What Does SpeakOut Do?

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Through the network, SpeakOut can:


  • Provide access to hard to reach populations

  • Advise on the construction and planning of events, consultations and services for hard to reach groups

  • Review documents

  • Comment on policy

  • Undertake direct consultation

  • Provide representation on advisory groups

  • Provide training

  • Help other organisations meet the requirements of equalities and human rights legislation

  • Provide direct feedback about patient and user experiences


In 2011 members collaborated with the Care Quality Commission on 8 separate stands of work, including the proposed Excellence in Adult Social Care Award and the new HealthWatch developments. In addition, members contributed to a range of other initiatives including the Experts by Experience Programme, and the Inclusion, Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Programme.


Last year, members helped to shape CQC’s equality objectives, helped to test the accessibility of various CQC leaflets - including the national standards leaflets informing the public what they can expect from services - and helped inform their work to monitor and improve domiciliary care. Groups also made a film outlining the specific needs of their communities and suggesting strategies for effectively engaging with them that has been used in training CQC staff. SpeakOut members input in to CQC’s strategic review and helped to brand the new HealthWatch.


This year, SpeakOut groups have been busier than ever. Members helped to produce CQC’s statement of user involvement, made a film to help launch Healthwatch, have helped to frame the themed inspection of dementia care services, and fed in to the development of CQC’s strategic priorities for 2013-16. Groups have also provided information about the help seeking behaviour of vulnerable groups, and provided experts who are able to talk about the issue of homophobia in care homes. Groups are currently supporting CQC’s new programme of acute hospital inspection and have organised bespoke listening events for LGB people, older people, people with learning disabilities, minority faith groups and people who do not speak English in Salford, London, Birmingham and Nottingham. As one of the inspectors who attended our event reported:


This was one of the best things I have ever done as an inspector. It really did make me think and has influenced the way I have planned this massive inspection. I had never thought about some of the issues the women raised. You can do all the training in the world but hearing their stories is by far the most powerful. I really hope we do more of these events (CQC Inspector)


In 2014, SpeakOut will continue to support CQC’s new programme of acute hospital inspections. Members will also be involved in the review of GP out of hours care, diabetes care pathways and dementia services. Now has never been a better time to become a member. Why not join us now?



For an update of our work over the last six month (January to June 2014) click here