There are a range of ways to become involved in Health and Social Care (HSC). This section outlines some of the opportunities which may be of interest to you. You may also wish to register with the Patient and Client Council (PCC) Membership Scheme which has been established as a meaningful way of involving the public on local and regional health and social care issues. To find out more and join the Membership Scheme click here.
Check out the links below to hear about some of the opportunities to get involved and find out about some of the work already taking place across Health and Social Care organisations. Also read the case studies about involvement in practice by clicking here.
Health and Social Care Trusts (HSC Trusts)
There are many ways to get involved in helping HSC Trusts to develop and improve the services which they deliver. Examples include attending focus groups and meetings, involvement on steering groups, committees and forums, and getting involved in research and patient satisfaction surveys.
Check out each HSC Trust website below to hear about current work by clicking on the ‘Involving you’ section for each organisation:
- Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
- Northern Health and Social Care Trust
- South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
- Southern Health and Social Care Trust
- Western Health and Social Care Trust
Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs)
ICPs are collaborative networks of care providers, bringing together healthcare professionals (including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and hospital specialists); the voluntary and community sectors; local council representatives; and service users and carers, to design and coordinate local health and social care services. Find out more about ICPs here.
ICP’s are currently recruiting service user and carer members on a number of ICP Partnership Committees. Further details regarding role and application process may be found here.
Public Health Agency (PHA)
The PHA is the regional organisation established with the following key functions:
• health and social wellbeing improvement;
• health protection;
• public health support to commissioning and policy development;
• HSC research and development;
• leadership of implementation of PPI policy.
The PHA co-ordinates the following programmes:
- Health and Social Care Research & Development
Involving people in research, means involvement in all aspects of the research process as partners, rather than as research subjects. There are opportunities for the public to get involved with us by taking part in research groups, committees and panels to help researchers to:
- Ask the right questions;
- Encourage people to take part in research studies or clinical trials;
- Make sure their research findings are heard;
- Improve care in the future.
- Project Retain
Project Retain aims to support nurse recruitment and retention in care of older people by embedding a culture of ‘open and transparent communication across all bands and disciplines of staff’. At its core is a drive to achieve a truly person-centred service where older people , carers, the public and staff are engaged in a partnership approach to achieving nurse retention in Northern Ireland. Age NI is currently recruiting volunteer facilitators to participate in Project Retain. Age NI Peer Facilitators will assist with the facilitation of focus groups involving a range of bands and disciplines of nursing staff across the five Health Trust and be supported to talk about what really matters to older people who are receiving health and social care services. For more information, contact Age NI at telephone 028 9024 5729 or email email@example.com
- Ten Thousand Voices
Patient experience is recognised as a key element in the delivery of quality health and social care. In line with this the PHA and Health and Social Care Board are carrying out an extensive work across all HSC Trusts with the aim of introducing a more patient-focused approach to services and shaping future health and social care in Northern Ireland. The 10,000 Voices Initiative gives you an opportunity to tell us your experience of receiving health and social care and in particular highlight what is important to you and what matters to you. Find out more information about 10,000 Voices and opportunities to get involvement in current surveys here.
If you would like to get involved in the PHA, please send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patient Participation Groups – General Practice
Patient Participation Groups operate in some GP Practices in Northern Ireland. It is a group made up of service users, carers and the Practice Manager who will meet to discuss the services on offer at the practice and how they can be improved.
To find out more about Patient Participation Groups, the Royal College of General Practitioners has developed an information booklet and DVD which may be accessed here.
Transformation Implementation Groups (TIG’s)
In line with Delivering Together, the Department of Health has established a number of TIG’s to progress key areas of work in partnership with service users and carers. Further details may be found here.