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Boosting Involvement in Care
The National Involvement Network is a project in Scotland to boost the involvement of people who user services in the development of those services. Fittingly, the network is composed of approximately eighty people who use services, mostly services for people with a learning disability .
The network had established a Charter for Involvement in 2009, and has relaunched an updated version. The aim is to get services to sign up to the charter, which will demonstrate how well they involve people, or where they need to improve.
The Network intends to produce further tools for services to promote and assess their involvement strategy, and also to become a nationally recognised consultation body in strategy consultations. Another goal is to monitor and evaluate standards for involving people in the services which they use.
What the Charter says about Involvement
The Network is supported by the Scottish Government and the charity ARC (Scotland), A branch of the UK group the Association for Real Change.
The Charter has twelve areas which services sign up for. These can be summarised as:
- The person being at the heart of their own planning
- Living as independently as possible
- Being involved in the community
- Being able to speak up about what works in the service, and about what could be better
- Be involved in the choice of people who support them
- People who use services giving information and training to staff at all levels
- Being involved in policy formation and making policies easy to understand
- To be involved in service decisions
- To be involved in events run by the organisation
- Be involved in ‘Speaking-up’ groups
- Take part in national and local campaigns
- To be able to make complaints
Achievements so far
The Charter has already been signed by over thirty organisations, and hopes for up to a further twenty after its relaunch. The Charter is already reported as having effect in improving services.
The chair of the Network has said that services signing up to the Charter gives the Network confidence that their voice will be heard. The Chief Executive of Turning Point Scotland, a major service provider, stated that:
“We have used the Charter to identify areas where we are doing well and areas we need to improve further. This has been used at a local service level right up to our Board and organisational governance. The framework has helped us immensely”
This is high praise, and it bodes well for the future empowerment of people who use services, as well as for the further promotion in the quality of the services provided.
*All information is correct at the time of publishing