Appreciating values and perspectives

It is likely that groups and individuals in a PSP may have particular issues which they want the priority setting exercise to address.  For some this may be intensely important to them on a personal level.  A key role for the JLA Adviser is to encourage understanding of the differing perspectives of patients, carers and clinicians.  No one group should feel marginalised or perceive that their views are less valid than any other, whether they speak as someone with the condition, as someone caring for another person with the condition or as a healthcare professional working with people with that condition.  It is the JLA Adviser’s role to ensure that this principle is maintained, and the responsibility of the Steering Group to model it.

Acknowledging this, it is essential to be clear about the distinction between:

  • patients', carers’ and clinicians' individual priorities, based on personal experience
  • priorities which potentially have an impact on a larger group of people, and may reduce the collective burden of a health problem.

Everyone will have equal opportunities to submit their particular uncertainties.  When it comes to priority-setting, however, participants are likely to have to relinquish personal agendas and work with priorities that will deliver benefit overall.  It is important to ensure people are treated fairly and with sensitivity and support during this process.

Being open about how and why decisions are made will help to head off any concerns about fairness.

Steering Group members should encourage a culture of openness and feedback.  In doing this, they should encourage people involved to raise any concerns at the earliest possible opportunity, so that they can be addressed.  This can be done directly with the Steering Group, by talking to a JLA representative or by using meeting evaluation forms.