Ways to get involved


'Getting Involved’ means playing an active part in the work of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. There are many different ways that you can take part: you can come and work with us, you can join as a member or you can volunteer (work in an unpaid capacity), support our Trust charity- Brighterway and help us to improve by sharing your ideas, input and feedback

We also have a variety of patient, service user and carer groups that you can join to have your say. If you are interested in joining, please contact Dawn Buck, Head of Patient and Public Engagement and Patient Experience. 

Brighterway is our Trust charity. Its aim is to support recovery and enable people to lead a brighter life through the use of fundraising and grant making for projects, helping their overall quality of life, wellbeing and independence.

You can find out more by visiting Brighterway's website. 

A carer is anyone who provides care or support to another person with their day-to-day life – carers are typically family members or friends.

Carers are often considered experts by experience because they have real insight into their loved one and their needs.

Through collaborating with carers, we can learn a lot of valuable information that can support our assessments, care plans and discharge plans – ultimately leading to the best possible outcomes for our service users and patients.

For more information on how we support carers and families please click here

Consultations give you the chance to help shape the way we provide our services in the future.   

What is a public consultation?
All NHS Trusts have a statutory duty to make arrangements for engaging and involving patients and the public in the planning and delivery of services, and in the development of proposals to change services. 
Whenever we plan on making changes to our services, you'll be invited to give your ideas and feedback.  

Where change is considered substantial we have an additional duty to formally consult with Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s (HOSC). Engagement, involvement and consultation are all formal processes designed to ensure your voice is heard and taken into account wherever possible.

Listening to your opinions about the care we provide is important to us, as it helps us shape our healthcare services to meet your needs.

What happens after feedback is given?
Once all feedback has been collected, your comments will then be reviewed, alongside those of others, and where ever possible taken fully into account. When decisions have been agreed, we will do our very best to ensure everyone is updated and told of the changes, and as different ways of providing a service are put into place, we will review and monitor them to make sure they are still meeting your needs.  

How long do consultations last?  
If formal consultation is required there is a recognised period of 12 weeks. However, sometimes if earlier engagement and involvement can show that the majority of people are in favourof the change and if it is supported by other key people, it is not always necessary to consult formally or a shortened period of consultation can be agreed with the HOSC. 

How to get involved  
We will always aim to advertise the fact we are looking at proposals to change services and we do this by talking to you face to face, talking to your carers, producing leaflets and other advertising methods. All these ways of bringing your attention to our proposals includes telling you how you can get involved.  

In most cases you can get involved by asking for a one to one meeting, asking for us to come to a group or meeting you've already planned, responding via our website, attending meetings in public that we will arrange, emailing us or telephoning us. 

Our Experience, Involvement and Partnership Strategy details our commitment to working together with service users, patients, families and carers so they have a say in their care and treatment, and helping us to understand how services can be improved.

As a Trust, we are committed to working together in partnership with the people we serve to ensure the services we provide are of high quality and are delivered in a comfortable, caring, compassionate and safe environment.

In this strategy you’ll find out what we, as a Trust, want to achieve and how we will do so via a set of clear and common sense objectives. These have been shaped by feedback from the people who use our services, their families, our governors and staff to ensure our approach to engagement is inclusive, collaborative, organised, positive and proactive.

Hampshire Carers Joint Strategy

Becoming a member means you can have a much greater say in your local healthcare. Your voice counts.

Why become a member?
We're always striving to improve and as a member, you can help us do this. We want to hear your experience of our services. We want to know how you think we should invest our money, and where we should develop services further.

We want to know when things go well, and when they don't, so we can address issues and problems quickly. In order for our services to meet the needs of local people and communities, we need to know what you expect and want.

You can be involved as little or as much as you'd like, and in a variety of different ways. You may just want to receive updates about what the Trust is doing, you may want to come along to local meetings and focus groups, or take part in surveys and questionnaires.

Being a member won't affect the care and treatment you receive. You also don't have to agree with everything our Trust does, or share our views.

What are the benefits?
As a member, you'll be able to:

  • Present your ideas, feedback or concerns to the Trust
  • Elect fellow members to become Governors (or stand for Governor yourself)
  • Meet and interact with the Council of Governors
  • Go to constituency meetings to discuss health care in your local area
  • Attend the Annual Members Meeting
  • Register for Health Service Discounts, where you can find a huge range of offers and benefits 

Become a member
Becoming a member is quick and easy - visit our become a member page. 

If you are a member of staff, you are automatically enrolled into our membership scheme.

