Home Working Whole Systems Publications Research Contacts

Stakeholder engagement to release system intelligence

 Developing an Inner City Park.

We were invited by a group of local residents and park users to help them engage a wide range of stakeholders in developing a vision for the park that would radically rethink its purpose, use of space and management.  We were able to support them in growing widespread interest and support amongst residents, local people with a variety of environmental and special interests, members and officers from the local authority, voluntary organisations and the private sector.

We brought together about 60 people for 2 days in a marquee in the park.  They shared their knowledge of the park now, and their aspirations for the future.  There were some issues on which they agreed to disagree, such as the proposal to build a new Olympic size swimming pool in the park, but they also identified many areas of common ground.  A group of participants went on to set up of a community trust (a charitable limited company) that now manages the park on behalf of the local authority and is supported by a vibrant community forum.  These arrangements have facilitated the development of a sensory garden, the planning of a skateboarding facility and investigation of the feasibility of establishing the University’s Botanic Garden in the park.

Developing a strategy for older people.

The chief executive of a Primary Care Trust (PCT) had participated in a ‘system mapping’ workshop that we had carried out at city-wide level.  He recognised that this would be a powerful way engage frontline staff, managers, residents, service users as well as planners and board members from a number of agencies across health and social care to share their experiences of 'how things really work around here' in relation to services for older people.  Over 220 people took part in 5 workshops for those working and living in the 5 districts served by the PCT.  The aim was to strengthen day-to-day working relationships, as well as contribute to strategic planning both for the PCT and the city.  The participants agreed that they had developed a much better understanding of each other’s roles.  Some were able to make immediate changes to their practice – for example, to change the referral arrangements for intermediate care, and to make new referrals to a community organisation.  The PCT was able to identify a dozen key strategic themes, each with suggestions for very practical action to improve services.

Front-line staff and local residents, when involved in this way, ensure that the proposals are likely to make a real difference to service improvement because they are well-informed about operational realities.  And they appreciate the opportunity to co-produce solutions rather than to be consulted on options.

Back to list of examples

Home Working Whole Systems Publications Research Contacts