NICE Equality Scheme: workshops for people with disabilities
Over 20 people, including people with disabilities and representatives of disability interest groups, attended two workshops at NICE in February, as part of the Institute's Equalities Scheme Action Plan. The aim was to find a more structured, systematic and significant way of involving them in NICE activities.
The workshop, which was also attended by NICE directors and staff, was organised by the Institute's Patient and Public Involvement Programme and the Research and Development Team. It was facilitated by Goss Associates, an external consultancy group run by disabled people.
Questions that workshop participants addressed included:
- Why involve disabled people?
- What aspects of NICE's equalities work should they be involved in?
- Who should NICE involve?
- What outputs can be achieved?
All participants agreed, ‘NICE is already doing a lot through the Citizens' Council and the committees on guidance to involve disabled people.' They also made a number of suggestions on how the Institute could do more. This included:
- Offering people with disabilities the opportunity to get involved in NICE activities that are not related to a disability. (The point was made that ‘involving people with disabilities will improve products and services'.)
- Improving NICE's compliance with plain English standards in all its internal and external documents, not just the documents produced specifically for patients and the public. (‘You speak NHS, I don't.')
- Using a wider range of methods to ensure everyone, regardless of their disability, can participate in relevant Institute proceedings (for example, the use of teleconferencing as an alternative to attending meetings in person, where fatigue may be an issue). (‘Recognise what it takes to be involved. Reward it.')
- Establishing an external group involving representatives from all interested parties to review the Institute's Equality Scheme and monitor progress.
NICE is now working to prioritise and act on the suggestions made by workshop participants. It is also exploring how to extend the workshop approach to other groups affected by the equality scheme.
This page was last updated: 24 June 2010