The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care
Review - Involving service users
- An increasing number of service users are involved in internal or external evaluations. For example, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health has developed a toolkit which uses mental health service users to evaluate the experiences of other service users (Kotecha et al., 2007).
- Service user evaluators or researchers remain under utilised. This may relate to issues about power, or to the shortage of experienced service user researchers, and the lack of systems and resources for capacity-building research skills among service users.
See Resources on Service User Researchers.
- The practice survey identified two organisations that have involved service users in the evaluation process.
- Feedback is an important stage in any review process as it helps ensure that changes become ongoing (Wistow, 2005, v).
- Service users say that user involvement in social care should not just be 'a passive process of feedback but should be a continual and ongoing activity’ (Beresford et al., 2005, p19).
- Different ways of giving feedback should be used so that all service users can share in the process.