At our annual general meeting (AGM) on the 20 November we shared our DRAFT position statement which outlines our ideas on effective public participation.
Why a position statement on participation?
Why a new position statement now?
Healthwatch Lambeth has been supporting local engagement activities since we began but we want to be more proactive now so that we can play our part in Lambeth Together.
Our role is to ensure that local people are involved in shaping and improving local health and care services. As part of our new strategy, we want to help Lambeth Together to deliver effective participation opportunities and support the community to take part.
Over the last few months, we’ve been reflecting on the work we’ve done so far, taken part in International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) training and looked at different thinking on co-production.
We’ve come up with eight key ideas on participation to help shape our approach, which we’d like to get feedback on from people in Lambeth.
Our eight key ideas on Participation
You can access the document here.
Our eight key ideas are:
- People have the right to be involved in shaping and improving services.
- Public participation is a spectrum (or ladder) that provides a range of opportunities for people to be involved.
- Each aspect of the spectrum offers benefits and none of the approaches is better than others.
- The best place on the spectrum for an engagement activity will depend on the decision or question that needs answering. A project may visit different places on the spectrum as it progresses. This may or may not include co-production (sharing power between services and people).
- We must be honest from the start about who has the decision making power in each project and what is on and off the table
- We must be clear and transparent about which members of the public are or should be involved in particular projects. For example, this might include service users, people who need a service but don’t currently use it, previous users, carers and families, and the wider community.
- Participation projects need to be designed with the principles of equality, diversity and accessibility at their heart.
- Good information provision for everyone involved is essential to every stage of a participation project, including giving people feedback on the outcome.
What do you think about our ideas?
- This position statement is a draft. We want your feedback on these ideas. Do you agree with them? Have we forgotten something? Tell us your views:Come along to our coffee morning on 12 December [link to coffee morning ad anchor]
- email your comments to email@example.com
- call us on 020 7274 8522
We will publish the final version of our participation ideas in January 2020 to help guide our future work.
We are also talking to the Lambeth Together team about how we can support the delivery alliances to design their public involvement activities for the year ahead.
More about our AGM
First of all, thank you to everyone who attended our event! It was a great turnout.
We’d like to thank everyone who attended our AGM on the 20 November, ranging from partners in the local voluntary sectors, Lambeth commissioners and service representatives, researchers and people from the community, including a couple of young people.
Councillor Ed Davie set the tone by commending the positive experience with services in Lambeth he has had – but also noting that this is by far not everyone’s experience in Lambeth, and that is why we all need to work together to improve things. He touched on the difficulty of balancing power sharing and managing expectations when involving people, and highlighted that being honest about these things is key to good public involvement.
Groups used our framework to think about what appropriate involvement should look like on some example topics,
After presenting our own key ideas on effective participation, we ran workshops to begin exploring how local people could get involved in upcoming key decisions or issues for each of the Lambeth Together delivery alliances:
- Choosing outcomes for last years of life
- Assessing the effectiveness of mental health crisis support
- Shaping local prevention services
- Deciding the direction and priorities of the children and young people’s partnership.
Each workshop explored:
- Which local community members could or should be involved in that decision process
- How much power should they be given
- What issues or barriers might there be to their participation.
Common barriers that were identified included:
- lack of time to attend meetings
- lack of publicly available information to shape our thinking around what needs to change
- decision making structures centred around professional frameworks which are not accessible to local people.
The full notes from the workshop will be shared with the Alliances to help shape a participation plan for each issue.