The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care
In this section:
- How organisations can develop more participatory cultures.
- Essential ingredients of committed leadership, staff training and informal and formal arrangements.
- Taking different organisational cultures into account.
- How organisations can redress the imbalances of power between them and service users.
There are two things needed for an organisation to succeed in participation. One is the determination to make it work. You must really want this to happen; you must really want to hear the views of service users and take them on board. It has to become part of the aims of the organisation. The other thing is the willingness to …[change]. You can’t simply carry on working in the time-honoured ways of organisations. (Chief Executive, voluntary organisation)
Organisational culture describes the set of beliefs, values, and norms that represent the unique character of an organization, and provide the context for its actions (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). Many people believe that an organisation cannot change without first changing its culture (Davies et al., 2000; Hughes, 1996; Hyde & Davies, 2004). This section looks at the cultural changes that organisations need to make in order to promote service user participation. Subcultures may also develop within organisations (Hofstede, 1998) within different functions, by profession, practice areas, or by level (Adkins & Caldwell, 2004), so it is important to identify if there are any discrepancies in how different parts of an organisation view participation.
See Practice Example for Bradford Metropolitan District Council.