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CNWL Peer Support Worker talks to NHS

13 September 2017

Senior Peer Support Work, Fiona Eastmond, who works in community mental health services in Hillingdon, was a guest speaker at the NHS Expo 17 national event in Manchester on Monday and Tuesday 11 and 12 September.

Fiona – who has lived experience of mental health services – brings those experiences to bear with clinicians so that people can always see the impact on the patient. Peer support Workers – of which there are about 50 at CNWL – work in many services and are new roles that patients really value and so do staff.

Fiona spoke about Peer Support and also the importance of physical health in good mental health.

Fiona said, “"I had an inspirational time being an ambassador for Peer Support and CNWL at NHS Health Expo 2017. I even enjoyed it! The Innovations Stage was huge.

“I talked about my talented colleagues a lot and I can confidently say that I particularly focused on building a proper career structure with progression opportunities for Peer Support Workers.

“I spoke to NHS Education about building a nationwide Peer Support qualification at degree level; I spoke to Claire Murdoch about introducing Band 4 Peer Support posts in CNWL.

“I am immensely proud to be part of such an excellent team of staff, peers and service users in Hillingdon and all the fantastic peers in CNWL.

“Let's keep on innovating and show everyone that true person-centred care can and should be delivered by people who use their lived experience of recovery alongside their diverse skills as a core part of their work."

Claire Murdoch, Chief Executive of CNWL, who also spoke at the event, said, “Fiona bravely spoke from the biggest stage and from her heart; she was a massive success! Thanks Fiona for showing the way. We need more of these roles and we will be creating a lot more.”

Looking ahead, Kim Cox, Hillingdon Borough Director said, "Due to the huge success of our current workers we have plans to extend our peer support workers to make sure that there is one peer support worker in every team. This is a real testament to the work of Fiona and Katherine Sims and huge move toward to supporting our recovery agenda."