Our Community Reporters
This year we have taken a different approach to our adult social care annual report to make it more meaningful and accessible to local people. We have worked closely with The People’s Network, as well as with a team of community reporters. These local people have been out and met with the council’s adult social care heads of service, and produced short videos of themselves interviewing them, asking the questions that they want answers to.
The People’s Network
The People’s Network is a group of people who live in Dudley Borough and who have experience of using adult social care services. The group meet every two months, supported by Healthwatch Dudley and the council and discuss a range of topics realted to care, health and support. The Network gives local people a really important opportunity to have their say about local health and social care services and to influence these services. The meetings are designed to give everyone the chance to:
Network in a positive way with people who have similar interests in social care
Have discussions and share knowledge about local services
Inform policies and influence local services
Have real opportunities to provide feedback to decision makers
Test the accuracy and readability of public documents before they are published
Bring and share powerful stories, journeys and experiences
The People’s Network is very much appreciated and valued by care and health decision makers. It is vital that we do give local people who have experience and knowledge of local services the opportunity to share this knowledge and contribute to the development and delivery of health and social care services.
Local account reference group
This group works to contribute to the production of this report. It is made up of members of the People’s Network. The group works with Healthwatch Dudley and the council to look at the format of the report, the content and approach to it. They have worked on previous issues but this year felt that the report should be made more accessible, less wordy and that a different online approach would ensure a report that is read and available to a much wider audience.
Local Account online and community reporters
To increase the accessibility and for the local account to reach a wider audience it was agreed that an online report would suit. The reference group to support this development, proposed that they take on the role of community reporters who would interview the council’s adult social care heads of service.
The community reporters were supported to think about the type of questions they would like to ask the decision makers. They were then supported to be interviewers or to help with the filming process and ultimately the whole production process. The reporters have therefore been actively involved in the whole process of producing this report. They have approved the content as well as the look and feel of the report.
The following comments illustrate the passion that the community reporters expressed in support of this fresh and innovative approach:
This is a new beginning for the local account