‘Seldom heard’ is a term used to describe groups who may experience barriers to accessing services or are under-represented in healthcare decision making.
Traditionally, some of the groups identified in engagement activities include rural communities, black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, gypsies and travellers, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, asylum seekers and refugees and young carers.
However, in reality, teenagers, employees, people with mental health issues and many others may be considered as seldom heard, due to the fact engagement may not be straightforward.
The only way to actually engage with different groups is to understand them individually and tailor involvement to them accordingly.
- Understand their needs and priorities – this will help to define the way you engage
- Find out how they like to get involved – align your approach with this
- Determine the way they prefer to be communicated with and what tools they use – tailor your method, for example, to social media, video, or even workers in the community
- Find out who they trust and have good relationships with – develop a relationship with those stakeholders and ask them to help you reach people
- Don’t expect everyone to feedback in the same way – from online snap surveys to face-to-face discussions, adjusting the approach to get the right results is important
Involvement offers Tools & Resources to help you engage with seldom-heard groups.