Our approach: LIP’s unique approach to involvement combines the expertise of a service-user led Management Committee with grass-root community development. We believe that people whoVarious 2014 043se services and their carers should be involved throughout the decision-making process of commissioning health and social care stages; not just at the beginning, end or consultation period.

LIP regularly outreaches into new communities and recruits new members to ensure that we hear the perspectives and opinions that truly represent the diverse communities within Leeds. We act as a broker between the people who use services and those who commission them.

Involvement activities: Following the closure of LIP’s former reference groups, new ways of working have emerged through understanding the ways in which people work best. Our members still have a very vital role in being able to help shape services and moving forward, here is LIP’s new approach to involvement:

Bringing people together: LIP will continue to increase its membership base to ensure that its delivery is user-led. Whilst the reference groups will no longer meet we will ensure that there is more opportunity for members to meet collectively to discuss specific issues affecting their lives and the services they use as their knowledge and experience is key to our work.

Community outreach: LIP will continue to reach out and develop trust with those communities that are often overlooked. We are working to develop a larger membership base that is truly representative of the diverse communities in our society. Working to the social model of disability we ensure all of our activities remove barriers to engagement.

Opinion and representation: LIP will continue to effectively communicate with its members by understanding their specific areas of interest and the issues affecting their daily lives. We will also be working closer with service providers and existing Service User and Carer networks to ensure the opinions we gather are more representative of those who use services.

Influencing change: LIP will continue to represent the independent voice of its members, advocating for their involvement in the development of health, social care and community services. By forging strategic partnerships we are now in a better position to be invited to shape city wide plans, whilst also being listened to when we need to voice the concerns of our members.

ltht sikh elders 2Project delivery: LIP will continue to deliver high quality contracted and commissioned involvement activity on behalf of our key funders, contributing positively to the transformation of services that improve people’s lives. By streamlining and improving our internal systems we are in a better position to win and deliver contracts that offer our members more involvement opportunities.

Training & development: LIP will continue to offer its members development opportunities; through group work we empowered and motivated individuals to share information and take an active role within their communities. The good practice from this and the experience of our members is now being formalised into ‘involvement ready’ training packages for individuals and organisations.  This is OCN accredited, and we offer four topics at present. (See the training page for more details).

Signposting: LIP will continue to maintain a working knowledge of the services available to the community by maintaining strong partnerships with other providers. Where we are unable to offer advice ourselves, we are happy to signpost to the relevant service. We actively promote other involvement opportunities such as those organised by NHS Leeds’ PPI network and Adult Social Care at Leeds City Council.

Developing partnership working: LIP will continue to excel in its role of building successful working relationships in order to be a key contributor to the development and shaping of services. Our new work plans place more focus on working closer with other VCS organisations via a consortium approach, allowing us to consolidate resources and identify gaps within grassroots service provision.

Leeds Involving People uses three rules to inform the outcome of the work we do, these are:

  1. To listen: We listen impartially, often to those that are overlooked or unheard, regarding their views, experiences and opinions on how public services affect their daily lives.
  2. To Consult: We consult with people around specific changes to services in order to gather their opinion and feedback their views to commissioners and public bodies.
  3. To involve: We involve people by developing mechanisms for the voice of the community to be an ongoing key influence in the planning and development of current and future public services.

What is Involvement?

‘Involvement – or ‘service user involvement’ – is the process of involving people who receive and use services in decisions that affect those services. Involvement empowers people to voice their opinions and concerns and encourages them to speak for themselves. This often means consulting people on particular issues, inviting them to events, or asking them to be members of formal groups and networks that have a focus on involving people.

Involvement is also a legal requirement under the ‘Duty to Involve’ that came into force in 2009. This means it is a statutory obligation for specified public bodies, such as those who provide health and social care services, to consult and involve people who are likely to be affected by the decisions they make.


We ensure these principles are put into action by:

  • Bringing people together: We ensure our delivery is user-led and the people we work with reflect the diverse communities in our society, providing opportunities for them to meet collectively to discuss specific issues affecting their lives and the services they use.
  • Outreaching into the community: We reach out and develop trust with those communities that are often overlooked to ensure our involvement activity is representative of our diverse communities and that our activities remove barriers to engagement.
  • Representing opinion: We work with people to understand their specific areas of interest and the issues affecting their daily lives to ensure the opinions we gather are representative of those who use services, particularly those who are hard to reach or often overlooked.
  • Influencing change: We represent the independent voice of people ensuring their opinions and concerns are key to development of services. We work with other community organisations to develop new areas of work when gaps in service provision have been identified by the community.
  • Signposting to other services: We develop strong relationships with other providers so we are able to signpost people onto services available to them in their community. We actively promote involvement opportunities offered by other providers and encourage the people we work with to engage with these.
  • Delivering projects: We deliver high quality and accessible involvement activity on behalf of our key funders to ensure services are transformed to improve people’s lives. We work with public bodies and commissioners to ensure services are developed in partnership with those who use them.
  • Offering training: We offer training that promotes best practice in involvement and its benefits when done effectively. We work with individuals to develop their understanding of how services are commissioned so they have the confidence to speak in front of others about their views and experience in a professional manner. We support service providers to effectively involve their services users.

Who we involve

Leeds Involving People represents the independent voice of people through the promotion of effective involvement. We involve the community in the development of health and social care services Various 2014 044by ensuring their opinions and concerns are at the centre of decision making processes.

We do this by promoting best practice in involvement and by ensuring we use methods that are appropriate, accessible and responsive to the needs of individuals and communities.

We are interested in and keen to work with all communities in Leeds in addition to those listed above, please contact us if you represent a community who may benefit from being involved in shaping the services relevant to their needs.

We actively encourage people from every background to be involved with LIP, as the more diverse our membership base, the greater our knowledge on how services work for different people.

If you think you would be interested in joining us, we’d love to hear from you

The two-way process of involvement

In order for involvement to be successful, and to gather meaningful results we feel that there needs to be an understanding between us – the service provider and yourselves – the service user.

From the Involvement Standards, conducted by Leeds Involving People on behalf of Leeds City Council, a recommendation was made by those who completed the survey which sets the standard for the agreement between the service provider and the service user, and should be adhered to when involvement activity takes place.

The table below describes the recommendation made which aims to ensure that meaningful and effective involvement can take place:

Service provider Service user
  • We’ll be clear about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how it affects you and any changes that could be made.
  • If I’m unsure about anything, I will ask for clarity.
  • We will provide clear information tailored to your individual needs.
  • I will ensure that I make people aware of my access requirements and other needs.
  • The roles and responsibilities of everyone involved will be clear from the start.
  • I will make sure I am aware of my role and of the others involved in the activity. I will discuss personal experiences only if they are relevant and appropriate.
  • We’ll explain what can and cannot be changed from the start.
  • I will ask questions to make sure I know the possible results of the work we’re doing.
  • We will use plain language and ensure abbreviations are explained.
  • When explaining things, I won’t use acronyms or other abbreviations/jargon which might confuse people.
  • We will provide agendas and papers in good time allowing you to prepare for the meeting. We will provide feedback/minutes from meetings.
  • I will read any correspondence from the service provider carefully and contact them with any questions, submit agenda items to be raised etc and ensure that I am prepared and punctual for every meeting.
  • We will avoid wasting paper and send you only the information you need as a double sided document where possible.
  • I will use electronic copies of the meeting papers where possible and will recycle correspondence when it is no longer needed.
  • We will reimburse participants for their out-of-pocket expenses when attending meetings.
  • I will be mindful of the money spent on my travel to/from the meeting etc. so will be ready for the time the taxi is booked for.