The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care

Practice example 4: Bromley Health, Social Care and Housing Partnership Board

Characteristics of service users involved

NHS, housing and local government agency for adult service users living in the London Borough of Bromley.

How service user participation within the organisation is ensured

Service users and carers are represented on each of the four partnership groups which report to the Health, Social Care and Housing Partnership Board. Fifty per cent of the Learning Disability group are service users. The Mental Health partnership group employs paid service user consultants but also has volunteer users on its service user sub-group. The other two groups, the Older People and the Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment group both include a number of service users and carers.

What policies on service user participation has the organisation formulated?

The Partnership Board has introduced a set of policies to be adopted by these four groups with regard to service user and carer participation. The policies cover:

A reimbursement policy for out of pocket expenses for service users and carers has been introduced. This covers travel, childcare costs, support and replacement care costs, and stationery.

How are service users supported?

Service users and carer representatives have been asked whether they would welcome training in how best to put forward their viewpoint during meetings, and effective consultation with their fellow service users. There is a reimbursement policy for out-of-pocket expenses. There are plans to bring in induction packs for new service users and carer members. In the case of the Learning Disability group, service users have support workers who assist them in going over the agenda and meeting papers before the meetings, in accompanying them to the meetings, and 'debriefing’ afterwards.

How are the effects of participation monitored, audited, and evaluated?

Monitoring has begun recently. It will look at the numbers of service users and carers attending meetings and how they have been enabled to make a contribution.

What makes organisations succeed in participation?

Contact details

Jenny Stokes London Borough of Bromley, Anerley Town Hall, Anerley Road, London, SE20 8BD 020 8313 4331