Engaging stakeholders

Localities will want to use existing mechanisms to involve a wide range of stakeholders, as appropriate, in the discussions.

A helpful starting point is existing local work with stakeholders. For example many local authorities are ‘mapping’ the range of mechanisms that local public services use to involve older people. This is part of their response to John Elbourne’s 2009 Review of Older People’s Engagement with Government. The information on regional and local forums is often held by the regional government office.

Both the NHS practice guide and the Social care practice guide have material on involving older people in shaping local services. A key message here is the need to work with existing mechanisms for people of all ages at a local level.

The Age Discrimination Review Group will want to draw up a list of potential stakeholders to approach. Some of these will regard age discrimination and equality as a central issue, for others it may be one issue among many.

Consider including the following:

Service commissioners

  • PCT commissioners for all services
  • Regional specialist commissioning teams and potential outposts of the National Commissioning Board
  • Social services commissioners for both adult and children’s services
  • Practice based commissioners and potential GP commissioning consortia

Service providers

  • NHS trusts and foundation trusts
  • community-based health services
  • primary care contractors (GPs, general dental practitioners, opticians, pharmacists, therapists/professions allied to medicine)
  • third and voluntary sector providers
  • public sector-run providers of social care
  • independent sector providers of home, residential and nursing care
  • independent sector providers of health care
  • hospices
  • ambulance services and paramedic teams.

Public and patient representatives

  • Local Involvement Networks (LINks)
  • overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs)
  • local older people’s forums, parliaments, assemblies or networks
  • local branches of the National Pensioners’ Convention
  • local branches of Age Concern, Help the Aged and the Alzheimer’s Society
  • local Stroke Associations and support groups
  • Councils for Voluntary Services
  • local carers’ organisations and support groups
  • other specific interest groups.

Staff organisations

  • trades unions representing health and social care staff
  • professional representative organisations locally such as the local medical committee and local branches of the British Geriatric Society, Royal Colleges

Partners and partnership groups

  • the local strategic partnership
  • departments within the local authority (housing, leisure, learning, communities etc)
  • local equality groups and forums
  • local partnership boards on age, ageing and older people’s services
  • local personalisation networks focusing on the transformation of adult social care.

PCTs will have done work as part of their preparation for World Class Commissioning Competency 3 on engaging the public and patients of all ages.

Other work will have taken place to prepare for the Audit Commission’s Total Place and Comprehensive Area Assessments. It is particularly important to consider ‘seldom heard’ groups and organisations working with or supporting people who may experience exclusion and/or dual discrimination (age combined with other protected characteristics such as disability, race, sexual orientation and gender).

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Nurse helping an old lady

Materials to help with engaging people

The following items in the ‘Resources’ section may be useful:

  • Partnership readiness check (PDF)
  • Achieving age equality in health and social care: how you can help. A leaflet to introduce stakeholders to the topic
    • PDF version - available to download and use
    • Word version - available for you to add in local material and contact details

Slides used at the regional consultation events: