A consumer survey of a preschool disability service identified parents who did not feel their concerns were fully understood by professionals, nor felt involved or in agreement with treatment decisions, nor that services were provided in a coordinated way. A system of individual programme planning (IPP) was introduced in order to address these issues and other shortfalls of the existing service. Information was obtained from 96% of parents and 87% of professionals who attended IPP meetings over a four month period. Overall satisfaction was high (92% of parents: 96% of professionals). Parents now felt fully involved in decision making, 80% felt their views were understood and 100% agreed with treatment goals. Dissatisfaction was expressed with meeting attendance, the marginalisation of parents, and the timing and chairing of meetings. Consumer satisfaction surveys are recommended for use in highlighting areas of service shortfall, to direct and evaluate service change, and to monitor quality.
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