People from across Scotland who are living with HIV have stated very clearly that they want to be more involved in the decisions that affect their lives.
Why has the National Involvement network been developed?
In direct response to the feedback gathered from HIV-positive people through the annual Positive Persons’ Forum, and drawing in recommendations from the updated Scottish Government’s guidelines which state “Patient involvement is core to good practice and should not be considered optional” (The Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework Update 2015-2020), HIV Scotland has established Scotland’s first National Involvement Network for people living with HIV. This project offers tailored guidance, support and training to help enable positive people to come together to ensure they have a far greater influence on the decisions that affect their lives.
Building on HIV Scotland’s Involving People in Services: A Practical Guide To Why and How, involvement initiatives will be further supported by the new Setting Up an Involvement Group: The Manual to help everyone establish effective regional groups easily and professionally. Regional representatives then come together for nationally organised meetings to share experiences and successes, pool resources, and learn from each other. The National Involvement Network has also built National Involvement Standards (HIV) and a Measuring Benefits and Ensuring Quality survey as an effective means of evaluating and recognising where involvement is being done well and of highlighting where improvements need to be made.
These new initiatives will help encourage decision makers, service providers and people living with HIV to work together to deliver better-informed services and policies that will result in long term improvements in the health and well-being of all people living with HIV in Scotland.
The National Involvement Network has the opportunity to be one of the most effective and resilient collective voices that people living with HIV in Scotland have ever had, firmly establishing us at the heart of HIV service provision and policy, both locally and nationally.
To find out more, to keep up to date with what’s happening in your area, or to get involved, contact HIV Scotland at firstname.lastname@example.org.