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Service user involvement: Alcazar Court

Report, evaluation | November 2011

This paper, prepared by IPC, describes and evaluates a `Question Time` event staged by Enfield Council to let service users put questions directly to providers bidding for a contract to supply Extra Care Housing at one of its sites, Alcazar Court. IPC, which also served as facilitator to the event, assesses proceedings against best practice guidance for service user involvement set out by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), and offers recommendations for future refinements intended to be of wider use to other local authorities designing similar commissioning projects.

The event is assessed in three stages - its planning, its delivery on the day, and the gathering of user feedback afterwards. In each case, the evaluation first sets out SCIE guidelines, which include:

Clear prior agreement on the purpose of the exercise

  • Timely and appropriate promotion of the event to residents
  • Selection of a venue and format that maximises potential engagement by the greatest number of residents
  • The importance of advocates to represent the views of those not willing or able to speak themselves
  • Timetabling and duration of event sensitive to user needs
  • Establishing a clear method of scoring provider responses consistent with all participants` abilities
  • The importance of gaining user feedback on the event, but also feeding back to them how their findings have been used.

Details of the specific programme employed by Enfield are provided for comparison, section by section, and also set out in more detail in two appendices. The paper concludes that, driven by the active commitment of the project lead, the Enfield event was successful and in line with guidelines in most areas.

For further information please contact Philip Provenzano at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088