The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care
Culture - Action points
- Map the different levels at which participation occurs, ranging from how service users are involved in daily decisions to strategic decision-making. This will help identify participation 'champions’ and areas that need improvement.
This morning [support worker] gave me cup of tea, give me breakfast. I say, 'Hello’, no [reply], nothing, did not speak to me and did not sit next to me, sat a couple of seats along…I don’t feel like I’m in control of my own life. (Service user)
- Identify which attitudes lead to service users being excluded and develop ways of changing them.
I know that sometimes I can come across as the 'angry disabled person’ which confirms all their negative stereotyping but is usually more about me feeling very vulnerable and confused because my access needs are ignored. (Service user)
- Agree on shared values and be honest about what is likely to result from participation.
It is about being empowered. It is about recognizing that [organisations] understand and have acted from a social model understanding. It is important to listen to what disabled people say. It should be an information exchange. Need to be honest, for example, 'this is what we hope to achieve’…..’Your views will be fed to [practitioners] in such and such manner.’ (Service user)
- Make sure that there are mechanisms for accountability and admit when mistakes have been made or when there are problems with the service.
Whoever is running it must report back to the service users. They don’t listen. All they say [is that] they are not responsible for whatever it is you are talking about. It is never their fault. You are forever talking to the wrong person. They always have excuses. (Service user)
- Acknowledge the contribution made by service users.
Partnership needs to be there, not workers hijacking ideas. [We] need to be equal partners. (Service user)