User involvement

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The West Midlands Imaging Network (WMIN) is a group that aims to improve imaging services (X-Ray, CT or MRI scans) for people like you. It is the biggest imaging network of its kind in the country covering a population of 6.3 million people across 15 NHS Trusts which is made up of over 30 hospitals. WMIN focuses on bringing the same services from different hospitals together to benefit patients and staff. 

Over the past year, WMIN has been setting up its processes and is now looking for key volunteers to shape its priorities. These volunteers will be able to contribute to important areas like training staff, improving digital tools and other aspects of patient care. By getting involved with WMIN, volunteers will have a real impact on improving healthcare services in the area.   

Volunteers will join in with the Operational Board which takes place roughly every two months, and their input will be considered as voting members. Some NHS experience as a patient is desirable but no specific radiology or imaging knowledge is required. Any papers and information will be sent ahead of the meetings and the team will provide any additional help. The meetings usually take place on MS Teams, although once a year, the group may meet in person.  

The group is made up of doctors and healthcare professionals, managers, and the public working together, sharing power, responsibilities and knowledge from the start to the end of a project. Some of the key principles of joint working are in the table below. 

Key principles of working together 

Sharing of influence and knowledge  The work is shared, and people work together to achieve a joint understanding 
Include all perspectives and skills Making sure that the team includes everyone 
Respecting and valuing everyone’s knowledge Everyone is of equal importance 
Mutual exchange Everybody benefits from working together and sharing ideas 
Building and maintaining relationships An emphasis on relationships is key to sharing power 

Roles and Responsibilities 

Volunteers need to be someone who would like to help NHS organisations improve services. They should be able to contribute to Board level discussions, in a similar way to non-executives on Trust Boards. Any specific knowledge of imaging is not required.  

Some of the asks the team could include: 

  • Understand the governance of the WMIN 
  • Read through all Operational Board papers and in good time, contact the team where further information, or background is required 
  • Be willing to contribute to developing new ideas  
  • Carry out any agreed role/tasks to the best of your ability 
  • Attend an induction and be able to notify the team if further knowledge/information and education is needed 
  • To be inquisitive and bring forward your experiences to the discussion 
  • Contribute pro-actively to shared decision making 
  • Respect the confidentiality of information shared by other members 
  • Express disagreement in a constructive way that challenges the issue rather than the person 
  • Uphold anti-discriminatory principles and behaviour. This means showing respect for all individuals, groups and communities regardless of differences such as race, age, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and sexual orientation 
  • Value and respect the contributions of patients, carers, staff and NHS practitioners even where these differ from the individual’s own view and perspective 
  • Discuss with the Network Portfolio Manager or the Network Director if you have any concerns about the way in which the team is functioning or any concerns you have about the behaviour of others 
  • Identify and promptly declare any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest.  A conflict of interest could be working for or having involvement in activities, organisations or funders related to the projects 
  • If at any time you wish to withdraw, let the team know at your earliest convenience 

All Trusts along with the WMIN team have a role to play in strengthening the volunteers in our work, both individually and collectively. The Operational Board, where the service users will be mostly active, is responsible for ensuring open lines of communication, sending appropriate and timely correspondence ahead of each meeting. This group additionally needs to ensure that the views of the service users are documented, considered and actioned.  

Each Special Interest Group (SIG) chair needs to be available to respond to requests from the service user representatives. This may be in terms of providing information, data, context, background or education. SIG group members need to be transparent and inclusive, ensuring the views of the service users have been appropriately considered. This method of “closing the loop” allows feedback to the service users so the result of the engagement and involvement may be shared.  

If you think you are the right person to support this important work taking place in the West Midlands, please register your interest by email to:  

or telephone: 07855123665