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Experts by Experience

Experts by Experience Solihull Community Interest Company

Solihull is committed to involving people who use services and carers in all areas of their day – to – day business and service planning and Adult Social Care works with the Experts by Experience – Solihull Community Interest Company (EbE-S CIC), who are committed to providing insight, support, challenge and contribution in the spirit of co-production to all partners and specifically;

  • A stronger voice for local service users and carers (the public) in the shaping, delivery, evaluation and improvement of local support and care services.
  • Better, more integrated services within Solihull Council and also the NHS, Housing, voluntary and community sectors.
  • Equal opportunities for everyone, no matter what their age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or economic status.

We are actively recruiting fellow service users and carers across Adult Social Care; please contact us by email at to find out more.

We support the Council in all their key changes from service re-design, commissioning activity for specific services, interviewing staff, tenders and consultations about future services.

During 2015-2016, Experts by Experience are seeking to:

  • Further develop a group of service users that have a unique insight into the issues that affect both people and the services provided by Solihull Council
  • Work with Solihull Council, Third Sector organisations and service users to help identify areas of need with regards to the services that are currently provided. To then provide evidence that will help shape these services to ensure a more cost-effective outcome
  • Build the capacity of the local community through increased and valued involvement and engagement
  • More effectively capture the partnership and input of ‘seldom heard voices’ in the community
  • Explore the wider needs and activities of the locality in order to take a longer term view of need(s)

As a result, our group believe the community will benefit through:

  • Opportunities to feedback their experiences, knowing that there will be an established route to the decision-makers within the Council, enabling the services to be more effective
  • Having the opportunity to participate more regularly and proactively in decision making in service design and outcomes.
  • Strengthening community links and skills
  • Empowering groups and individuals to participate in their communities with confidence and commitment
  • Having a greater, more pro- active input into services for minority and previously excluded groups
  • Being at the forefront of provision and commissioning of services and support

We are committed to using the knowledge and power of local communities to identify needs and work collectively to develop appropriate services and support that will really make a difference to people in their own homes. Contact us now!!

“We are all proud of the work we are doing as experts in partnership with Solihull Council. We are excited and look forward to the changes we are making together.”

Experts by Experience who have moved on – Keymn Whervin

“I have been my mother’s carer for 17 years now.  Becoming an Expert by Experience for Solihull two-and-a-half years ago has enabled me to represent carers on a local, regional and national level. I work in partnership with Solihull Council to influence the Personalisation agenda which promotes the need for individuals and communities to have the choice and control for the way our community receives social care and support services.

“It has been a great pleasure to be part of the Care Act 2014 embedment in Solihull, so much so, that I am now the Director of my own user-led organisation Peer Partnership CIC. I work within our Solihull community to offer Peer Support for individuals (carers and people who use social care services) so they can take control of their own lives by having the choice of how they would like to receive care. My organisation has also just been awarded Lottery funding so I can deliver Care Act training in the community for local residents.

“It does not stop there; the opportunity to become an expert has allowed me to become   a member of the Think Local Act Personal National Co-production group which works nationally to ensure that Social care organisations embed a ‘working-in-partnership’ ethos with carers and people who use services. I am participating in activities and decision-making processes that really influence and shape Health and Social care services.  I thought I was just a carer and would never work ever again but now as Vice-chair of Solihull Carers Partnership Board I can ensure that carers in Solihull have a voice.

“The Health agenda is working in the same way and as an Expert By Experience I now work with NHS England and I am part of the Patient Online Working together Group and a member of the Expo Panel which ensures people are included in decisions and shaping of Health services. I train professionals to understand real partnership working to benefit our UK communities.  I am excited about my next appointment working alongside the Royal College of Practitioners as a National Champion for Expert by Experience and carers. I will continue to work with the leaders of Health and social care to ensure that our voices are constantly heard.

I am now putting something back into my community and it covers areas that will affect us all our life time. This journey, which I have been on, is a perfect example of what good co-production looks like, the outcomes have exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

Experts by Experience who have moved on – Rob Punton

“I was asked for an update on what  I have been up to since the last local account in 2014/15.  My problem is where do I begin!”

“The past year has been a hectic one.  This time last year, I was an active member of Solihull’s Experts by Experience group.  It was something which I found both enjoyable and rewarding however when the decision was made for Experts to become a Community Interest Company, I decided to leave the group. I chose to concentrate on developing my own Company Community Navigator Services, which I am lucky to be in partnership with Clenton Farquharson MBE and Jack Nicholas.

