What to do before a meeting
You can get a lot more out of meetings with health and social care professionals by preparing as much as you can. If you need advice about this, there are organisations that can help.
Visit Being Heard: a self-advocacy toolkit for carers on the Carers Scotland website for information and techniques to help carers who want to speak or advocate for themselves.
Other organisations can help with advice on specific issues, like the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS), which supports patients and carers in their dealings with the NHS.
Silver Line Scotland offers specific information and advice for older people. Call 0800 4 70 80 90. They're open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
What to take to a meeting
If you are meeting a professional such as a social worker, to have an assessment of your care needs, think about the key questions you'd like to ask beforehand, write them down and have them handy at the meeting. It's also useful to have any relevant documents to hand.
Useful things to take with you might include:
- list of key questions
- relevant letters or other correspondence
- another person for support
You might also be asked for information on:
- your income
- your savings
- your housing situation
- your benefits
Citizens Advice Scotland provides information on many different topics, including What to bring to a bureau, which details the most useful documents to bring to meetings.
Support at a meeting
If you find it difficult to communicate or get your point across, it may be useful to bring a family member, friend or advocate to meetings.
Contact the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance to find an advocate or call them on 0131 556 6443.
Interpretation and translation support
You can get help if you need a translator for spoken languages or sign language. The agency you're meeting with may be able to provide interpretation or translation services. For example, you can ask for an interpreter for appointments with Citizens Advice Scotland.
You can also contact your local council to find out what interpretation and translation services it offers or what other organisations supply them.
Silver Line Scotland can also provide an interpreter over the phone. Call 0800 4 70 80 90 and simply state the language you need, like Hindi. Stay on the line for a few minutes, and the Silver Line Scotland staff will do the rest.
If you don't feel your meeting went well, you can follow up any concerns or complaints.
Visit Being Heard: a self-advocacy toolkit for carers on the Carers Scotland website.
Contact Silver Line Scotland or call 0800 4 70 80 90, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, for advice and support.
To find an advocate, visit the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance website or call 0131 556 6443.
Citizens Advice Scotland provides information on benefits, housing and employment, and on debt, consumer and legal issues.
The information was last updated on: 10th February 2016