This guide has been written to provide advice on the best and most effective methods of consulting with carers. It is aimed at those who provide, plan or commission services for either carers or the people they care for. It can also be used by carers, as a checklist on what to look out for and what to ask for when service providers are consulting with them.
This guide deals with consultation about the services available to carers and the people they care for, as a group. It does not deal with carers being consulted individually as part of an assessment of their needs as carers (although many of the principles of consultation are equally important in that area). Consultation with carers as is a process which seeks the views of carers about the nature, extent and arrangement of services which are provided for carers and/or the people they care for, with a commitment on the part of those doing the consulting that they are prepared to consider making changes as a result of receiving those views.
Consultation is more than providing information about what changes are being planned for services (although effective consultation does rely on appropriate information being given to those being consulted).