We have been commissioned by NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to work further with VCS groups who support people diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI), following the recommendations in the Health Equalities Community Insights Report in late 2021, on their SMI Physical Health Check project which is looking at how health professionals can ensure individuals are accessing their annual physical health checks.

We will work collaboratively with Dorset CCG’s  SMI physical health outreach workers and their partners (Dorset Mental Health Forum and Help & Care).

One of the elements of this project is to identify and gather all training and peer support that VCS groups could offer to both our public sector and VCS colleagues to enable them to better support individuals with severe mental ill health helping them to access the offers and improve their physical health.

We need your help. We want to work collaboratively with the VCS to identify:

  • Any current VCSE training (linked to practitioner and patient) you offer and suggested bespoke training that could be designed in partnership with experts by experience to improve health services.
  • Any current peer support options/groups that are available and how these could be linked into supporting people to “wait well” for mental health support.
  • If you offer or have capacity for a lived experience volunteer, buddy or advocacy option. To support people who might be reluctant to attend health checks, or follow-up non-attenders to offer additional support to attend their health check.
  • Individuals / service users diagnosed with SMI who are happy to share their health check experience, both positive and negative to inform service development and training of staff. This will be produced as an individual case study in either a video or audio recording format, to be done in person or online via zoom (if the participant is comfortable with this method)

If you are a community group or organisation who currently supports people with Severe Mental Illness or to find out more on how you can help and get involved please get in touch with our Research and Engagement Officer - Andrew Robertson: [email protected] 

Our work is possible thanks to funding from our partners Dorset CCG.