The Council will be working this year to develop a participation and engagement strategy with people who use services. This will build, develop and extend our existing approach which has focused on the last year in the following areas:
- Continuing to develop service user and carer involvement in mental health. Significant engagement has taken place as part of the development of the Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Strategy and the action planning that has come from the development of the strategy.
- Involving direct payment recipients in how the Council introduced the Direct Payments Card and the Direct Payments Support Provider Recognised Provider List.
- Continued involvement of carers in the Carers Advisory Partnership and the Strategy Implementation Group.
- Support to young people to engage through the Children in Care Council and the Youth Board.
- Young people take part in interviewing for Council staff, and this model has been used to appoint some adult services staff.
- The landscape for advocacy services has shifted in the past couple of years, with a huge growth in the number of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard assessments and the corresponding rise in the call for advocacy services to support service users through these processes. The Care Act 2014 also created a new role for advocacy services within adult care processes. The demand for this support is also increasing. The new contract will be in place from April 2017.
- Healthwatch South Gloucestershire gives children, young people and adults across South Gloucestershire a powerful voice locally and nationally. The Healthwatch service in South Gloucestershire works independently from health and social care services. It provides the opportunity for local people to influence the delivery and design of health and social care services in their area to ensure they really meet their needs.