A detailed guide to stakeholder involvement

The third in a series of ‘Design With People in Mind’ guides to be published to date by the Design in Mental Health Network – this time focusing on the importance of stakeholder engagement in the design of both new-builds and refurbishments in mental healthcare, was launched at IHEEM’s Healthcare Estates 2018 in early October.

The introduction to the new Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit – authorship of which was led by DiMHN Board member and Mental Health lead at P+HS Architects, Cath Lake, – explains that ‘in keeping with the NHS Constitution and the Five Year Forward View’, DiMHN ‘actively encourages stakeholder involvement in improving the design of health and social care environments’. 

It adds: “Expert-by-experience feedback is vital in helping care professionals and providers understand the impact of both good and poor design; the Design in Mental Health Network’s Stakeholder Engagement Work Stream aims to facilitate stakeholder engagement in co-production of design projects, and will champion health service providers who involve the wide range of stakeholders in all stages of design, in a relaxed and supportive setting. Service-users, carers, and families, are inevitably the most directly affected by the mental health environment. However, stakeholder engagement must consider the wider group who have an interest, a stake, in the environment.”

Alongside service-users, the Toolkit says other key stakeholders to include are:

• Clinical staff who work in the services accommodated.

• Estates and facilities and maintenance teams.

• Infection prevention and control personnel.

• The Trust Board and members.

• ‘The community in which the facility sits’.

The DIMHN says the Toolkit is aimed primarily at healthcare providers ‘to allow Capital Projects Teams to appropriately plan projects, and proactively identify and engage their Stakeholder Groups’. The guide sets out a system of effective stakeholder engagement based upon the RIBA Plan of Work, which the authors dub the ‘definitive UK model for the building design and construction processes’. All seven stages of the Plan, and the steps within each, are set out.

DIMHN members can download the Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit at:  https://tinyurl.com/y7wm5ubg