How are 4Pi national involvement standards being used and what difference do they make in practice?!

Service user involvement in mental health has been around for a long time, with different people and different organisations taking different approaches to how this should be done – all with varying degrees of success. Going back a good few years ago, the National Involvement Partnership set about the very important task of developing a set of best practice involvement standards to ensure that more people had better experiences of involvement that really makes a difference. It was crucial that the people informing this were those who had themselves experienced mental distress and / or used mental health services. These people also had invaluable insight and knowledge into what works and what doesn’t work within the world of ‘service user involvement’ because they had been there and done that themselves, experiencing the very best of it, and the very worst of it. 
 
The work of the National Involvement Partnership led to the development of national standards for service user involvement, commonly known as 4Pi (4Pi National Involvement Standards), that were launched and rolled out in 2013. You may have heard myself, and many others, mention them once or twice before!
 
Recently, we wanted to take stock of where people were up to with these standards – how widely were they being used, and what difference were they making in practice. In the first instance, we decided it would make sense to check in with the organisations that had signed up to them, as well as check out which NHS Mental Health Trusts knew of them and were using them. 
 
We put together an online survey that was completed by 29 people, followed by informal telephone interviews with 9 people who were keen to tell us more, and we were pleased to discover that not only are the standards being used (rather than getting dusty on an actual shelf or a virtual shelf), they are also making a difference!

If you’re interested in our findings please check out this short report.

If you’d like to share any thoughts on what we have discovered, please contact Angela Newton, NSUN Associate at [email protected]