We are looking for people from across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) to be involved in helping to develop services for the future.
We will be delivering adult and children’s community health services across the area from 1 April and we’re looking for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to work with clinicians, local managers and senior executives to share their experiences to help shape how services will be delivered moving forward.
The influence of individuals who use services has already changed the name of the forum from Service User/Carer Council to People’s Council.
Janet Rowse, Sirona care & health’s Chief Executive, said: “Our commitment to local people is to work in partnership to build on the strengths of current services and to transform the way we deliver services.
“People are at our heart. Our governance structure included a Service User/Carer Council as a key component with its chair co-opted to our Board. As part of our preparation for the new contracts, we have been working with local people and communities to get their views and they were very clear service users was not a term they liked so we agreed to change.”
Claire Valsler, a volunteer from the initial reference group, said: “We are people and while many of those wanting to be involved do use services; not all of us do. We are also more than just a service user we bring experience and knowledge from a much wider perspective than just using services, we didn’t feel the words service user really represented who we are. We wanted to ensure the words were inclusive for all.
“This approach feels like a great start to how Sirona will operate going forwards. At an unsettling time of change, it is reassuring and encouraging that we can contribute to how things will work.”
Janet added: “A person’s experience of health and care services is really important to us. We want to transform the way services are delivered and continue to ensure that they wrap around an individual’s needs and the needs of their family rather than ask people to fit into the way we provide services. To really understand those needs we need people working side by side with us and the People’s Council is going to be an exciting way to do this.”
The aim is to encourage people to get involved to scope the work of the Council as well as the membership and application process and agree the different areas for involvement.
The only criteria agreed to date is people should either live within BNSSG or be registered with a GP practice in BNSSG.
If you are passionate about ensuring that local people have a strong voice in the way community services are delivered and developed then do please get in touch. This is an unpaid role but expenses will be reimbursed including any caring responsibilities that may need to be covered to enable you to participate. You can get in touch by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org – this notice can be translated on our website using the technology Browsealoud – or by writing to Engagement Team, Kingswood Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, BS15 9TR.
The first meeting of those putting themselves forward will be on 23 April from 10am to midday. The venue is still to be confirmed.