A gap in involvement policies & practice (#1)
I’ve been reviewing a number of involvement policies recently, and now having read through a few, I’ve noticed two gaps I’d not spotted before. I’ll talk about the first one in this post and the second in the next…
One organisation’s policy was all about involving patients and the public in their decision-making committees. At first glance, I thought it was superb! It ticked all the boxes for good practice – a job description and person spec, a fair and transparent recruitment process, excellent training and support. But then I realised – it only talked about patients and members of the public. There was nothing about selecting, preparing or supporting the other committee members.
Involvement is a partnership. So an involvement policy that only talks about one partner is like a marriage-guidance counsellor only talking to one spouse! Both partners need to be encouraged to find ways to work together, to draw on their respective strengths and to develop mutual trust and respect.
I worry that this focus on patients/ the public gives them all the responsibility for making the partnership work – as if it’s just them that makes the difference – when actually it’s about how well everyone round the table works together. Shouldn’t all involvement policies include the ‘other-half’?