Changing social care: an inclusive approach
Stakeholder participation - Map your wider stakeholder group
- Think about who your stakeholders (or customers) are, and consider how they might assist or hinder change.
- Be aware of the different ways in which
external stakeholders can be engaged. These include:
- board member appointments
- holding local forums and events
- organising workshops and action groups
- developing networks of users and providers
- appointing them as evaluators or inspectors
- appointing them as part of staff hiring committees
- developing partnerships between user-led organisations and providers.
- Consider who (people who use services, leaders and/or workers) might be best placed to engage stakeholders. Identify a ‘champion’ who is particularly enthusiastic about partnership working.
- Communicate your plans for change clearly and at an early stage.
- Consider inviting stakeholders to identify any expertise or experience they have that could help with the change.
Two studies of health and social care providers in the UK and Canada show how public forums were used during organisational restructuring. These forums allowed for a mixed representation of stakeholders who set the agenda and were given equal time on the floor. Follow-up sessions were held to keep the momentum going and care was taken not to over-professionalise – i.e. to avoid using bureaucratic jargon or other behaviour which can make people feel excluded(Lord et al. 1998; White 2000).
How we know this
- Research suggests a number of ways of formally engaging with stakeholders, including:
- board member appointments (e.g. service user-led organisations)
- local forums and events
- workshops and action groups
- provider and user networks
- inspector/evaluator appointments
- staff hiring committee appointments (Elder-Woodward 2002; Evans and Banton 2001; Lord et al. 1998; White 2000).
- Dedicated stakeholder involvement and funding will help organisations to feel more confident about facilitating meaningful involvement (Naylor et al. 2002).
- Organisations who value diversity should have the following in place, which can support stakeholder involvement:
- recognition of the impact of exclusion and oppression on users’ lives and society as a whole
- flexible organisational structures that can accommodate different types of involvement and changes
- competence and knowledge about disability, ethnicity and class
- knowledge of local communities (Chahal and Ullah 2004; Evans and Banton 2001; Vernon 2002).