Final priority setting
The final stage is to agree 10 prioritised uncertainties. The JLA recommends methods based on research 
and practical experience.
So far, the JLA has conducted this in face-to-face meetings, or workshops, using small and full group discussions.
The final workshop is an opportunity for different parties to:
- express their views
- hear different perspectives
- think more widely about treating or helping people with the health problem
The format is rigorous, but flexible enough to allow people to revise their opinions, raise concerns and correct through consensus any perceived imbalance emerging from the interim stage. This is the stage at which any concerns about fairness or representation can be openly discussed and addressed. The JLA actively encourages participants to take ownership of this debate.
There are challenges, such as:
- ensuring the choice of participants is balanced
- avoiding domination by any one person
- finding unanimity, even where there may have been disagreement during the decision making process
The JLA's experience suggests that participants may want to debate or even dispute the shortlisted uncertainties
, for example the wording, or whether or not any questions could be considered duplicates of each other. It is essential that the Steering Group is confident that it can defend the shortlist which goes to the final workshop.
It is worth the Steering Group reflecting on the following questions:
- How confident are we that the questions will be understood?
- Is there scope for confusion?
- Are any of the questions too similar?
- Are there any which may be better combined into one question?
Reaching decisions with large groups of people can be challenging, but also exciting. The JLA is pragmatic about these challenges, which are not insurmountable, and encourages open debate and transparency when resolving them. Preparation and a well organised meeting are key to ensuring good outcomes.
Clear directions to the venue are very important: click here
to see a good example from the Schizophrenia Priority Setting Partnership's
For examples of JLA Priority Setting Partnerships’ methods for final priority setting, click here
Materials, briefings and documentation for the Vitiligo Priority Setting Partnership's
final priority setting workshop included:
- a workshop programme (click here)
- a briefing paper for facilitators (click here)
- a background information sheet for participants (click here)
- a glossary for participants (click here)
- a ranking form for individuals to fill out in preparation for the workshop, containing the uncertainties short listed in the interim prioritisation exercise (click here)
- cards for each short listed uncertainty, printed double-sided to also include background information and data on the back of each one, to help group discussion (click here)
- a ranking form for the group discussions, to be filled out by each facilitator (click here)
The Schizophrenia Priority Setting Partnership's
final workshop agenda can be downloaded here
. The cards used for ranking the uncertainties at the workshop (uncertainty on one side, background information on the other) can be downloaded here
There are a number of reports and publications on the JLA website describing the final priority setting meetings and listing the top 10 priorities of different Priority Setting Partnerships. These include:
- the Asthma Priority Setting Partnership (click here)
- the Urinary Incontinence Priority Setting Partnership (click here)
- the Tinnitus Priority Setting Partnership (click here)
An account of the final priority setting meeting for the Life After Stroke in Scotland Priority Setting Partnership
was published in Society Guardian - click here
Urinary Incontinence Priority Setting Partnership - small group work and final priority setting, November 2008
Murphy MK, Black NA, Lamping DL, McKee CM, Sanderson CFB, Ashkam J, Marteau T. (1998) “Consensus development methods, and their use in clinical guideline development” Health Technology Assessment, 2 (3).