On 28 November, senior leaders at Oxford Health graduated from the 2018 Leading Together Programme for learning disabilities. The development course is designed to bring together members of the public with healthcare professionals to reflect, learn and work at a strategic level.

From the trust, chief operating officer Dominic Hardisty (pictured above, left) and director of corporate affairs, Kerry Rogers, were among the graduates from the 2018 programme.

Leading together

The Leading Together Programme was developed by Oxford Academic Health Science Network to involve members of the public in the creation of healthcare systems that meet their needs, and allow professionals to learn from the people who use the services.

By creating conversations, the programme aims to build skills in both groups so they can lead together, create change and build solutions. It allows both parties to recognise the value of personal experience and how this can be used to create a better system.

Reflecting on her experience, Kerry Rogers said: “Participating in the Leading Together programme has been an incredibly valuable experience.

“Working alongside those individuals directly impacted by our services allowed us to see exactly how working together on decisions can improve our service provision. The skills we gained will undoubtedly shape how we approach planning in future.”

A focus on learning disabilities

In 2018 a pilot version of the programme was launched to focus on learning disabilities, where a group of professionals from health and social care joined five people with learning disabilities to improve upon the services available to people with leaving disabilities.

The pilot programme was delivered by TPC Health in partnership with Oxford Health and My Life, My Choice, a self-advocacy organisation for people with learning disabilities.

Participants in the programme attended three workshops over the course of several months, creating group projects before presenting their work at the graduation ceremony in November.

Graduation certificates were presented by Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford Academic Health Science Network. He said: “This innovative programme will make a difference in the long-term, particularly on the health and social care organisations who have engaged with it.”