Developing the Participation Standard


In December 2007, the Link opens in new windowBetter Health, Better Care: Action Plan was published by the Scottish Government, setting out an ambitious programme of work for NHSScotland over the next five years. A central theme was to develop a 'mutual NHS' which requires new ways of thinking about health and health care:

"We need to move, over time, to a more inclusive relationship with the Scottish people; a relationship where patients and the public are affirmed as partners rather than recipients of care. We need to move towards an NHS that is truly publicly owned... where ownership and accountability is shared with the Scottish people and the staff of the NHS... where we think of the people of Scotland not just as consumers – with only rights – but as owners – with both rights and responsibilities."

This commitment to a mutual NHS included specific actions, one of which was the development of a Participation Standard.

Writing the Standard

A Development Group was established and first met in February 2009 to agree the scope and underpinning principles for developing the Standard. It was agreed that the Standard should be developed in partnership and build on existing standards, guidance, tools and policies in order to rationalise, integrate and align existing materials where possible.

The Development Group provided the outline for a Writing Group to develop versions of the Standard. A draft version was issued for consultation in June 2009. The consultation concluded in August 2009, and the comments and feedback received are available in a summary of commentsPDF document. The extent to which consultation process effectively involved a wide range of people has been assessed in a reportPDF document.

The Standard criteria were approved by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing in October 2009. Further work has been done since then to develop a framework against which each NHS Board will deliver a self-assessment from April 2011. A short-life Participation Standard Implementation Group was set up to complete this work by the summer of 2010 (see below).

Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment

An Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) of the StandardPDF document was carried out in March 2010 to check that it meets the needs of equalities groups and supports their participation in NHS planning and service development.

Participation Standard Implementation Group

The role of the short-life Participation Standard Implementation Group, which came to an end in September 2010, was to agree the documentation needed to support NHS Boards in applying the Participation Standard and in producing their self-assessment paperwork. The Group also agreed the areas to which the Standard will be applied in 2010-2011.

The Group was co-chaired by Karen McNicoll, Head of Communication and PFPI at NHS Borders, and Jacki Smart, Head of Operations at the Scottish Health Council.

Group membership was made up of Patient Focus and Public Involvement leads from both territorial and special NHS Boards (NHS Fife, NHS Highland, NHS Lothian, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS 24); representatives from the Better Together programme, Scottish Government, and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland; along with Public Partnership Forum and patient representatives and Scottish Health Council staff.

At its meeting on 29 September 2010 the Group agreed that the terms of reference had been met, with the exception of objectives 11 and 12 which are to be deleted and replaced with "Make recommendations on evaluation". The Evaluation Group will take forward the evaluation process and the work of the Implementation Group has now come to an end.

Implementation Group Minutes

The following Minutes from the Implementation Group are available to download: