This is an NHS England (NHSE) pilot which runs from April 2018 – March 2020 – looking at joint health and social care assessments, which may or may not end up in a Personal Health Budget (PHB).

The cohort we are looking at are people with serious mental illness under the care of Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and eligible for a care act assessment, also people with Learning Disabilities (LD) who also have mental health needs.

Through doing a different kind of assessment which involves asking ‘what matters’ to the individual, we hope to help people who currently ‘fall through the gaps’ in many ways.


We have had an ‘expert by experience’ and his carer as part of the pilot team from the beginning of the pilot. He is from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

The new style of assessment has been co-produced with the individuals and staff who are using it. Fortnightly ‘action learning groups’ have been attended by staff and experts by experience to review learning and feedback.

Several of the individuals who have experienced the assessment have now joined the ‘experts by experience’ team.

Case studies are being written up, and a video widely shared, including with the national NHSE Personalised Care group. You can watch a film here

A workshop showcasing Personalised Care with staff from across the community and mental health trust included a panel of people with lived experience sharing their experiences of care.

Learning and outcomes

Outcome of engagement around design of care and support assessment and plan – the plan is much more fit for purpose, holistic and feedback from individuals includes one very difficult to engage person saying ‘Well done, you listened’.  (See story in Better Conversation video here)


Feedback from the Personalised Care workshop shows the impact the stories of people with lived experience had on individuals:


  • It was a very powerful session which gave me food for thought regarding personalisation and listening to our service users about what matters to them. It has encouraged a group of us who lead community nursing in the Cotswolds to take on the challenge of personalisation and pledging as a group to make some changes to the way we work. Very inspirational and enjoyable session


  • the most valuable element for me was hearing the Experts’ stories and how they have overcome challenges as carers and service-users to forge change and recovery. Those are the direct and tangible local stories that inspire me to think about working differently


  • The experts by experience panel sharing their very personal stories. And realising that everyone has a different story to tell. Everything positive we do doesn’t matter how small it can make a difference to someone

Next steps

The experts by experience will be continuing to contribute to the ongoing work of personalisation within Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and future plans for promoting personalised care.