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“I can see what you can’t see” – How Warwickshire County Council involves people with learning disabilities as peer reviewers

Learning points

Several issues arose during the project. They included:

Confidentiality – because local networks within learning disability services are limited, Reviewers may potentially know other Customers and staff at review sites.  This did cause some anxiety to Reviewers, so any potential conflicts of interest will be mitigated in future visits by asking all Reviewers to sign and agree confidentiality agreements and via the training to ensure Reviewers can identify and recognise situations where it would be inappropriate to continue with the visits.

Skills Gaps – Some Reviewers who visited Customers with high support needs found it difficult to elicit information from people who did not communicate verbally.  This is being addressed via specialist input and training for Reviewers to increase skills and confidence in future reviews.

The reviews carried out by the Peer Reviewers provided additional information to the qualitative data collected by the Contract Monitoring Team and give a unique insight from the Customers and Carers’ perspective.  This information gathered from the Reviewers, along with other sources assists the CMO to prioritise and risk assess visits to providers, potentially enabling issues or concerns to be addressed before they escalate. In addition it can also highlight examples of good quality care that can be shared.

About this case study
Main Contact

Rachel Hawthorne

Health Protection Programme Officer
Public Health
Warwickshire County Council/Coventry City Council


Rachel Flowers wrote this case study for Governance International on 13 March 2013.

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