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Co-PACT Newsletter September 2022

Dear all

We’re pleased to be back in touch with some exciting information and news from the Co-PACT study. We’ve been busy in September with data analysis so that we can start planning the next phase of the project - the co-design meetings.



In some good news, the NIHR has approved an extension for the Co-PACT study to 31st August 2023 (the original end date was 28th February 2023), bringing the project back on track for completion after delays.


Data analysis update

A review of face to face versus online photovoice workshops has produced pros and cons of both, with these differences considered in the data analysis. This experience will be written up to inform future research.  


Data analysis from the photovoice workshops is nearing completion.  It began with participants developing captions for their images in the second workshops and discussing similarities and differences in their experiences in the third workshops.


Analysis of photographs with participant captions, transcripts of discussions in the third workshops, roadmaps demonstrating key events in a participant’s life, researcher field notes and demographic information, all ensured that voices of lived experience were captured in this process.  The ‘about me’ spider diagrams produced in the second workshops provided rich information for demographic analysis including comorbidity, childhood trauma and age of onset.


Data from staff photovoice workshops and staff focus groups is still to be analysed - the research team’s initial focus has been on core analysis from participant workshops to inform co-design.


Initial findings

Photos and captions developed by workshop participants demonstrate the power of photovoice in raising the impact of hospital regimes and poor communications by staff and service providers, and powerfully communicating experiences pre- and post-detention. Cross-cutting themes have emerged providing clear examples of the system failing people, which will be carried forward into the co-design meetings, along with site-specific experiences.


Planning for co-design meetings

Conversations have started in each of the eight sites to set up the first co-design meetings.  The aim is to have these completed by the end of April 2023, leaving four months for write up and dissemination. The original intention was to conduct three face to face meetings of key stakeholders.  However, this plan has been revised in anticipation of likely problems with securing consistent attendance at all three meetings.  Instead, we will hold initial feedback meetings locally, followed by a main one-day event for each site, and a final knowledge exchange event at national level.  If you know of people who would like to be involved in this process, please contact the research team.


Three phases of co-design

Starting in October, initial feedback meetings will be held at each site (online and/or face to face) with staff, service users and carers, voluntary sector representatives, commissioners etc, to present the data and agree priorities for the main co-design events.


The main co-design one day events will run from December 2022 to March 2023 and will involve stakeholders for each site, considering evidence that speaks to how inequalities manifest and are perpetuated in the implementation of the Mental Health Act.   From these events will come clear and realistic plans to develop and pilot interventions or approaches to reduce detentions and ethnic inequalities in the use of the Act, drawing upon lived experiences.


The final event will be a national level knowledge exchange event, bringing together local stakeholders from the eight sites alongside national stakeholders, to share experiences and determine how what has been learnt from the study translates to changes to the Mental Health Act.


Finally, we’d like to thank you for your ongoing support and engagement in the Co-PACT study.  We will be back in touch in November with updates on the co-design meetings and events.


Please do get in touch with us at if you have any questions or queries. You can also follow us on Twitter @co_pact or check out our website.   


All the very best,

The Co-PACT Research Team