Developing user and carer centred community care

Sally Corrie
1st Mar 1995

Sustained initiatives to involve users and carers across the range of community care activities can transform care provision - but only if there is sufficient investment from both sides.

Four local authority case-study sites reported significant changes in the way care was planned, managed and delivered.Users, carers and staff working together over two years found that:

  • User and carer involvement for its own sake is irrelevant. Its success should be measured by service changes that have demonstrably improved lives.
  • The first step to effective user and carer involvement is the development of good two-way communication. This is most effective when users and carers help design and lead the consultation process.
  • Once users, carers and staff can communicate effectively, organisations must change in ways which make it possible to respond rapidly to user and carer perceptions and judgements.
  • For relationships to evolve into real co-working, statutory bodies had to support users and carers - through direct payments, access to training, transport etc.
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