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Levels of involvement

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Getting involved with the health and social care services and associated organisations can be at five different levels.

You might like to think at which level your circumstances might allow you to become involved as there is a level suitable for everyone. Use the checklist to help you decide which level of commitment best suits you.

Level 1 - home based involvement

What is involved if I choose this level?

  • You may be sent information about plans to change or improve local or national health and social care services.
  • You may be contacted occasionally to take part in a questionnaire or a telephone interview to give your views on proposed changes.
  • You may be sent draft copies of information for patients/carers (brochures, booklets, leaflets etc) so that you can provide your comments before they are printed.
  • This may be done via the post or via email, text or social media (usually the free electronic methods are preferred nowadays)

What do I have to do to become involved at this level?

Contact an organisation directly that you are interested in (usually through the “Get Involved “ tab on the website) and ask to be put in touch with  public involvement staff. Your personal information will be stored securely and will not be passed onto anyone else without prior consent.

Benefits of involvement

You will be kept up to date with improvements that are made to local health and social care services.

Your comments and views will help to inform service proposals and changes and to ensure that information for patients/carers is clear and easy to understand.

Time commitment 

Minimal and also up to you! All aspects are optional.

When you are sent information, you can choose when to read it.

If you are contacted for your views or comments, you can choose whether to take part or not. It is anticipated that you would only be contacted about twice a year.

Reimbursing expenses

There will be no expense to you. If you are sent information to comment on, you will be provided with a pre-paid reply envelope.

Training required

No training is required

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Level 2 - discussion groups

What is involved if I choose this level?

You may be contacted occasionally and invited to take part in a discussion group or focus group. These can be face to face or virtual discussion groups using technologies or social media.

You may be contacted and invited to take part in a planning forum or workshop.

The groups and forums will discuss current provision of health and social services and/or a proposed area of development or change.

What do I have to do to become involved at this level?

Contact an organisation directly (usually through the “Get Involved “ tab on the website) and ask to be put in touch with  public involvement staff. Your personal information will be stored securely and will not be passed onto anyone else without prior consent.

Benefits of involvement

The comments and views that you provide will be used to influence current service provision and inform proposed developments.

You will therefore play a part in influencing local health and social care service provision.

Time commitment

Up to you!

It is anticipated that you would only be contacted once or twice a year and then it is entirely up to you whether you take part or not.

Reimbursing expenses

If you decide that you would like to take part in one of the discussion groups or planning forums, then your travel and parking expenses will be reimbursed. Refreshments will also be provided.

Training required

No training is required although helpful.

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Level 3 - involvement forums

What is involved if I choose this level?

You may be invited to attend a six monthly or yearly public involvement and support forum, run by your local network or board.

At the forum you will be provided with information. You will have the opportunity to share and network with other people living with long term conditions. You may be invited to comment on patient/carer information that is being produced. You will have the opportunity to give your views about the provision of health and social care services and these views will be fed back to the local network or health and  social care service.

What do I have to do to become involved at this level?

Contact an organisation directly (usually through the “Get Involved “ tab on the website) and ask to be put in touch with  public involvement staff. Your personal information will be stored securely and will not be passed onto anyone else without prior consent.

Benefits of involvement

You will be kept up to date with improvements that are made to local health and social care services.

Your comments and views will help to inform service proposals and changes and to ensure that information for patients/carers is clear and easy to understand.

Your will have the chance to meet other people living with long term conditions and their families/carers and to learn from and support each other while playing a part in influencing local health and social care service provision.

Time commitment

Up to you!

It is anticipated that the forum meetings would be once or twice a year and last for about 2-3 hours, but it is entirely up to you whether you attend or not.

Reimbursing expenses

Travel expenses will be reimbursed and refreshments provided.

Training required

No training is required but strongly advised.

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Level 4 - local representation

What is involved if I choose this level?

You will be invited to attend a Voices Scotland support session, to learn about what is involved in becoming a public representative. If you choose to pursue this role, you will be invited to become a public representative on a local health and social care network or service improvement working group.

You will play an active part in the network or working group, representing the views of other members of the public. You may also be involved at Level Three involvement forums. You will be provided with ongoing support from the network’s staff and the Voices Scotland team.

What do I have to do to become involved at this level?

Just give us your name and contact details to your trainers or the local representative that comes to the training. Ask them to keep you informed if opportunities come up. Alternatively, contact an organisation directly (usually through the “Get Involved “ tab on the website) and ask to be put in touch with  public involvement staff . Your personal information will be stored securely and will not be passed onto anyone else without prior consent.

Benefits of involvement

You will have the opportunity to represent the views of other patients and carers, helping to get their voices heard.

The views you present will be taken into account , both with regards to current service provision and also proposed developments. You will therefore play an active part in influencing local health and social care service provision.

Time commitment

Most networks or service improvement working groups meet once every 1, 2, or 3 months. Ideally you will attend as many of these meetings as possible.

Reimbursing expenses

Travel expenses incurred in attending working group meetings will be reimbursed by the organisation running the group.

Training required

‘Voices Scotland’ training can be provided free of charge, strongly advised.

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Level 5 - regional, national  and international representation

What is involved if I choose this level?

You will be invited to attend a Voices Scotland support session, to learn about what is involved in becoming a public representative. If you choose to pursue this role, you may be invited to become a public representative within an  NHS Board, one of the other NHS Organisations or a national project. You may be invited to speak at an international conference.
You may also be involved at Level 3 - Involvement Forums and Level 4 - Local Representation.

You will play an active part in the working group, representing your  views and those of others.  You will be provided with ongoing support from the health or social care service body you are involved with and the Voices Scotland team.

What do I have to do to become involved at this level?

Just give us your name and contact details to your trainers or the local representative that comes to the training. Ask them to keep you informed if opportunities come up. Alternatively contact an organisation directly (usually through the “Get Involved “ tab on the website) and ask to be put in touch with public involvement staff. Your personal information will be stored securely and will not be passed onto anyone else without prior consent.

Benefits of involvement

You will have the opportunity to represent the views of other people helping to get their voices heard.

The views you present will be taken into account on an ongoing basis, both with regards to current service provision and also proposed developments. You will therefore play an active part in influencing local health and social care service provision.  You may find yourself sharing good practice at international conferences along side health and social care staff.

Time commitment

Most regional and national working groups meet once every 1, 2, or 3 months.

Ideally you will attend as many of these meetings as possible. It is anticipated that national meetings will be once or twice a year.  International conferences are usually annually.

Reimbursing expenses

Travel expenses incurred in attending regional or national meetings will be reimbursed by the organisation running the group.

Training required

Voices Scotland training can be provided free of charge, strongly advised.

Further information

To find out more about Voices Scotland becoming a representative or joining our database go to our contact us page.

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