Today’s columnist, Donna Pierrepoint: Forums offer plenty of help

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My care home residents have always been painfully aware that their influence starts and stops inside Broomgrove Nursing Home. But a recent speaker was a true revelation for us.

Melanie Rice came to talk to us about exciting opportunities that mean residents can now influence the shape of services provided for older people in the city. She works in the council’s communities department.

A new Care Act was introduced on April 1, 2015, which makes changes for adult social care. The council is keen to involve more service users in the decision-making process about priorities for the future and plans to improve and develop services in adult social care.

I’m glad to say the council seem very far ahead of the game. Melanie told us about the varied ways for people to get involved. But at the moment there aren’t many care homes involved in the process so I’d suggest others take the opportunity and contact her.

The council regularly take a lot of flak, but they’re doing some great stuff here.

There are five forums that service users, care home residents and their families can now be involved with (people can also choose to access information remotely and send their comments digitally):

n Service Improvement Forums: these are bi-monthly city centre meetings whereby members check the quality of services and plans for the future with managers.

n The Readers Group: check and improve documents.

n Safeguarding Advisory Forum: to discuss issues and provide advice about training and awareness raising.

n Fairer Contributions Commission: advising on financial contributions policy towards the provision of adult social care services.

n Quality Improvement Network: members contribute ideas without having to attend meetings.

There will soon be a forum for Family Carers to discuss issues affecting them and make improvements to services. And there is also a Citizens Reference Group that involves people with plans across Health and Social Care.

To find out information about any of these opportunities, email Melanie and her colleague Christina Shipley at PracticeDevelop@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 2930037.

Visit the Council website at: Care Support

* Donna Pierrepoint, Manager of Broomgrove Nursing Home, Sheffield