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.