Merseyside Probation Trust
Given the positive feedback received about User Voice Service User Councils, the Merseyside Probation Trust (MPT) commissioned us to implement a similar model in their region.
The first steps in the creation of a Service User Council entailed generating service user awareness through the organisation of a consultation. During the consultation process at the Merseyside Probation Trust:
- 484 service users involved with MPT took part in the questionnaire designed to identify issues, needs and topics of discussion for the focus groups.
- 72 service users took part in 10 anonymous focus groups to discuss their experiences in more detail and to peer-select representatives to attend the co-production workshop.
- 23 service users and 16 service providers participated in the co-production workshop on the 11th April 2014 at the Quaker Meeting House, Liverpool. More precisely, the workshop was designed to allow the service user reps and MPT staff members to meet and co-produce recommendations for improving probation services based on preliminary themes drawn from the questionnaire and focus group findings.
The co-production event for the MPT highlighted a wide variety of important points. However, the top two workshop recommendations were:
- Improve the staff’s knowledge on mental health issues
- Organize three-way meeting between prison, probation and service users prior to release.
The service users elected to be representatives as well as the first recommendations for improving probation services constitute the basis for the first Service User Council session.