Consultation is asking others for their views and involving them openly in decision-making. Unfortunately vulnerable people are often left out of the decision making process, even when those decisions affect their lives. Their views and opinions and how changes will affect them are often not taken into consideration.
SEA uphold the values of The Consultation Charter and its definition of Consultation.
“Consultation is the dynamic process of dialogue between individuals or groups, based upon a genuine exchange of views, with the objective of influencing decisions, policies or programmes of action”
At SEA we believe that people are the experts of their own lives. They are the best placed to come up with solutions. They just need to be asked!
We strongly believe that all consultations should be meaningful. Individuals should be involved in each stage of the consultation process with feedback provided as to what is happening and why.
SEA is well placed to carry out consultations with vulnerable people as we have good links with services that provide support.
Consultations can be carried out in several different ways, including questionnaires, one to one work or through focus groups. Recent examples of consultation work SEA have carried out:
- Healthwatch Nottingham. This will be the new consumer champion for health and social care and will launch in April 2013. The aim is to give citizens a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided locally. SEA consulted vulnerable people in Nottingham about this through questionnaires and putting on an event for people to attend.
- Vulnerable adults plan. Working in conjunction with commissioners from Nottingham City Council we facilitated a series of focus groups. As well as individuals getting their views heard they were able to receive feedback on local decisions that affect their lives.
- Prior to the current administrations spending cuts we consulted with the users of services as to how they would be affected. This involved supporting them to write letters and canvassing opinions via questionnaires. We also did some innovative work through ‘photo voices’ which feature on this website.