Meaningful participation ensures that service users are provided with an opportunity to have a voice that can lead to real, sustainable change. This helps build organisations and services that are more cost effective and can help to create more positive outcomes, as the organisation respond to what the people who use their services tell them.
Advantages of service user participation to organisations and services:
- A more cost effective service
- Greater control for clients over the services that they receive
- Improved communication
- Better understanding by service providers and clients of each others’ problems
- Greater satisfaction amongst clients
- Improved community spirit
- Management which is more responsive to individual needs and preferences
It is extremely important that participation creates opportunities for service users to influence the operation of services, and participate in the management and development of the organisation. We believe that people who use services are experts on what works and believe that this input is vital to ensure that services are always striving to achieve best practice whilst ensuring the service offered is relevant.
SEA can help organisations achieve meaningful service user participation in a variety of ways. We would work with your service and staff to create participation that reflects the needs of your service.
Some of the ways in which SEA have helped organisations with participation include:
- Consultation events with service users
- Training of staff and teams
- Devising projects that encourage people to take part and make a difference
- Service User Recruitment panels
- Review and creation of promotional materials
- Service users reviewing policies and procedures
- Service user representation at meetings on all levels
- Staff appraisals
Meaningful participation at its best!