Community grants 2018

NHS England’s celebrating participation in healthcare grants have been awarded to the following organisations to showcase good practice approaches developed to involve people in healthcare.

Healthwatch Oxfordshire

In summer 2018, Healthwatch Oxfordshire worked with members of East Oxford United Football Club to develop, plan and carry out community-based research, covering an issue important to them. The project focused on involving men from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, who had been shown to be at higher risk of diabetes and stroke. It involved community groups and more than 300 men from 22 nationalities, to understand the barriers to good health and to raise awareness of free NHS health checks in the community. It found that shift working and family commitments were some of the main barriers to men when it came to looking after their health and accessing health checks. The findings of the project will now help to shape the future of local NHS health checks.

With the 2018 grant, they produced a short video that highlights the importance of working directly with people and communities to understand the issues they face and the barriers to healthy living.

Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Crohn’s and Colitis UK believe that people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are ‘Experts by Experience’ due to their own, and their families, personal experience of living with the condition.

Crohn’s and Colitis UK worked jointly with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust to improve quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction across all IBD care. Their IBD Patient Panel was set up in February 2018 to provide feedback on the current service, to advocate for IBD services within the Trust, provide a sounding board to the IBD team and bring a patient perspective to service development and improvement.

Their video showcases the process of engagement between the panel and a range of healthcare professionals, encouraging them to undertake the same process, highlighting success and lessons learnt along the way.

Family Action

Family Action’s Young Carers service in Durham has worked closely with young carers to develop a ‘Young Carers Neighbourhood Charter’ which is reaching out to GP surgeries, health and care agencies, schools, and local organisations to improve their awareness and support for young carers.

With the grant Family Action produced a short video to showcase and celebrate their Young Carers Neighbourhood Charter in County Durham. The video tells the story of the crucial involvement of young carers in designing, developing and delivering the Charter, and the significant impact it is having on health services and other organisations supporting young carers across the County.

Skills for People

Skills for People supported a group of people with learning disabilities to work with a clinical expert from their local NHS Trust to create Mindfulness for Life, the first programme of its kind, teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to people with a learning disability and/or autism. During the first two years of the project, over 200 people have learned about mindfulness and 50 have completed the course, with participants reporting huge improvements to their health and wellbeing.

They are now creating a community of practice, across the North East and Cumbria supporting local groups of people with a learning disability and/or autism to learn about mindfulness, get together to practice, and to support each other.

Skills for People created a short film to tell the story of Mindfulness for Life and to share how they involved people with a learning disability and/or autism.

Catalyst Stockton-on-Tees

Since September 2015, Catalyst Stockton has managed a ‘Community Health Ambassadors’ (CHA) project in partnership with Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to involve local people in the planning, development and commissioning of NHS health services across the area.

They have supported over 35 volunteers representing a wide range of diverse communities to engage over 650 patients and over 50 organisations to spread NHS messages/campaigns and improve services using patient feedback – particularly from groups who have distinct needs. Covering a wide range of themes, public engagement methods have included focus groups, surveys, information stalls, consultation/engagement events, patient stories, activity groups, coffee mornings and peer support groups.

In 2016 the CHA project was ‘Highly Commended’ at the NECS Awards for ‘Excellence in Public Involvement’. With the grant, they produced a video and infographic to share learning and promote the benefits of patient involvement’.

User Voice

User Voice is an organisation led and run by people who have experienced the criminal justice system.

The organisation runs Health Councils within prisons and probation services across the whole of England to harness the voice of offenders and ex-offenders to improve healthcare provision and access. Health Councils members work collaboratively with prisoners, patients and patient representatives to co-produce proposals to healthcare providers, commissioners and prison staff. Underpinned by innovative methods of engagement and research, User Voice will showcase their Health Councils approach and use its digital impact champions to cascade the learning.

Connected Together Community Interest Company (CTCIC)

CTCIC manages Healthwatch Northamptonshire (HWN) and enables it to help local people influence and improve local health and social care services.

A group of young volunteers from Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire (YHWN) and Shooting Stars spent time in the Paediatric Emergency Department, Paediatric Outpatients and on Skylark Children’s Ward at Kettering General Hospital (KGH). While visiting they also spoke to patients and members of staff and were very impressed with the facilities the hospital had for children and young people. They felt there was a real sense that the needs of all children and young people were put first, including young people with additional needs. The report, written by both Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire and Shooting Stars members, is the first time that Young Healthwatch and Shooting Stars have collaborated in this way.

With the grant, they produced a short documentary designed in collaboration with YHWN, Shooting Stars and KGH to tell the story of the young people.

Healthwatch Essex

Healthwatch Essex gathers and represents views about health and care services in Essex. Their aim is to influence decision makers so that services are fit for purpose, effective and accessible.

The Mental Health Ambassador Programme was launched in 2016 and has enabled patients and carers with direct experience of mental health services, to work alongside commissioners from seven CCGs and three councils, in order to co-produce the first pan-Essex mental health and wellbeing strategy.

They used their grant to create a film showcasing the success of the two-year project, with the aim of it being used as a training aid for future initiatives. Fundamentally, it demonstrates how people’s lived experience can be used to influence or shape services. It also highlights the benefits of working together for both professionals and patients’

Foresight North East Lincolnshire

Foresight is a charity that operates in North and North East Lincolnshire to meet the needs of disabled and older people, along with their families and carers.

Their “My Health My Way” project supports people with a learning disability to develop their own personalised health and lifestyle plans to improve their wellbeing with support and encouragement from dedicated volunteers.

Foresight produced a film to explain the origins and development of the project, how it has involved people with a learning disability, and the impact it had on individual lifestyles and people’s health and wellbeing.

Tameside Armed Services Community (TASC)

TASC is a constituted community group that serves the 7500 veteran and ex-service community in Tameside. They have recently worked with Tameside Council and Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to encourage veterans to register their service with their primary care provider; and to make GPs and Practice Managers aware of the Armed Forces Covenant.

As a result, over 1,400 veterans have registered their service to date. The video and Tameside’s partnership approach guidelines document outline how TASC have developed the Convenient campaign, how they have engaged with veteran specific groups and what impact the campaign has had on ex-service personnel’s health and wellbeing.