The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care
Whole systems approach
Whole systems approaches involve identifying the various components of a system and assessing the nature of the links and relationships between each of them.
Whole systems approaches are a useful way of looking at participation because:
- Organisations must change at every level, from senior management to front line staff, if they want to achieve meaningful participation.
- Participation should become part of daily practice, not a one-off activity.
- Participation operates at different levels. There are many ways to involve service users in different types of decisions. (Kirby et al., 2003b, p144-145)
Wright and colleagues (2006) suggest that different elements of participation can be brought together in a single framework, like a jigsaw puzzle. We thought that this was a useful way to look at participation and will go on to consider each one separately.
Figure One: A whole systems approach to participation
(Wright et al., 2006, p12)