Healthwatch Essex: ‘Introduction to Lived Experience’ training

It is now expected within the health, social care and local government sectors to include work with, or even led by, individuals or communities with personal experience of the services they deliver, especially when seeking to make changes, improvements or launching new initiatives. 

Significant legislative changes, over the past three decades, has made service user involvement obligatory when planning services. 

  • Community Care Act of 1990, which required local authorities to prepare Community Care Plans and to consult service-user groups which used or were likely to use their services.
  • The Health and Social Care Act 2001 placed a further duty on NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities to consult with and involve people in service planning and proposals for change.

There’s also been an increasing focus put on service design, evolving most notably over the last decade towards co-design and co-production initiatives. Good examples can be found where communities have been working with public service providers and commissioners to design the provision of health and social care services to meet the needs of a group and/or local community e.g. cancer patients, mental health and social care services.

For more information on the work of Healthwatch Essex visit and check out the Lived Experience training course.

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