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What’s stopping you from getting involved in Health and Social Care?

Nigel Warburton

What’s the point in getting involved in Health and Social Care and why are people reluctant to get involved? Nigel Warburton, Project Co-Ordinator with the Patient and Client Council explains why the organisation is offering capacity-building training to members of the public, and what the benefits are of taking up this offer.

Involving citizens isn’t a new concept; however its integration as a central responsibility in public services, including Health and Social Care, has become a priority over the past few years.

While it can be seen as a 'tick-box exercise', it's widely agreed that involving people in decision making creates solutions that are co-designed and better reflect the needs of people who use the services.

People have told us that they don’t get involved because they don’t feel they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to do so, and that’s something we are hoping to change. Many people do not realise that they are ‘experts by experience’ and have a lot of knowledge that they can share regarding their treatment and care, or that of a loved one.

Last autumn we developed and offered people in our membership scheme a capacity-building training session. This course offered an insight into the world of Health and Social Care (HSC), and provided participants with top tips on how to get involved. Some areas covered in the programme include:

  • The HSC system and how it works
  • HSC strategies and plans that people should be aware of
  • Useful contacts and the importance of networking
  • The statutory background to Personal and Public Involvement (PPI)
  • The values that underpin PPI and co-production
  • Ways and methods on how to become more involved
  • Levels of PPI, including co-production
  • How to prepare for involvement and meetings
  • How to communicate effectively and have your voice heard.

Feedback from those who attended the training was extremely positive. We are delighted to hear that people are finding the programme useful and relevant, particularly those who are keen to get more involved in the design and delivery of health and social care services.

Edith Shaw, from Belfast, said: “I enjoyed the chance to share ideas. The pace of the course was good, the delivery was clear and there was plenty of opportunity for discussion. The handout with a glossary of terms and contact details for PPI officers is excellent.  

“The content of slides was clear and informative, identifying ways to engage and become involved. The principles of co-production and the questions to ask about involvement were clearly set out. It was informative and enjoyable.”

We are now making this training available to support/condition groups who might want to become more active within shaping and delivering future services.  The training is free, it lasts around 3 hours and can be delivered in your local area.

For more information and to register your interest email or call 028 9536 2550.

What's stopping you from getting involved in Health and Social Care? What could help you get more involved?


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Previous comments ...

Louise Woosey 22-Feb-2018 at 19:35 hrs

I would like to become involved


Oliver Cassidy 20-Feb-2018 at 19:52 hrs

I have just completed a course of treatment for prostate cancer. I intend to become more active in the future regarding contributions to P&CC;


CECILIA O'NEILL 18-Feb-2018 at 19:56 hrs

I have been debating for a number of weeks about making this comment but here goes.I recently lost a dear friend to cancer from diagnosis to death was only three weeks. While they were supported by district nursing and domicillary services and ot etc. What really annoyed me as an ex health professional was that they were supplied with aids such as commode, toilet seat, shower chair and perching chair. None were used but they could not be returned to the health service. I was astounded - penny wise and pound foolish-came to mind.As this was only one individual and there are hundred in the same situation every week/month.In my mind it should economic sense to have one or two sterilisation centers so that such items can be recycled and not be dumped in recycling centers. I feel a lot better now that I have had the chance to say how I feel.


Austin Herron 17-Feb-2018 at 08:19 hrs

This call to participate might perhaps be better served by beginning with the PCC itself in terms of greater information on the structures for decision making and it's ownership by members? Perhaps we could use this platform to allow for some discussion on this matter?


charlie lynn 16-Feb-2018 at 18:37 hrs



NorahBrown-Davis 16-Feb-2018 at 16:03 hrs

I haven’t been much involved because my husband had Alzheimers and has recently died. Also my own health limits me.

Thank you for asking.