Jim Leyland (Touchstone’s Operations Director – Inclusion) talks about the work Touchstone does to ensure adequate safeguarding for our clients and their communities.

I am really excited in Safeguarding Week to share the work we have been doing at Touchstone with Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board. We were asked to contribute a service user voice to the new Leeds Safeguarding Adults policy and procedure. Colleagues from the board, including the chair of the Safeguarding Adults board, Richard Jones have met with our new service user safeguarding group. This has allowed people with lived experience of mental health and safeguarding to contribute as equals to establishing some key principles and good practice in how professionals work with people to keep them safe.
The first achievement was to establish some top tips which have been embedded into the document, for example ‘being invited to meetings about me and involving me in decisions; ‘don’t make  assumptions about what I want or need’; and ‘workers having ‘stick-ability’ and to work with me even through the tough times’. A further meeting took place earlier this month and the representatives from the board showed service users how their work had been embedded into the new policies and procedures. There was positive feedback and service users felt a real sense of inclusion and showed how a partnership approach can influence change .
The group have been asked to co-write the foreword to the document, using feedback about their experiences, how they have felt about the work being carried out and how they have made a difference. I have also been invited to be the third sector representative at the Learning and Development sub group to the Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board and the service user safeguarding group will be appointing service user to also attend to further our progression in coproduction.