“Patient engagement is the block-buster drug of the century.” – Dr Farzad Mostashari

“As far as the process of engagement is concerned the time has come to go public.” – Henry Muntzberg

Today engagement is becoming an integral, and often statutory, part of business practice.  For example, NHS commissioners have statutory duties to involve patients and the public in decisions about commissioning, and in decisions with respect to their treatment and care.   Effective consultation is critical for data gathering, the identification of key issues, and the development of sustainable and workable solutions.  Done properly, engagement can contribute to co-operation, help build trust, strengthen partnerships and improve decision making.

Knowing who you want to involve, why and how, can be challenging, as can getting busy people to turn up and ensuring you hear from those often considered “hard to reach”.

I think that good engagement is good business.  My extensive experience of equality and diversity issues means that I can ensure that all consultations are inclusive, accessible and credible.  I use creative ways to engage communities – fun, innovative and inspiring techniques such as art, storytelling and hands-on practical activities, which have proved a fantastic way to involve people in influencing the future of services.