Guest post by Nancy Greig – Development Manager, People Powered Health and Wellbeing Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE).
The People Powered Health and Wellbeing (PPHW) Reference Group* harnesses the lived experience of unpaid carers and people who use services and supports. This is a diverse group of people with lived experience who all have an interest in co-production and person centred care.
The PPHW programme supports the view that lived experience is equal to other forms of knowledge, evidence and expertise and that people who use health and social care services can make a positive contribution to their own health and wellbeing.
Since the group was established nearly two years ago, members have grown in their confidence and capacity to engage with a whole range of local and national initiatives including influencing policy steering groups and offering fresh perspectives when speaking at conferences.
Even more importantly, Reference Group members have been able to explore personal passions and have opportunities to share experience and learning. A number of the group are now involved in an action research project with the University of Strathclyde about how inclusion contributes to health and wellbeing. Each participant has chosen a topic that matters most to them.
At their recent bi-monthly meeting the group took part in an asset mapping session where they identified their own personal assets, networks and the resources in their communities and lives that they use to look after their own health and wellbeing.
Here, Reference Group member and poet Glenn Merrilees talks about the range of activities he is involved in and what keeps him well.
The Reference group’s participation illustrates how people individually and collectively can get involved in a wide range of activity to spread awareness of what health means and how approaches can change for the future.
*‘People Powered Health and Wellbeing: shifting the balance of power’ (PPHW) is a programme led by the ALLIANCE and funded by the Scottish Government which contributes to the Scottish Government’s Quality Ambition that health and social care in Scotland should be person centred by 2020. PPHW is part of the national Person-Centred Health and Care Portfolio.
The central aim of PPHW is that people are able to influence their own health and wellbeing and contribute to the design, delivery and improvement of support and services, including peer support.