Service change resources

Service change resources

Supporting effective engagement when redesigning health and social care services

Health and social care providers are required to work effectively with people when they are reviewing or redesigning health services.

Effective engagement when proposing changes to services means working with people who use, or may use, services to make sure that they:

  • understand the reasons for change
  • have had the opportunity to ask questions, and
  • feel their views have been listened to and taken into account.

Health and care providers should focus on 4 key areas to ensure they engage effectively when proposing changes to services:

  1. Involve people early – Involve those people who use the services, or who may be affected by any potential changes, as early as possible. This should, where possible, be part of ongoing engagement, and become more focused to inform the development of any proposed change. Providers should continue to involve people and communities and keep listening to their views throughout the process.
  2. Make information readily available – Ensure all information provided to the public is accurate, balanced and easy to understand. Information should be readily available to the public and provide enough detail for people to understand the reasons for change and to reach an informed view. Providers should also explain how people can influence the decision-making process.
  3. Give people enough time to participate – Give people enough time to read and reflect on the information provided, participate in engagement events and provide their views and feedback. Information should be provided in different ways to support people to have their say – for example, through social media, meetings with the public and news articles.
  4. Explain the decision-making process – Explain who will make the final decision on a service change proposal and be clear about what information will be taken into account. Providers need to demonstrate how they have considered and responded to people’s feedback when they make their final decision.

(December 2019)

Last Updated: 23 September 2020