‘I have not always felt listened to’



Guest Author
Naheen has lived experience of different mental and physical conditions, has had a parent with mental health, was a carer to a partner with mental health. She has also worked...

The PPR team has been working with the Lived Experience team at NHS England/Improvement over the past few years to develop the Peer Leadership Development Programme (PLDP). The PLDP is a unique personal development opportunity for people with lived experience of health and care services who are motivated to effect change by working collaboratively with the system.

Launched in Autumn 2020, it is a three-step blended learning programme featuring a mix of self-paced and group facilitated learning. It supports people through a personal journey to develop and enhance their knowledge, skills and capabilities in order to harness their own experiences to improve the journey of those who come after them.

We have invited three different people linked to the programme to share their thoughts on why they think co-production is important, and what impact they hope Peer Leadership will have.

First we hear from Naheen – one of the first people in the country to complete the programme. She has lived experience of different mental and physical conditions, had a parent with mental health, and was a carer to a partner with mental health. She has also worked in several different sector charities, and with various mental health trusts. She enjoys doing creative writing in her spare time.

Tell us why you think co-production is important

Co-production is important to me as I have complex health and life problems. I have not always felt listened to, and felt the power dynamics were largely steered towards the health professionals in many situations, when receiving mental health care. I see co-production as allowing my voice and needs to be heard on an equal level, to provide care that considers the whole of me, as I am more than just each different part of my health and my life. 

What stands out about the Peer Leadership Development Programme?

The thing that stands out to me about the Peer Leadership Programme is that it is designed by those with lived experience. So they understand the issues many of us face navigating our way through the healthcare system. The programme enables you to become a Peer Leader to a high standard, as the knowledge of leadership, and tapping into your own skills and qualities is included in the programme. The course facilitators also provide excellent support on the course.

What do you hope to achieve through your involvement in the Programme?

I hope to use my learning from the programme to become a Peer Leader at local, and possibly national level. By this I mean collaborating with different organisations and services in the healthcare system to find ways we can provide better personalised care to meet our individual needs, as we are all different in our needs to improve our health. I also hope to engage with, and support others with lived experience too, along the way.

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