Gwent Citizen Panel. Who We Are
The Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014 was introduced in April 2016. It brought together in one place all laws and guidance related to social care and health, and also sets out expectations on what local authorities and Local Health Boards must do. The Act says that partners, including citizens, need to work together. People need to be supported in the way that helps them and their family. To do this they need to be involved in key discussions and decisions on what will support them in this way.
Members of the panel live and work across Gwent. As the Citizen Panel has evolved it has become clear that we represent ourselves and not others. Although we have links back to other groups and do communicate with them, it is our views or opinions shared at meetings, We understood that if we wanted to get views, opinions, information or consultation with more people, we would work with the corporate engagement leads to use panels and circulation lists already in existence.
Frequency of meetings
The panel meets every six weeks and meetings are fairly informal - tea and biscuits are always available!
Why do people attend?
There are probably many reasons members attend.
‘I have only been a member of the panel for a short time but I have been impressed by the way it works and how keen the members are to make a difference. I'm looking forward to raising matters of interest to our members, knowing that things will get done’ – panel member, JP
‘I wasn’t sure what to expect when I attended my first meeting of the Gwent Citizens Panel but to be fair, members attend to do something and not just for something to do. The topics vary but members are always willing and able to contribute to discussions, with knowledge or personal experiences. The attending council officers not only administrate, they listen, provide helpful comments when asked and have never failed to respond when further information is requested’ – panel member, PW
What can you expect?
We all agree that members really feel the benefits from being part of the citizen panel – and are always keen to welcome new members. The information we have gained about the Act and other areas such as safeguarding have been valuable when sharing with other groups we attend and valuable to us as citizens.
We all get something different from being members but recognized some common benefits, including:
- The development of mutual respect for one another
- A desire by all of us to learn
- A safe environment to share concerns and also highlight good practice
- An opportunity to have our say on important issues relating to care
- Networking opportunities with other citizens and engagement leads resulting in friendship and effective working environments.
We look forward to hearing from you!
If you would be interested in joining or finding out more, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Cherie on 01495 761691.