Mental health service users and carers, working together have already produced guidelines for involvement which have been adopted by most of the planning groups.

It is recommended that where possible thought should be given to inviting a minimum of at least two service users and two carers as members of a group or committee.

Meetings should be organised so that they are not ‘stuffy, intimidating and unfriendly.’

A service user and carer liaison person should be designated to provide support, ensure agreements about conduct of meetings are adhered to and, for example, discuss the previous minutes and agenda prior to the meeting.

Service users and carers should have a choice in who their support person is.

To facilitate team building, informal gatherings with committee staff, service users and carers should be regularly organised.

Minutes should be produced in easy to read plain English, sent with the agenda at least one week in advance.

Service users and carers should be clear about how they can raise issues on the agenda.

Venue and times of meetings should be planned well in advance.

Evening committee meetings may be required to accommodate service users and carers in employment.

For people unable to use public transport, transport should be provided at no cost.

Expenses should be paid discreetly at the meeting. Inappropriate claim forms should not be used (i.e. forms designed for staff)

Lanarkshire Links will monitor these and take action to ensure these guidelines are working.