Background The meaningful involvement of people receiving palliative care (service users), carers and the wider community is essential to informing palliative care education, research, policy and practice.
A group was established on the island of Ireland in 2013 for this involvement. By 2016, as this group had come to the end of its membership term, a significant project was undertaken to refresh membership.
Aim(s) The aim was to renew and refresh group membership, fostering diversity of membership and ensuring that involvement remained worthwhile, and to increase the remit of the group’s involvement in health structures in both jurisdictions on the island. Consideration was also given to a range of flexible methods of involvement wider than the original concept.
Method A recruitment drive was launched by the recruiting organisation in July 2016. This was supported by a suite of information on the organisation’s website – promotional flyer, video, information leaflet, guidance for applicants and an expression of interest form. The opportunity was promoted through other networks; use of the flyer, email, social media and a press release.
Results More than 60 people asked to find out about the opportunity and 45 expressions of interest forms were received. A small number of applications were not progressed when involvement was clarified. An opportunity to renew membership was extended to current members. Invitations were issued to potential new members (43) and renewing members (13) to a meeting in September 2016. Terms of Reference, which were discussed at the meeting and amended, were issued to 54 people in November 2016. Receipt of a signed copy confirmed membership of the group. A total of 44 members confirmed membership. Since September 2016 they have been involved in a range of activities informing palliative care education, research, policy and practice across both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
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