Purpose – This purpose of this paper is to provide details of a project to involve people with dementia in reviewing pieces of work being undertaken by Alzheimer's Society staff. Service User Review Panels (SURPs) were developed as a way to orientate participation around the requirements of service users with dementia. Design/methodology/approach – SURPs took account of the specific communication and other needs highlighted in the literature on involving people with dementia. The underlying principles of SURPs concerned the quality of the relationship between the facilitator and the participants, the process of consent, the types of communication used, and the establishment of ownership. These principles were evaluated using observation of meetings, focus groups with panel members, and semi structured interviews with participating staff. Findings – During the pilot, SURPs fed into the work of the organisation in a number of ways including helping to set organisational priorities, and reviewing the content of tools, materials and policies. They also created increased opportunities for contact between staff and people with dementia. This paper details three examples that illustrate some of the processes involved, the issues that arose, and the learning that resulted. It concludes by outlining some of the factors of success and some of the limitations of SURPs. Originality/value – These findings might be of use to researchers and practitioners wanting to involve people with dementia in their work or their organisation.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 8, 2013
Keywords: Service user involvement; Dementia; Communication; Participation; Organizations