consulted or excluded?
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consulted or excluded?

Rosemary Gray Speech and language therapists, Lothian Primary Care Trust, East Lothian Health Care Co-operative
Lucie McAnespie Speech and language therapists, Lothian Primary Care Trust, East Lothian Health Care Co-operative

To enable people with learning disabilities to take up their right to public involvement the process must be meaningful. Rosemary Gray and Lucie McAnespie describe how, by using an inclusive communication approach, they helped people with a range of disabilities to have their say

We live in a culture in which national and local policy drivers emphasise the need to take public opinion into account. Indeed, public involvement and consultation should be central to all aspects of service planning and provision. In health, for instance, the Scottish White Paper Partnership for Care (Scottish Executive 2003) requires the public to be involved in discussions about the changing pattern of healthcare services. It is recognised that for services to be responsive, appropriate and effective there should be public involvement at all stages of considering change or planning improvements. This need for consultation, along with the provision of information for service users and carers, is reinforced in the core principle that service users are active partners and are empowered to have ‘an informed influence on service planning, development and delivery’ (King’s Fund 1998).

Learning Disability Practice. 7, 6,30-32. doi: 10.7748/ldp2004.07.7.6.30.c1581

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