USER ADVISORY GROUPS

If you understand the needs and perspectives of the people you care for, you will be able to support them more effectively.

How can we help?

Bringing people together who have lived experience of using a health or social care service can provide valuable insight on its efficacy and drive new and effective ways of working.  This is why user feedback is highly valued as a quality care measure by many health and social care regulators, and why commissioners and service providers seek user feedback when developing services.

Evolving Communities Consultancy creates and supports service user advisory groups for a range of health and social care providers.  User advisory groups are an effective forum to both engage and listen to the views, comments, and experiences of service users, to inform service development and enhance quality of care.  As well as more general feedback about a service, clients may wish to employ an advisory group to evaluate particular aspects of a service or to share ideas about service improvements.

Our approach

We work collaboratively with our clients to define the aim, desired outcomes, and best approach for setting up and running the user advisory group.  We aim to understand the nature of the service and the service users we will be working with, for example, patients, family, or carers, and how best to communicate, engage and work with them.  We recognise that health and social care services often support vulnerable people and manage sensitives issues.  We are tactful, caring, and respectful, and we deliver our work with a human touch and an objective viewpoint.

We deliver a range of communications, engagement, and administration work to promote and manage the advisory group, including recruitment of members, facilitating, and chairing the group.  We provide regular update reports as required and attend board meetings to present updates and findings if appropriate.

Dorothy House Hospice Care

Embedding user involvement and consultation in the service development process.

Our methods

We use a combination of virtual, remote and face to face engagement techniques when working with user advisory groups.  The methods we use will be designed to deliver maximum engagement and insight aligned to the desired outcomes, while being appropriate to the user group and the service.

For example, we might produce and disseminate promotional information about the group, organise and facilitate regular group meetings, carry out one-to-one interviews, or create and deliver questionnaires and surveys.  In addition, user group members might be engaged and trained as peer researchers, to speak with other service users.  This can be particularly effective where people are more comfortable sharing their views with someone who ‘knows how they feel’.

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