Older people can and should have a role in the development of polices and services which affect them. Working arrangements which allow older people's voices to be heard are important to give older people the opportunity to make a real contribution to policy and the development of services.
- Good working arrangements help the Scottish Executive, Local Authorities and service provides get a better understanding of the needs, concerns and priorities for older people and so respond better to these
- At a Scottish level the Executive has taken a diverse approach incorporating four elements - information, consultation, participation and partnership working to respond to the needs of both older people and the Executive
- This includes the Older People's Consultative Forum, chaired by the Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care, which involves representatives from the main older people's organisations in regular meetings with the Executive and Scottish Ministers
At local level, Community Planning is about agencies working together to make sure that people who use the services are involved in the process of planning them. Community Planning aims to ensure the delivery of improved public services which are built around the needs of people who use them.
The Executive commissioned research to:
- Look at how older people are involved in the planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of public services throughout Scotland
- Look for examples of good practice
- Identify barriers to involvement
- Draw some lessons for the future involvement of older people in the Community Planning process
This research work was undertaken by the Royal Bank of Scotland Centre for the Older Person's Agenda and the findings were presented at a conference organised by CoSLA "Involving Older People: Lessons for Community Planning" held on December 1, 2003.
This research will be helpful to those responsible for community engagement and supplements the work on community engagement being carried out by Communities Scotland.