Final priority setting method

The JLA supports an adapted Nominal Group Technique for PSPs choosing their priorities.  One benefit of this technique is that it prevents the domination of discussion by a single person and encourages the participation of less assertive members.  There is no hierarchy between the different participants; no one individual or group's views or experiences are more valid than another’s. 

Nominal Group Technique is a well-established and well-documented approach to decision making.  It can be used by groups that want to make decisions quickly, for example, by voting, but want everyone’s opinions to be considered.  Each participant reviews the items for discussion and gives their view.  A shared voting or ranking exercise is undertaken with further structured small group discussions followed by ranking or voting.  The ranked orders for each item from each group are totalled, and the priority with the lowest, i.e. most favoured, total ranking is selected as the top priority.

It has been suggested that this technique can be useful when:

  • Some group members are much more vocal than others
  • Some group members think better in silence
  • There is concern about some members not participating
  • The group does not easily generate many ideas
  • Participants are not used to working together
  • The issue is controversial or there is heated conflict.

Three JLA Advisers facilitate the final priority setting process to ensure fairness, accountability and transparency.  The JLA’s facilitation approach is neutral and empowering and has no influence over the outcomes of the workshop discussions.  The facilitators will ensure that the process takes place and the JLA’s principle of equal involvement of patients, carers and clinicians is upheld.

JLA facilitators are aware that some patient and carer representatives may be less experienced than professional clinicians at contributing to open debate and are therefore careful to actively include patients and carers and ensure they have opportunities to share their views and experiences.