If I had to explain to my friends what I do
on a NICE committee it would be to keep it real. So I think that lots of people talk
about what they should do for people in a very detached way. Detached in a way that
isn’t based on what is happening at grass roots. I think it’s really important that
people like myself and Paul, that have lived experience, keep it real and bring experience
of people like ourselves into the room and challenge. But challenge in a way that isn’t
just about challenging, it’s about ensuring that we all have a better approach and service
for people. People with learning disabilities don’t really
get opportunties to do this kind of stuff. It’s their experience, to understand, to learn
and to put their views over and help their friends and colleagues. I think that we should be heard so that people know that we’re not just here making up the
numbers. We’re here to be heard so that we can talk and make people think as well. I’d hate people to not have their voice and have their say. Some people are just brushed under the carpet because they don’t know where to go. Support is key to being able to participate in the meeting. There’s lots of prereading
and lots of thinking through some of the preinformation that’s done supported by colleagues who have
different experiences but also an organisation called Paradigm. We meet the day before and have a planning meeting so we know what the meeting’s about.
I think that’s really helpful. The other committee members have said how
useful they found the prework that we’ve done. What we will do is we’ll go through all the
research and we’ll have easy read versions with pictures. We’ll talk through each point.
It’s really important as everyone has a different opinion and this helps us as a group to understand what are the key messages that we need to present. Come along and give it a go. We’ve achieved it.