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Northern Ireland Patient and Client Council
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This case study features the Patient and Client Council (PCC), a publicly funded organization run by a 16-member management board under the Health and Socila Care (Reform) Act passed in Northern Ireland in 2009. The PCC aims to improve the involvement of health and social care services in public policy-making processes.
The Patient and Client Council (PCC) was established as a publicly-funded arm’s-length organization as part of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009.
Run by a 16-member management board and meeting monthly, the PCC aims to improve how those affected by health and social care services are involved in policy-making processes. This translates into seeking to enhance the government’s engagement not just with patients but also with clients, carers, and communities more generally. To achieve this goal, the PCC has set itself the following four strategic objectives: (1) to “find out and communicate what people want from health and social care services”; (2) to turn the PCC into “an influential and independent organization”; (3) to take a lead role in developing “an advocacy framework” in the area of health and social care policy; and (4) to ensure that the PCC is “fit for purpose and value for money”.
From the point of view of engagement, one of the potentially more important acts to date of the PCC has been to establish a so-called “Membership Scheme.” The aim of this scheme is to recruit and maintain a list of residents of Northern Ireland interested in getting involved in shaping health and social care services through different types of local and province-wide participatory and consultative mechanisms.