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Change Guide - Where do you start?

Change Guide - Image of people

Start with People’s Needs Defining Change – working with Service Users, Families, Citizens, Communities and Staff.

People’s Needs Defining Change – Health Services Change Guide puts the needs of services users, families, citizens, communities and staff at the centre of change.

So the first thing you must do is engage positively with the people involved in the change. It is important to build a shared sense of purpose with them and to agree how best to improve services. By sharing power with them you tap into different voices, views and abilities. You also assist people to take responsibility for designing a better future for your service.

To help you do all this you need to develop an engagement approach. There are templates within the guide to assist you with Working with Service Users, Families, Citizens, Communities and Staff:

Principles of Service Design Thinking

Develop the Engagement Approach

You should plan for ongoing engagement from the start of the change. Involve service users, key leaders, staff and partner organisations as early as possible in defining, designing and delivering the change.

Steps in the Engagement Approach

Identify and map people connections:

List the internal and external stakeholders who can help you to achieve the change (e.g. service users, communities, staff, Trade Unions, those who regulate our services, leadership and service teams).

Understand key stakeholders:

Consider different ways to help you understand people’s needs – listen to people’s stories and use face-to-face consultations, focus groups, staff surveys, service user/patient surveys, submissions, etc. Think about who has an interest in the change and who can use their influence to help you make the change happen. Make sure to keep those with high levels of interest and influence fully engaged. Work with people who will be affected by the change, and help them to use their experience and influence to support the improved services.

Tailor engagement to key groups:

Plan carefully how best to engage with different groups:

  • involve service users and families as partners who have a stake in their own care
  • citizens and communities may need support and skill development to help them take part
  • staff engagement results in better service outcomes and improves morale, so really listen to what matters most to staff and address real day-to-day issues

Plan and engage with a purpose:

Think about how best to work with people who may be reluctant or anxious about the change. Provide opportunities to learn about people’s interests, expectations and ability to shape the change. Focus on outcomes that matter to people.

Develop and sustain communication and engagement:

Communication is key to success. Develop an Engagement and Communication Plan that sets out how best to work with key individuals and groups. Keep on listening to emerging issues. Keep people up to date on what is happening and review regularly.

Need more help?

People’s Needs Defining Change: Section 2, pages 37-49

Helpful templates

Influence-Interest Mapping Grid (Template 6.1.1)

Guidance on Stakeholder Mapping and Analysis (Template 6.1.2) page 105

Guidance to Develop Engagement and Communication Plan (Template 6.1.3) page 107

Person-Centred Practice Framework (Additional Templates) page 196

Resources: pages 237-241