Before You Start

Before you begin a programme of participation, it is important to consider the following points.

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Selecting a suitable tool for your purposes

The aim of all participation work is to improve services, care and individual patient experience. The tools you select will depend on whether your aim is to involve people in shaping local services or as partners in decisions about their own treatment and care based on the question ‘What matters to you?’ Such decisions may include how best to maintain independence in the community and manage any long term conditions that individuals may live with.

In line with the Link opens in a new windowNational Standards for Community Engagement, statutory agencies should work with local people to plan how they will work together.

It will often be appropriate to use different tools depending on the needs and wishes of the people you are working with. See the list of tools for more information.

Listening to ‘seldom heard’ groups and supporting people with additional needs

When planning to involve ‘seldom heard groups’, information about the population in each NHS Board area should be sought from their lead officer for Equality, Diversity and Human Rights. Equality Impact Assessment will help to identify the groups that may have been overlooked in the past.