Caniad uses a system of Service User Review Panels when working with issues regarding dementia in the community.
What are Service User Review Panels?
Service User Review Panels (known as SURPs) are small groups of up to 8 people with dementia who are involved in influencing issues beyond their own care, both for the Society and for external organisations. SURP members meet regularly for a time limited period to discuss and review a range of topics that may include:
- organisational tools such as forms and questionnaires,
- informational materials such as leaflets and posters, Dementia Connect and Living with Dementia magazine
- priorities for service or strategic development, such as Dementia Friendly Communities and Department of Health Dementia Vision
SURPs are facilitated by a member of staff or experienced volunteer in a way that prioritises the needs, choices and views of group members. In some groups, discussions are chaired by a member of the group supported by a staff member. These groups are a way for people with dementia to become more involved in the work of the Society and other organisations working to improve the lives of people with dementia at both local and national levels.
Why involve people with dementia in your project?
By actively involving people living with dementia in designing, developing and monitoring the activities of the Society we ensure that the Society delivers what people living with dementia need and focusses our thinking on what they feel is important.
People living with dementia are the experts on what it is like to live with dementia so it is vital that they influence the decision-making that affects them.
Benefits for requesters
Visiting SURPs has been demonstrated to be rewarding for requesters by improving their communication with, and understanding of the views of, people with dementia. This awareness and understanding not only improves the projects brought to the group for discussion, but also future projects.