It’s Time to Listen to Service Users

Dementia Care
October 12, 2017

Paul Burstow is the new chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence and a former Liberal Democrat MP.

He was in the news last week for saying that he thought that the “lived experience” of service-users needed to be at the centre of the social care debate if MPs and local councillors were going to take notice.

He also said that charities have been “very good at promoting [their] own activities” but not necessarily always at providing opportunities for their “beneficiaries” to highlight their own experiences and feelings.

My Life My Choice is a charity, but we also think that the only people who really know what it is like to use services are the people who use services themselves.

We agree with Paul Burstow – that it’s these people who will be able to convince decision-makers to do what’s best for the health and social care sector.

That’s why all 15 of our trustees are people who have a learning disability

As users and “beneficiaries” of the charity, our trustees provide crucial insights, strong personal motivation, lived experience and often profoundly relevant perspectives that conventional boards of trustees often lack.

Our trustees know what it is like to receive poor health care, the frustration and loneliness of worklessness, and the injustice of being stigmatised.

We think that all health and social care organisations and charities could benefit from having people who use services on their board.

Our Trustees are elected each year at our AGM. This year’s AGM is on Tuesday 7th November at the West Oxford Community Centre.

Readers of this blog are very welcome to attend.




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