Care services - planning with people: guidance

Community engagement and participation guidance for NHS Boards, Integration Joint Boards and Local Authorities that are planning and commissioning care services in Scotland.

Planning With People – Joint Foreword

Scotland's national and local governments are committed to improving the ways individual people, and communities of people, can be involved in decision-making that affects them.

Nowhere is that more vital than when it comes to the development of the health and social care services upon which we all rely.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Scotland's public services can come together to address challenges. Across the country, we have been doing things differently to engage people in communities about decisions that affect them, and this guidance captures that learning for the benefit of all.

We know that by working together care providers can transform the experience of people who use services as well as the experience of those who deliver them. This guidance will help us achieve that widely and with consistency.

The days of health services and social care services operating in isolation are gone. Now, people expect their care providers to collaborate to develop 'seamless' care. That demands a joint commitment to working in partnership with people themselves to co-create services that suit everyone.

Listening to the views of people who use services, and actively involving them throughout the process of planning care delivery, is a key improvement recommendation of the recent Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland.

During 2021 Planning with people will itself be subject to wide consultation, to ensure that this guidance supports the Human Rights approach and is aligned to the recommendations in Derek Feeley's report. Progress of this will be reviewed and reported over 2022.

Planning with people promotes real collaboration between NHS Boards, Integration Joint Boards and Local Authorities. It sets out the responsibilities each organisation has to community engagement when services are being planned, or changes to services are being planned, and supports them to involve people meaningfully.

Applying this guidance wholeheartedly will help to ensure these legal duties are met, and it will be used to inform assessment of organisational performance.

Fundamentally, good engagement means that services are developed which are effective, safe, value-for-money and meet individuals' needs. And there is no doubt that greater participation brings better outcomes for communities all round.

So, we encourage people in communities across the country to read Planning with people and join the drive to shape the way Scotland's citizens are engaged in shaping the care services they receive. Ultimately, it is their experience that will be the real measure of what impact it is making.


Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Scottish Government
Cllr Stuart Currie, Health and Social Care Spokesperson, COSLA



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