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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. Take a look at our opportunities tab to see upcoming projects to get involved in or read case studies about involvement in practice 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.

Find out more about the current work in your HSC Trust area below 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.

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

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:

  • 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.
  • Improving services for women who have experienced recurrent miscarriage
    The PHA is working with Health and Social Care and the Patient Client Council to develop a regional care pathway to help improve local services for women and couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriage. Please click here to find out more information about the event and to register your interest in attending.  Alternatively you can download a hard copy here.


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.

The HSCQI PPI Community of Practice has launched GREAT checklists to support HSC staff, service users and carers to get involved in QI work.  Check out the checklists below:

The checklists link to the PPI Guides available here.

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.

Making Improvement GREAT

The GREAT work has been developed further into an online learning resource. Learn more 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)

      • 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.
      • Implementation of recommendations from the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths The DoH has established workstreams to take forward the implementation of the 96 recommendations arising from the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths (IHRD).  Members of the public can register their interest to be kept informed about developments across the implementation programme by sending their email address to ihrd.implementation@health-ni.gov.uk. They will then be able to receive updates from the programme including details of any published proposals and consultation and engagement events.  Further information regarding the programme of work may be found here.


Health and Social Care Board (HSCB)

Encompass – HSC Patient Portal

The Encompass programme aims to produce an electronic health and care record for every citizen in Northern Ireland. As part of this work, the Encompass team is currently recruiting service users, carers and the public to get involved in the assessment of Patient Portal. The Patient Portal will be developed to give people access to their information and provide a number of different ways to access HSC services digitally, including managing appointments and interacting with the health and care team.


Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS)

NIAS has launched a consultation to find out ways that can improve the delivery of their services.  The proposals seek to introduce changes that will ensure that those with the most serious life-threatening conditions get the most immediate and appropriate response.

To find out more information and to contribute, click here.



National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI)

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) are looking to recruit a new Consumer Lead that will provide vision, leadership and direction, which encourages and enables consumers as individuals and within groups to develop their skills and knowledge, in order to deliver NCRI objectives and desired outcomes.

To find out more information and to contribute, click here.