Forensic Services lead the way with service user involvement in interviews

16/06/2016 by Amy Gaskin-Williams

The Involvement Interview Team (IIT) is made up of experienced service user and carer volunteers recruited through the Involvement Centres, who contribute to interviews for new staff at the Trust. Sometimes they join professional panels, sometimes they chair their own service user panels and sometimes they support service users currently within services to contribute to interviews. In the last year, over 150 interviews for the posts within the Forensic Services division have had the involvement of service user volunteers for such roles as social work managers, occupational therapists, associate directors and modern matrons.

Over the past few years, IIT volunteers have been part of interview panels for staff at Rampton, which is a fantastic development, but the ambition grew into wanting to train current patients within the hospital to conduct interviews. Interviews were traditionally held outside of the secure boundary meaning that patients weren’t able to take part, but this year we observed a real breakthrough – staff nurse interviews taking place within the hospital boundary, with current patients receiving training to contribute!

Clinical questions are still asked by professionals, but importantly the IIT panels focus their questions on drawing out the candidates values and their understanding of recovery.

The more established involvement volunteers will set up a session with patients to work on  interview questions and prepare the patients for taking part in the interview. This volunteer will then help the patient panel on the day of interviews.