Effective Measures of Participation Wanted

Examples of evaluations or research projects which measure the impact of service user and carer participation are required for new good practice guidance by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).  The research – which SCIE has commissioned to Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) – aims to fill the gap in knowledge SCIE identified in the position paper Has service user participation made a difference to social care services? SCIE found that service user and carer participation is not routinely evaluated so the difference it makes to the services people use is therefore unknown.
Principal Advisor on Participation at SCIE and former mental health service user, Pete Fleischmann, said: “SCIE’s work into participation shows real progress in involving people in the planning, development and delivery of services. But the impact of that involvement, in terms of improving outcomes for service users, is yet to be consistently measured. This project will ultimately give everyone in social care the tools to systematically measure the effectiveness of participation activities.”

The research team at SHU includes service users, carers and academics. Professor Mark Doel, who leads the research, said: “Sheffield Hallam is delighted to be awarded the commission and lead on the research into this crucial area. We’re keen to hear from organisations across the social care sector that have developed ways of measuring participation. It’s an opportunity to share good practice and contribute to guidance aimed at improving services for all.

“In particular, we’re looking for imaginative approaches that can be followed up in more detail and lead the way in evaluating participation and developing it.”

SHU will use the research to develop an online SCIE practice guide that will support social care organisations throughout the process of evaluating participation. They are especially keen to hear from organisations in Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure their representation and the relevance of the guidance.

If you have working examples of measuring effective service user and carer participation contact Mark Doel at [email protected] or 0114 225 5854.  To find out more about SCIE and read Position paper 3: Has service user participation made a difference to social care services? visit www.scie.org.uk