Integrating Care for Older People: New Care for Old, a Systems Approach

By Christopher Foote; Christine Stanners | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
Involving the Users

Our ideas have been listened to but have they been beard?

Member of a user panel in Camden, 1996

We cannot benefit from patient feedback unless we are ready to bear what patients have
to say
.

Thomas Delbanco (1996)

In this chapter we consider the relationships of the older person to the systems and
how these might be fostered both individually and as groups and communities. We
review briefly the approach to the legislation framed to involve users in consultation
and service planning - an approach which changed from the consumerist to the part-
nership model. The partnership between user and provider is explored, and the devel-
opment of the civic model is discussed. We look at ways of involving older users and
potential users that have proved successful in EPICS and in other local and national
initiatives. These include: older people’s conferences and panels; govern-
ment-sponsored initiatives such as From Margin to Mainstream and Better Govern-
ment for Older People; the Debate of the Age carried out by Age Concern; local
action groups; a national advisory group for older people; the use of focus groups and
citizens’ juries; and the involvement of older people in project development as volun-
teers.

The experience of developing an integrated care system with older people has demonstrated that making them the central focus was the key to integrating agencies,

-190-

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