A new long read from PIF member The King's Fund says disabled people's voices need to be valued and prioritised in the planning and delivery of health and care services. 

Towards a new partnership between disabled people and health and care services: getting our voices heard sets out the findings of research carried out with Disability Rights UK.

It examined how disabled people are currently involved in health and care system design and what good might look like. Key messages include:

  • Health and care services need to understand the broad diversity of disabled people’s identities and experiences and adopt a social model approach to disability.
  • Health and care professionals need to value disabled people’s expertise through properly recognising the value of lived experience.
  • Disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) can strengthen their impact by working with other local DPOs and user-led organisations.
  • Both health and care organisations and DPOs need to improve their understanding of how people’s multiple identities shape their experiences and embrace diversity of voices.
  • Ensuring disabled people’s voices are heard requires constant attention. While there are some examples of good practice, there are also stories of no, or tokenistic, involvement.

The article says disabled people need to be at the heart of health and care service design.

This requires health and care organisations and disabled people’s organisations to work better together. 

Read the article in full here.