If you have any problems or queries with your application, then please don't hesitate to contact us: 

Email:  FTMembership@southernhealth.nhs.uk 
023 8087 4666

Southern Health is committed to working together in partnership with people to ensure the services we provide are of high quality and are delivered in a comfortable, caring, compassionate and safe environment. We want to work together with service users, patients, families and carers so they have a say in their care and treatment and help us to understand how services can be improved.

It is vital, therefore, that we use the insight gained from our population in a robust and meaningful way. To support this process, this report outlines some of the key patient insight information fed back to Southern Health during the last three months. It should be noted that a wide variety of information has been gained throughout the three month period, with positive feedback being provided, as well as information regarding potential areas for development.

We hope you enjoy reading the report. We welcome comments and suggestions about our report, please do get in touch if you would like to give us feedback.

Patient Insight Report October 2022 - March 2023

We have a number of committees and meetings that helps leads, supports and reports on activities related to Patient Experience and Engagement.

These committees and meetings have experts by experience who work together to improve the way that the trust engages and listens to those using our services 

If you would like to get involved please email people.participation@southernhealth.nhs.uk 

The Families, Carers and Friends Involvement Group are experts by experience who work together with Southern Health staff to improve the way that families, carers and friends are involved in incident investigations, and more broadly, in a relative's treatment and experience of care.

The group work collaboratively to improve specific needs of local carers in line with the Hampshire Joint Carers Strategy 2018-2023

  • Identify and recognise carers
  • Support carer health and wellbeing
  • Enable carers to have a life alongside caring
  • Implement the principles in the Carers Charter

The group will monitor Carers Plan and advise staff on issues affecting families, carers, friends and service users; with the aim of ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and a supportive engagement strategy is implemented.

The group are actively involved in service development of Triangle of Care

The Working in Partnership membership includes service users, patients, carers and staff from all services across the Trust, and when appropriate external partners and agencies.

The aim of the group is to work in partnership with each other by:

  • providing information and feedback from/to the Trust on current policies and strategies
  • contribute to and influence future changes to Trust policies and strategies
  • contribute to and influence service change and development
  • agreeing priority areas of work for the group

We recruit to a variety of volunteering roles across the Trust and we welcome volunteers from a range of backgrounds and experiences. You don’t need any specific skills to be a volunteer, we are just looking for kind, compassionate people with the desire to really make a difference.

Volunteering roles vary, from fundraising to admin support; there is a variety of non-clinical roles available.

How do I apply?
You can apply for a volunteering role by emailing the volunteering team

What is the process after I apply?
You will need to complete an application form, occupational health and DBS check (dependant on the role).

 Who can volunteer?  

  • You will need to be over 18 years of age (We cannot always provide supervision so this may restrict younger people from volunteering.)
  • You can apply if you are receiving benefits (but you must tell your Job Centre about your role).

How much time will I need to give? 
In general, there is no minimum time you must give. You can discuss with us what arrangement works for you and the role you are applying for.

Will I be paid?
As a volunteer you will not be paid. We will however ensure you don’t lose out financially through volunteering so will cover agreed expenses, such as travel.

Will I be trained within my role and what opportunities are there for career development?
Yes, we have a full induction and training process. You will receive a thorough induction to your specific role so that you are confident in what we are asking you to do.

Will I be insured? 
Yes, volunteers at Southern Health have the same cover as paid staff, as long as they are carrying out the duties in their role description and a risk assessment for that role has been carried out.

It is important to us that you have an opportunity to give feedback and share your views on the care you receive. Sharing your experiences helps us to shape and improve our services across the Trust and provide the best possible patient care.

Whether your feedback is positive or negative, we would like to know.  

If you have any suggestions about how we can improve our services, we would really like to hear from you. Please contact us at su.feedback@southernhealth.nhs.uk or click here

Any concerns that you have are often best dealt with when they arise. We would encourage you to explain your problem to a member of staff in the first instance. In many cases, it should be possible to sort out the problem straight away by talking to the person you have already been dealing with, or perhaps their manager. 

However, as a service user, patient, relative or carer, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for free, confidential, and timely help or advice. The Complaints team can help you to resolve any concerns that you may have about the care and treatment provided, at an early stage. You can call us (9-5pm Mon-Fri) on 023 8231 1200 or email complaints@southernhealth.nhs.uk

As a Trust, we appreciate how important feedback is and just as we like to know when things go wrong, it is also helpful to know when we are doing things well.

This not only helps boost staff morale and motivation, but also allows us to identify which areas are doing better than others. We can then try to replicate that practice across other areas of the Trust.

If you are pleased with the service you have received, we ask you to either let the staff know directly, to contact us or click here to leave a compliment

Contact us 
Patient and public engagement team
Engagement Office
Sterne 7, Tatchbury Mount
Calmore, SO40 2RZ 
Email: People.Participation@southernhealth.nhs.uk

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