By peer support workers, we mean people who have lived or carer experience of using our services, and can use this experience positively to help others on their recovery journeys.
Peer support workers can bring countless benefits to both staff and service users; drawing on their personal experiences to help ensure we are delivering patient-centred care.
Embedding a peer support worker role within a clinical service:
- Positively challenges the thinking and practices of services
- Motivates the team to always strive to improve patient care
- Encourages teams to reconsider any assumptions they make when providing care
- Helps to reduce stigma around mental and physical health conditions
- Increases empathy and acceptance amongst staff
- Gives hope to service users that recovery is possible and things can get better
- Provides an opportunity for service users to work with someone who knows how it feels to be in their shoes
A standardised job description was developed for the peer support worker role during 2019, and after going out to advert for our first cohort of peer support workers in October 2019, we have now successfully recruited 14 new peer support workers, including a mix of full-time and part-time staff.
They will join our Trust in early 2020 and will be based within our clinical teams.
Peer support workers will receive support and training to enable them to carry out the day-to-day duties of the post and as employees of the Trust, will have full access to our staff health and wellbeing offer, including counselling, supervision and other occupational health services.
We want to introduce peer support roles across all our service areas eventually, including mental health and community health, as well as identifying opportunities within corporate services.
The project team is already working with a number of teams, who have created peer support vacancies within their services.
If you are interested in creating a peer support worker role within your service, email firstname.lastname@example.org