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Experts by Experience

Have your say and make a difference

The Experts by Experience programme is now established in the council as a way for people to get involved, have their say and make a difference.

Our Quality Ambassadors are volunteer Experts by Experience. They are people who have had recent experience of caring for someone, and/or because of their experiences, they have hands on knowledge of using services.  For many, using services is still part of their lives, but they have learned enough along the journey to be able to know what good support and a good experience looks like.

The Experts by Experience programme is focused around:

  • care home visits
  • mystery shopping
  • arm chair readers
  • other specific projects

Quality Ambassadors meet monthly to receive and share information, ‘lite bite’ training sessions and discuss and plan new projects.  They also invite officers to attend their meetings to talk about issues that matter to them and to help to shape and influence service developments. If you think you might be interested in joining us please watch our short video and get in touch.

Our Partnership, Planning and Participation Team support the Experts by Experience Team to liaise with people in the community who currently use registered and commissioned services across North Lincolnshire.  Quality Ambassadors provide a mechanism for feeding information into the team to assess the quality of services provided to the council.

A ‘Nothing About You Without You’ video has been developed through the Experts by Experience group and provides a nice overview of the importance of people having their say and how they can get involved.

Take a look at the video:

Quality Ambassadors can help us to monitor quality by:

  • seeing and hearing how service users experience the service
  • collecting the views of residents, staff, relatives and friends
  • observing the nature and quality of services
  • taking part in quality reviews of Adult Social Care Services in North Lincolnshire
  • taking part in consultations
  • mystery shopping
  • helping us to develop our ways of working
  • improving our information
  • writing for newsletters or websites
  • and lots more

We will make sure you have the information and support you need, and we will agree to refund you for out of pocket expenses you incur working with us.

People involved in the Experts by Experience programme have had positive experiences of being involved. One Quality Ambassador said:

“I have got so much out of being an Expert by Experience. I have built new friendships, received support and kindness and been able to influence services to ensure people remain at the centre.”

If you are interested in becoming a Quality Ambassador in the Experts by Experience programme and you are:

  • someone who lives in the area
  • an older person
  • a carer
  • someone with disabilities
  • someone with additional health or support needs
  • someone with a learning disability and/or
  • someone with something to say and someone who wants to make a difference…

then please get in touch with us or complete the expression of interest form [PDF, 38Kb].

Our Vision

To contribute to the development of good quality Services to Adults in North Lincolnshire using citizen voice to influence change.

Purpose

The Expert by Experience Group brings together unpaid volunteers who have had experience of using or caring for someone who use Services to Adults. Experts by Experience members, known as Quality Ambassadors, work with North Lincolnshire Council and its partners on request to improve the quality of local services. Quality Ambassadors can help in lots of ways such as care home visits, taking part in consultations, mystery shopping, helping to develop new ways of working, improving information or writing for newsletters or websites.

Aims of the Expert by Experience Group

To pledge to:

  • Speak up to improve the way that services are organised and delivered
  • Influence and inform colleagues
  • Listen to and understand the views and experiences of citizens and where appropriate act as a conduit for information available to the general public
  • Act as a good role model by treating other people with respect
  • Quality Ambassadors will do this by taking part in processes used to monitor the quality of services provided to the general public by North Lincolnshire Council and others. The Group will work with services to develop and improve information and quality by challenging discriminatory attitudes, behaviours and assumptions appropriately.

Membership

The Group will consist of adults who have had experience of adult social care in North Lincolnshire or in caring for someone. There is no limit to the number of members, but the number must be manageable.

Recruitment will be targeted to ensure the Membership of the group is representative, as far as possible.

Roles and Responsibilities, Members will:

  • Adhere to this Terms of Reference
  • Adhere to the roles and duties outlined in the Sample Role Descriptors document
  • Demonstrate the qualities outlined in the Sample Role Descriptors document
  • Make it a priority to attend a majority of the monthly meetings.

Frequency of meetings:

Members will be encouraged to meet regularly on a monthly/six weekly basis, attendance at meetings is not obligatory. Members will be asked to offer as much or as little time to the program as they can. There will be additional meetings and short pieces of work for Members to
get involved in if they choose.

Meetings and Support Arrangements

  • Monthly update meetings will be flexible, and will be held on a date and at a venue convenient to Members.
  • The Partnership Planning and Participation Team will facilitate the Group’s activities, keeping a record of all meetings and work. The format and content of the monthly update meeting will be developed by the group. Any member may request that an item be added to the agenda by informing Group Co-ordinator no later than 10 days before the meeting.
  • Minutes will be produced within 10 working days of the meeting.
  • When items are raised by Members, after an initial discussion about the issue, the group will decide if the item is to be taken away by a relevant professional for investigation and if necessary escalation within the appropriate forum. A response will be reported at the
    next meeting
  • The North Lincolnshire Council Partnership, Planning and Participation Team will provide administrative support.
  • Professionals will undertake to advise the group of relevant training, standards and regulations that affect the work of the Quality Ambassador
  • The group co-ordinator will support Members and act as a conduit to the council and wider partners where appropriate.
  • Governance arrangements for the Expert by Experience Group will be through the Adult Partnership.

Funding and Resources

Reasonable travel expenses will be payable to carer members using their own cars/public transport to attend meetings and other activities. Claims should be made in a timely manner at the end of each month by completing a claim form available from the Group Co-ordinator.

Receipts/tickets for out of pocket items e.g. car parking must be attached. All claims must be countersigned by a staff member with appropriate authority (Team Manager or above) from the Partnership, Planning and Participation Team.

Reimbursement will be paid in line with North Lincolnshire Council Policy and Procedure Review*.

The terms of reference & membership will be reviewed on an annual basis.

 

*North Lincolnshire Council Allowances and Expenses B4 [PDF, 143Kb] (Allowances and Expenses Rates Appendix 1). North Lincolnshire Council Volunteer Engagement Policy. [PDF, 202Kb]