Stronger Voice

From our Conference November 2002

What does a representative do?

Be truly representative Get message across to providers
Check your representativeness Use the media
Consult who you represent Negotiate with providers
Encourage participation Lobby
Feedback Run a campaign

A representative requires…..

  • skills
  • knowledge
  • certain traits
  • and support

…. to be effective

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Skills – learned
  • Knowledge acquired thru experience
  • Characteristics – innate
  • Reps need to recognise and utilise their own strengths and weaknesses, and those of the group

….it all builds confidence

A Stronger Voice

The consumer tests

  • Access- can people get the goods and services they need or want?
  • Choice- is there any?
  • Safety- are the goods or services dangerous to health or welfare?
  • Fairness – are some or all consumers unfairly discriminated against?
  • Information- is it available, accurate and useful?
  • Redress – if things go wrong is there a system for putting them right?
  • Representation- do consumers have a say in how goods or services are provided?

Pilot course with N. Tyneside CHC shadow patients forum – the participants views

“In view of the importance and relevance of the subject matter, perhaps it (Stronger Voice) could be a condition of membership to attend the Patients’ Forum.Volunteers need training!”

“It made me more aware of my role as a representative. It gave me basic awareness from which I can now work from and build on. It made me very much aware of my weaknesses.”

“….it should be compulsory for all.”