Service user network (DRAFT)

The Service User Network (SUN) is a place for people to connect with each other and use their experiences to influence and shape service developments at the Trust. The group meets monthly and SUN members can get involved in a range of projects that can help develop better mental health or learning disability services at LYPFT. SUN members are people with lived experience of using mental health or learning disability services or those who care about someone who does.

Latest news events and blogs

Welcome to SUN!

Man and woman smiling

We’re Usmaan and Tessa, the co-chairs of the Service User Network at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT). We warmly welcome you to join the SUN and be part of the group of people who use their lived experience to make a real difference to Trust services. Below you can find more information on how to get involved.

Join the SUN and get involved!

The SUN brings people with lived experience together to express their views, share their experiences, explore what works well in our Trust and provide valuable feedback to help develop our services. LYPFT can learn from your lived experience through you getting involved in a wide range of projects. For example, you can:

  • Join a recruitment panel for staff.three people holding hands together
  • Work with others to co design and implement new services.
  • Create information for service users, relatives and carers.
  • Co design and co deliver practice development sessions for staff.

To learn more about our current projects and to get involved email the Patient and Carer Experience team or attend the next SUN meeting on 7 February at The Vinery Centre, 20 Vinery Terrace, Leeds LS9 9LU.

Take a look at our latest SUN bulletin which features many projects SUN members took part in in 2022 – 2023. You can find it in our ‘Downloads’.

You can be involved as much or as little as you want, it’s always up to you.

Here is information about some of our current projects: 

Planning for Discharge – how are you involved?

Are you the relative, friend or carer of someone who has stayed in one of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust’s (LYPFT) acute inpatient wards at the Becklin Centre or the Newsam Centre in the past 12 months?

LYPFT would like to understand your experiences of being involved in planning for when your friend or relative was, or will be, discharged from the ward.

This will help us to understand what works best and what could be done differently.  Please fill in the Carers and discharge planning survey

Thank you very much for your help with this!

Reducing the use of restrictive practices at LYPFT

Restrictive practices are best explained as ‘making someone do something they don’t want to do or stopping them doing something they want to do’ (Skills for Care 2014). People with lived experience of restrictive practice or their friends, relatives or carers are developing information about restrictive practice and bringing more lived experience into staff training. The friendly and supportive group meets monthly online and occasionally face to face. New members are always welcome to join the group.

Email the Patient Experience Team to find our more

Lived experience partners Jackie, Tessa and Andrew have been group members since the start.
Jackie says

“I feel really heard in the group, and it feels like we have a real influence.”

Tessa says

“It’s been a great experience so far.”

and Andrew says

“The group is really diverse and members are mainly service users or carers. It’s a really caring group and we are passionate about making change”.

Emma Oldham Fox, LYPFT’s Professional Practice Lead for Reducing Restrictive Practice said

“It is so important to listen to the experiences of service users and carers. I work to create the right organisational culture to reduce the use of restrictive practice, and this cannot be done without the collaboration with service users and carers.”


What is the SUN?

The SUN’s main focus is on improving LYPFT’s mental health and learning disability services. The network brings people together to express their views, share their experiences, explore what works well in our Trust and provide valuable feedback to help develop our services. SUN helps to empower and inspire people through getting involved, sharing their views and giving the opportunity to have their voice heard. This can help with personal recovery and positive health and wellbeing.

Members of staff are also very welcome to attend SUN meetings. The SUN Group is co-chaired by facilitators with lived experience and supported by the Trust’s Patient and Carer Experience Team

Why should I get involved?

Connect, be active, give, keep learning, take noticeYour experiences and feedback can make a difference! Getting involved will:

  • help you to understand why things happen in a certain way
  • support you to gain new skills
  • increase your confidence
  • help you to speak out on behalf of others without a voice
  • support you on your journey to recovery and maintain your wellbeing
  • help you connect with other people
  • enable the Trust to learn from your experiences
What happens at the network meetings?

There is a SUN meeting on the first Wednesday of every month between 1pm-2.30pm. It’s a friendly meeting and everyone is welcome to attend. The meetings take place either face to face or online.

There is usually a guest speaker, and news and updates about involvement opportunities with different services at LYPFT or at other groups in Leeds. SUN members can also bring their ideas or concerns about any Trust service to the SUN meeting. They can discuss how to work together with staff and SUN members, what the next steps may be and get regular feedback.

We have a SUN mailing list to let people know about involvement opportunities at LYPFT. There are many different ways you can be involved and you can do as much or as little as you want to. This could be:

  • giving your views
  • being part of a project group
  • coming to a SUN event
  • filling in a survey
  • being on a recruitment panel
  • taking part in a workshop or discussion
  • helping to plan or deliver staff practice development
  • co-chairing a group.

To join our mailing list, please email the Patient and Carer Experience Team or call 0113 855 6840.

How else can I use my lived experience?

There are other ways to get involved at the Trust and use your lived experience.

Expenses and Payments

LYPFT values the time people give to being involved with our Trust. Each activity you take part in will be at one of three levels. We will tell you which level it is before you decide to take part.

Level A – No involvement payment and no repayment of ‘out of pocket’ expenses.

Level B – Repayment of travel and out of pocket expenses.

Level C – An involvement payment is offered along with repayment of travel and out of pocket expenses.

Please see the attached Summary of Payment leaflet for more details

Meet the Patient and Carer Experience Team

The Patient and Carer Experience Team (PCET) work together with patients, service users, carers, members of the public, and staff to build and shape services, ensuring that their voices have a meaningful impact on positive changes. We offer various opportunities for involvement, such as sharing your views, learning more about LYPFT, connecting with others, and utilising your lived experience with mental health services.

Your input is valuable to us in the design, improvement, and delivery of our services. If you are interested in supporting LYPFT and would like to participate in providing feedback on current developments throughout the trust, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can work towards improving the quality of our services

Meet the Team 

Louisa Weeks, Patient and Carer Experience Involvement Lead

I’m an occupational therapist by profession and have spent most of my NHS career working in acute community mental health services. It’s a real privilege to lead the patient and carer team where we are passionate about driving meaningful change across our Trust, as a direct result of listening and acting upon people’s first-hand experiences of accessing care and support. We encourage our teams and services to work together with people (and their carers) who use our services, to help improve our services, with co production being the gold standard. We are committed to ensure that people from diverse backgrounds have opportunities to get involved.

Helen Thompson, Experience Coordinator 





Rachel Pilling – Carer Coordinator
I joined the Team in 2019 and my main focus is supporting family, friends and carers of our service users to share their valuable insight and experience in service developments and improvements at LYPFT. I also work with all LYPFT services to implement the six standards of the Carers Trust’s ‘Triangle of Care’ framework.




Brown woman with black hair smilingVanessa Johnson – Patient Experience Administrator
I have worked for the PCET since 2018 and recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSC (Hons) in Business Management and Leadership. I am a collaborative team player and am always willing to go the extra mile to complete a task. My passions are fostering involvement of service users and carers and offering individuals outstanding support.

Contact Us

You can contact the Patient and Carer Experience Team:

In writing
Patient and Carer Experience Team
Becklin Centre C/O PALS Office
Alma Street

By telephone
0113 8556840 (open Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm)

By email