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10th September 2016

Boosting Involvement in Care

Group of Diverse Multiethnic People Teamwork

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:

  1. The person being at the heart of their own planning
  2. Living as independently as possible
  3. Being involved in the community
  4. Being able to speak up about what works in the service, and about what could be better
  5. Be involved in the choice of people who support them
  6. People who use services giving information and training to staff at all levels
  7. Being involved in policy formation and making policies easy to understand
  8. To be involved in service decisions
  9. To be involved in events run by the organisation
  10. Be involved in ‘Speaking-up’ groups
  11. Take part in national and local campaigns
  12. 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

Tony Clarke

Scottish Care Inspectorate Specialist

Tony began care work as a care assistant in care of the elderly here in Scotland in the 1970s. He very much enjoyed promoting activities, interests and good basic care. After a gap to gain a social work qualification, he worked in management of care services, latterly as a peripatetic manager which gave him experience of a wide range of services.

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