A day spent shadowing a paramedic showed the complex range of skills this role requires, and the emotional side of the work
Involving and empowering people who use health services, and taking their experiences into account, has evolved from being considered good practice to being duties of the NHS. However, evidence suggests that the rate of progress and change has been slow, despite the constant emphasis on the merits of involving and engaging the public and patients. This article, written in collaboration with two service users, reports on efforts by nursing staff working in alcohol addiction to involve service users in setting up and managing the self-management and recovery training initiative at the Brian Hore Unit, part of the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. The article aims to encourage healthcare professionals to appreciate the benefits of proactive patient and public involvement for their organisations and for those who get involved.