“The aim of our organisation is to help individuals and organisations to work together to enable us to get the best results for all concerned, using the cotool.

“We also work towards helping isolated and marginalised groups in society remove the barriers that stop them gaining equality.  We work closely with Solihull Council on several projects including safeguarding, “Skills for Care” training and the new Resource Directory. I have also recently been asked to job Solihull’s Direct Payments Forum. We strive towards Social Justice for All.

Experts by Experience who have moved on – Annette Branstaetter

“I joined the Experts by Experience as one of the four founding members in February 2012. Being passionate about Dementia, I have been involved in several work streams throughout that time. Having worked as a carer myself for several years, I was always interested in finding ways to up skill care staff in Dementia to meet the needs of people diagnosed with dementia.

“I became a Purple Angel Ambassador in 2014. Purple Angel is a worldwide campaign to raise awareness around Dementia and was founded by Norman McNamara, who was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia with the age of 50yrs.

“A fellow expert and I started ACT on Dementia in June 2015; a company specialized on Dementia care. We wrote our own training programme and worked with two providers in Solihull. Through discussions with the management, it became clear that care providers struggle to cover additional costs for training. A Training Company who could address the majority of their training needs and provide some tangible added value in the form of specialist staff development would be welcome.

“In partnership with KS Training I developed a training model, where we deliver, on top of the diploma for Health and Social Care, the QCF Dementia Awareness Certificate for all staff. Embedded in the training will be a series of Dementia specialist workshops, which cover BPSD (Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia), Hallucinations and Delusions, Sun Downing and End of life care in Dementia. These are the areas which care staff struggle the most with and it is not recognised in the national standards. The new training model will start in the beginning of next year and I am very excited about having found a way to merge the government requirements but also fill the gaps by additional dementia training to up skill staff that they are highly qualified to work with people with Dementia.”

Experts by Experience who have moved on – Christine Logan

Concentrating on:

  1. Integration of Health and Social Care (Solihull Together for Better Lives Making Good into Great).
  2. Specialist Dementia Training and Dementia Training for all Professionals.
  3. Enhanced Support for Carers of People with Dementia.

“I have been a carer for my dad with dementia for 10 years

“This October 2015, Experts by Experience became a community interest company. I was a founding member of Experts by Experience and as I have now moved on I hope the next group of Experts will be able to continue the work done previously.”

“I graduated from my teaching course to become a trainer in 2014 and have gone on to write and develop training modules in dementia.

“I am in the process of developing enhanced carer support specifically for carers of people with dementia. Although we have excellent support from the carers centre, we need more diversity to address the needs and geography of the 26,000+ carers in Solihull.

“I also hope to offer advice and support to carers of people with dementia at both hubs in Solihull in 2016.

“I sit on the board for integrated health and social care in Solihull. I have been a board member for 3 years, during that time the culture changes I have seen, especially from staff within health partners, has been amazing. Social care went through a cultural change earlier, with In July 2015 Solihull was awarded Vanguard status by NHS England for urgent and emergency care.

“I have spoken at many workshops for integration, and worked hard within the board to represent carers over the last 3 years.  On 18 November 2015 I was asked by the board to go to London, to the Barbican to speak for Solihull as a Vanguard, on what it meant to me as a board member and as a carer. There were representatives of 50 Vanguards covering the UK there with 4 Vanguard speakers, of which I was one. That was brilliant and many people came to talk to me afterwards, and I was tweeted about, even by Solihull’s director of social care Mr Ian James also a board member for integrated care, who said he felt very proud of me and my personal journey in the last 3 years, which meant a lot to me.

“On 24 November, Dr Patrick Brooke CCG, integrated care board member, and Professor Ian Philp, from the Heart of England NHS foundation trust,  went to the reception at 10 Downing street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron for the 50 Vanguard sites. Solihull was there for national recognition of the pioneering work already taking place in the borough to join services together, and for me to have been involved in this from the start is truly wonderful.

“I have met and worked alongside many dedicated and wonderful people in health and social care, and have been involved in many ground breaking and innovative moments. All Experts by Experience are heroes in their own right on a personal level, but also because they give more, to help to develop support and enhance and re-design services by working alongside health and social care, enabling others like you and me to have the best care and support in Solihull.

“Well done Solihull, all the professionals and people, patients, service users, and carers for your dedication to co-production and person centred approach to services and support for the people of Solihull”.