Influence for Improvement and is funded for three years by a Department of Health grant under the Innovation, Excellence and Service Development grant scheme.

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