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MENTOR - JARGON BUSTER

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What are partnership boards?...
What are partnership boards?

Involving users of social care in decision making and the provision of services isn't easy. Giving them a real say means cutting red tape, and trying to make the process less intimidating.

Partnership boards are one way of making this happen. They are committees designed to bring statutory and non-statutory representatives together with service users. Boards are responsible for needs assessment, planning, delivery and assessing performance. And they can cover any adult social care group, including learning disabilities and mental health services.

The boards are a key strand of local strategic partnerships directly responsible for overseeing the delivery of joint improvement plans. In its white paper Valuing people: a new strategy for learning disability for the 21st century, the government said partnership boards should 'take responsibility for local delivery of the white paper, led by the local council and with the active participation of all key stakeholders'.

Councils should ensure important issues are agreed at the boards, and that they are run democratically. The idea is that the meetings should be user-friendly, jargon-free forums, in which people who use the service get a proper hearing and have the chance to influence decisions.

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