Home » Get involved » What can I get involved in

There are a range of ways to become involved in Health and Social Care (HSC). Check out the links below to 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.

Patient and Client Council (PCC)

The PCC has an established a Membership Scheme 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.

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:


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.

Find out more information by clicking here

  • 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 projectretain@ageni.org


  • 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 and 10,000 More Voice initiatives 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.


  • Draft PPI Guides – feedback
    At our successful Developing PPI guides workshop on the 25 June, participants identified that they would like another opportunity to review the PPI guides that are currently available in draft format. If you wish to view and provide feedback, please do so at the link below.
  • Development of practical PPI Guides. – for workshop participants and other interested parties. (Please note: this page is password protected)

If you would like to get involved in the PHA, please send your details to ppi.secretary@hscni.net.

Quality Improvement

HSCQI (Health and Social Care Quality Improvement) is a ‘movement’ in health and social care services in Northern Ireland working together to focus on improving the quality of the services we provide/use, and sharing good practice so that we can all learn from each other and spread improvements.

Anyone (service providers, service users, members of the public) interested in improving our health and social care services can become part of the HSCQI movement. Check out how to get involved in QI work here.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)

RQIA has established a Membership Scheme to improve its engagement with service users and their families.  Further information and registration details available here.


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.

Department of Health (DoH)

  • Planned Health Care procedures – Opportunity to help shape services for Varicose Veins
    As part of the Transformation of the health service in Northern Ireland, Elective Care Centres will be developed.  These Centres will be established within existing hospital sites and perform routine and planned for procedures in non-complex areas such as removal of cataracts, gynaecology, ENT, varicose veins and urology.    It is anticipated that all patients should have an improved experience by receiving more rapid assessment, more timely care and better outcomes.  The locations of the Centres are yet to be decided.Phase one of this work involves the development of a new service model for the surgical treatment for varicose veins and cataracts.  The new service model will be developed with people who deliver the service alongside people who use the service.  This is in line with the vision set out in Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together.

    We are seeking members of the public, patients or carers to participate in the Varicose Veins Group.  We are asking you to join us to shape the new service.  This will involve attending up to four meetings and two half day workshops, all to be hosted in the Antrim area and take place by January 2019.  Tele and video conference facilities will be available. If you would like to get involved, please send an email by Friday 17th August to Aaron.Thompson@health-ni.gov.uk to register your interest.

    Preparation for meetings will include reading background information which will all be issued in advance. An induction will be provided for anyone interested in getting involved.  Participants will be paid out of pocket expenses including, reimbursement of travel, care costs etc and further information on why it is important for your voice to be heard in Health and Social Care may be found here

    If you are interested in getting involved in this project or getting involved in wider work to help shape Elective Care Services, please contact Aaron by emailing Aaron.Thompson@health-ni.gov.uk

  • Reform of Adult Social Care and Support project
    The DoH is current recruiting family carers to join an Independent Expert Carers Panel as part of the Reform of Adult Care and Support project. Further details regarding the programme of work and recruitment process may be found here.


  • Transformation Work streams
    In line with Delivering Together, the DoH has established a number of transformation work stream groups to progress key areas of work in partnership with service users and carers. Further details may be found here.