This blog post will explore the collaborative process used to create a Terms of Reference to guide the work of the Experts by Experience Reference Group, which is facilitated to:
Advise, challenge and work collaboratively with the Programme Board for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, and the Managed Clinical Network for Perinatal Mental Health with the views of people with lived experience in mind.Experts by Experience Reference Group Terms of Reference
We began by discussion of the limitations of video-conferencing, which are much discussed, as well as the advantages, which included the involvement of those from all over Scotland, something that might not have been possible if we had to meet in person.
We agreed it was important to acknowledge the contributions of everyone, and the time given to allow us to get to this point. Attendees included volunteer members of the Experts by Experience Group, members of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Directorate and the Perinatal Mental health Managed Clinical Network. It was facilitated by me, as the Participation Officer for Maternal Mental Health Scotland.
To focus our minds, we considered the following statement:
We continued with a discussion of our assumptions – things we agreed were the starting point of this discussion.
We followed with a chat about the group’s purpose and role.
Another key discussion point was understanding how our views and experiences, and those of others would be acted upon.
We knew that a meeting “in real life” would have had flipcharts and post-its, and other visual tools to share points of view, so we used the “Share Screen” function on Zoom to keep track of the comments in real time. Sticky notes filled up the screen, and while the notes were being made by one person, the whole group could make changes and check for understanding.
The notes were incorporated into a document that was circulated around the group. After 3 iterations, our Terms of Reference was born.
We intend to go back and review the ToR soon, to see if it’s working for everyone.
Please contact clare.thompson (at) maternalmentalhealthscotland.org.uk for more information.