10. Is planned and led locally in a way which is engaged with the community (including in particular service-users, those who look after service-users and those who are involved in the provision of health or social care)
People must be enabled and encouraged to participate and share control, at all levels, in the planning, development, delivery and improvement of care and support. Their expertise and experiences should be at the heart of shaping local priorities, service planning and investment.
Individually and collectively people using services, carers and staff may require support to develop new skills to be involved in ways that suit them and to effectively shape and lead services. They may also need opportunities to participate in different formats, and at different times and places, in order to get involved meaningfully. People need to be confident that their engagement will make a difference and that they are genuine partners.
People who use services and their carers are often best placed to describe what support or services would make their lives better and equally what does not work, or has not worked in the past. Equally, the workforce in the statutory, third and independent sectors has experience and knowledge of the local landscape and of the challenges faced in delivering services and support.
People at the frontline – whether accessing or delivering care and support – should drive change. They should experience a culture within organisations and planning structures that empowers them to take a lead. They should be involved at all stages and have the opportunity to help shape how engagement can best happen.
Proactive efforts must be made to involve people who face the greatest barriers to being heard and who currently experience the poorest outcomes. If this does not happen there is a risk that inequalities will be maintained or made worse.
Email: Frances Conlan
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