My Experiences in Research

By Andrew Grundy

Two men talking

I have been involved in a programme of research called EQUIP (Enhancing the Quality of User Involved Care Planning) funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Following a groundbreaking training course in research methods, I was invited to be a co-applicant and co-investigator on the EQUIP research programme. The EQUIP research programme was divided into packages called workstreams. Workstream 1 of the programme focused on developing a training resource for mental health professionals.


From the outset, I was involved in co-creating focus group and interview topic guides. I then cofacilitated a number of focus groups with stakeholders in Manchester and conducted interviews with service users, carers, and professionals around Nottinghamshire. I then led work on analysing the service user data-subset. By synthesising all of this data we produced our training package. From questionnaire studies, we also co-produced a new tool to measure involvement in care planning (a Patient Reported Outcome Measure) and an audit tool.


In Workstream 2 we evaluated the training package through a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial. After a ‘train the trainers’ course, I was involved in co-delivering the training intervention on service user/carer involved care planning to community mental health teams around the East Midlands. I led work reviewing the delegate evaluations of each training session. I also assisted Workstream 3 (implementation of the training) by co-facilitating clinical supervision with teams and mapped the organisational context of care planning within one local Trust. For Workstream 4 (training dissemination) I have co-delivered the training to other Trusts who have been ‘willing adopters’. My paper has been turned into an animation and I have contributed a book-chapter to our forthcoming research methods book. Finally, I’ve also helped produce a video outlining something of our co-production model. Being involved in EQUIP has given me so many research skills, and I now feel that I’m a well-rounded service user researcher!

Andrew Grundy is a mental health service user/researcher. He is currently working as a postgraduate student in the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. His PhD will explore service user perspectives and experiences of ‘risk’ and its ‘assessment’ and ‘management’ in an acute psychiatric setting. Andrew tweets about all things mental health: @acgrundy.