Make your NHS engagement count – part three, an alternative
In our last blog we talked about the pros and cons of holding public meetings to engage with people. But there are other ways of doing it…
Now that Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) have been published, setting out the future vision for health and social care services in different areas, some localities are gearing up for formal consultation on proposed changes.
When there’s a need to change services quite quickly (perhaps because they’re not meeting the need of patients), it can be a challenge to put an effective engagement programme together in the time available.
Here lies the value of alternatives to set-piece public meetings, because they can ensure a greater range of people are reached. This is where good planning, research and knowledge of your area come to the fore.
By identifying the key groups within your local community and the organisations that represent them, you can be more targeted in your engagement.
This doesn’t mean the public as a whole can’t contribute their views and issues (via surveys, for example). But targeting helps you to reach the groups likely to be most affected by the proposals in question.
Who’s going to need support from health and social care the most? We know more older people are living with multiple long term conditions. So are there local groups or charities which support these people, their families and carers? Can you attend one of their meetings or organise one and invite them to it?
All of this takes time and resource. But as public sector organisations are constantly looking for better and more cost efficient ways to do things, ensuring that local citizens have genuine input into decision-making should be a core activity.
If it’s not, you might want to contact us.