Sometimes you might want or need to go a meeting. Below is some practical advice that we hope you find helpful.

Before the meeting

Attending a meeting can be a good way to talk about an issue, your views and to make a plan.        

Before a meeting it might be helpful to think about:          

  • Have you had copies of all the information that will be looked at in the meeting?
  • Preparing some notes or a list of things that you want to say or ask.
  • Do you need anything for the meeting, such as visual aids or an accessible venue? Let the meeting lead know as soon in advance as you can.
  • Do you know who will be there, would you like them to wear name labels or have pictures of them up on a board in the room?
  • Will you take some notes in the meeting, or ask someone to take them for you? How would you like these notes to be taken?
  • Have there been meetings before this one? Do you have notes about what was agreed and should have been done?
  • Is there anything you need to take with you to feel comfortable?
  • That you can ask for a break if you need one. Do you feel comfortable asking or do you want a signal to let the meeting lead know?

You might find this leaflet on preparing for an annual review helpful. It was made by Amy, who is a member of the Flare advisory group.           

At the meeting

At the meeting, there should be someone who is in charge or leading it. This person should explain who is at the meeting and the order of what will happen.          

You can stop the meeting at any time if you need to or if you don’t understand something. You could have an agreed signal if you don’t want to speak up.          

It might be helpful to think about:          

  • Do you know who everyone is and why they are there?
  • Is there anything you need the other people in the meeting to know, such as any signs or signals you might use?
  • Do you know what is going to be talked about?
  • Do you know when it will be your turn to speak?
  • Do you need a drink?
  • Do you need a break?
  • Who is taking notes and how will you get a copy?
  • Do you have all the paperwork you need?
  • Can you follow the meeting?, have they included things you need such as visual aids etc?
  • Is there a clear action plan telling you who will be doing anything, how they will do it and by when?
  • What will happen next after this meeting?
  • Will there be any more meetings?

After the meeting

After the meeting is important that you feel clear on what was agreed and what will happen next.          

It might be helpful to think about:          

  • Did you feel listened to?
  • Do you have any unanswered questions?
  • Did you say everything that you wanted to?
  • Will there be another meeting or a review?
  • Will you get copies of any notes or minutes that were taken?
  • Do you want or need to speak to anyone about this meeting
  • Are you clear on what will happen next?

If you are unhappy with what happens at a meeting, you can find more information about this on the Speak Up website. or by watching this video made by the NHS.