Community grants 2016

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

Healthwatch Norfolk – working with veterans to understand mental health needs

From April 2015-16, Healthwatch Norfolk conducted targeted engagement with 30 military veterans living with mental health conditions in Norfolk and Suffolk. The aim was to understand what it was like for them to experience NHS mental healthcare and to find ways of improving local services for a group of seldom heard service users. The project involved a wide variety of stakeholders, bringing together local veterans and their families with NHS England commissioners and working with Health Education England and the Ministry of Defence to provide veteran specific training to 272 GP students across the east of England. You can find out more about the project by watching a short film about the project.

Friends of Bolton CAMHS – working with young people to tackle the stigma of mental health

The Friends of Bolton Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) has been set up by a group of young people. All of those involved have experienced mental health problems and would like to help improve the mental health of others. The group is made up of around 20 young people with a range of mental health difficulties. The group is running an anti-stigma campaign around child and youth mental health and has produced a film about the journey that patients have been on to empower both themselves and other young people.

Age UK – Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has an ageing population and is working to create an ‘Age Friendly Island’ to support its ageing community. Age UK carried out a project in partnership with a GP surgery to look at creating a blueprint for age friendly GP practices that can meet the needs of older patients. The Age Friendly Island team worked with a GP from Tower House Surgery in Ryde and their Patient Participation Group, (PPG) to hear their views on what the practice was doing well for older people, and what could be improved. This led to the development of the Age Friendly Surgeries Charter, a blueprint that offers surgeries a framework to work with and adapt where necessary. Age UK has produced a short film and a toolkit to help practices on the Isle of Wight and across the UK understand the importance, value, and purpose of becoming an age friendly practice.

Lambeth GP Food Co-op

The Lambeth GP Food Co-op is a community led cooperative of patients, doctors nurses and local residents who work together to grow food. It was awarded the ‘Best sustainable Food initiative’ by Public Health England /NHS Sustainability Unit. It builds food growing gardens in GP surgeries across the Borough, and has produced a film to showcase its work. Patients and other local people are directly involved in planning, growing and delivering locally grown produce, which is sold at a local hospital. People are actively involved at all sites in the partnership, which focuses on the connection between primary care and local communities. The aim of the Co-op has been to support patients and service users with long term health conditions by encouraging self-management through gardening.

The West London Collaborative – Innovative approach informs urgent mental health pathways

The West London Collaborative used social media and an interactive community event to inform a redesign of urgent mental health services. It collected people’s lived experiences through a ‘test my story’ website and a Twitter campaign. This information was then used to enact five real life scenarios at an event, which explored barriers to receiving quality urgent care, what makes services work well and how to prevent recurrent visits. Mental health experts, local agencies and patients took part. A short film has been made to share this innovative collaborative approach to engagement.

Friends, Families and Travellers, Brighton – Sharing the benefits of engaging with Gypsy and Traveller communities

Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) engages with Gypsies and Travellers across Brighton and Hove and has built up trusted relationships through its work. FFT has identified barriers to accessing healthcare that Gypsies and Travellers face and keeps the health needs of the community on the local health agenda. Together with the local Gypsy Traveller community it has coproduced a film which shows how FFT’s work has helped the community access the support it needs, and the positive impact this has had on both Gypsy and Traveller families and local health and social care providers.

Changing Our Lives – West Midlands

The ‘Sky’s the Limit’ project is a collaboration between Changing Our Lives, a rights based third sector organisation, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, and a group of young disabled people with complex health needs and their families. The project had two aims. Firstly it explored ways in which young disabled people can be supported to be in the driving seat of their own package of care, including choosing their own care provider. This was done through a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style approach to making care choices. It also aimed to stimulate the wider health and social care market so that provision for disabled young people across Wolverhampton becomes young people friendly and person centred. Changing our Lives has produced a film to showcase the Sky’s the Limit project and how they involved people to design new approaches to care.

H3 – Helping the Homeless into Housing – Stockport

H3 – Helping the Homeless into Housing runs a project, ‘H4 Hospital’, that prevents homeless people being discharged from hospital in an unplanned manner by advocating for them and joining up health and housing service planning. The project has created new links between services to ensure a smooth and timely transition for patients, which reduces the risk of homelessness and repeat use of acute care. H3 has produced an animation that demonstrates how it developed this innovative service by listening to and working with patients and staff from different services.

Advocacy in Greenwich

Advocacy in Greenwich supports the Greenwich People’s Parliament for People with a learning disability. It found that many people with a learning disability have had bad experiences with GPs and felt that their doctors did not know how to communicate well with them. This led to the introduction of a ‘Health Quality Checkers’ (HQC) team; a group of adults with a learning disability who work together to quality check NHS services, such as GP surgeries and pharmacies. The team checks services against four quality standards: access; easy read; well trained staff; annual health checks and health profiles. After they have carried out the quality checks, the team provides a report to the service that says what is being done well, what could be better and sets achievable goals for improvement. The HQC team has made a film to explain the checks they carry out and the training they provide.

People First Dorset

People First Dorset carried out research into how accessible information is for people with a learning disability in local GP surgeries and hospitals. It found that the amount of information provided was overwhelming and difficult to understand. It made simple suggestions on how this could be improved, which included making information boards neater and clearer, and using easy read formats for information. The suggestions it made were acted on in by two GP surgeries and a community hospital, showing that by working with people who have learning disabilities it is possible to find new solutions to make information more accessible. People First Dorset has made a short film that highlights how working together can bring about improvements in the patient journey for people who have a learning disability.

Investing In Children – Durham

Investing in Children (IiC) uses a children’s rights approach to involve children and young people in health service development. It gives children and young people the opportunity to meet in a safe environment to discuss ideas to improve services based on their experiences. As well as regular health group meetings (focused on conditions such as mental health and diabetes), IiC uses a range of other approaches to engage children and young people to gather their ideas. IiC’s health groups have developed a promotional film to highlight examples of good practice and encourage other organisations to adopt a rights based approach to working with children and young people.

YoungMinds – London

MindEd for Families is an innovative, free, online resource providing information and advice to parents and carers with concerns about their child’s mental health and wellbeing. It was developed following engagement with over 120 parents with lived experience of child and teen mental health problems, through interactive consultation workshops, user requirement workshops and an online survey to co-design and co-produce the resource. It covers 35 themes, such as: everyday parenting; risky behaviour and bullying – all of which were identified as important issues by parents involved in the project. YoungMinds have created a short film to showcase the successful parent participation in the MindEd for Families project. It will highlight the importance of parental engagement and the strengths of co-production in improving services available to support families who are concerned about their child’s mental health.

Southampton Voluntary Services, Healthwatch Southampton

Healthwatch Southampton carried out research to better understand the life experiences of local people living with mental health problems, including what helped people to recover and experiences of stigma and discrimination. The research was guided by a steering group made up of service users, carers, voluntary sector agencies, NHS services and a commissioner. They have developed a short animated film to highlight the experiences of people living with mental health problems in Southampton, based on the research it carried out. This will enable Healthwatch Southampton and its partners to creatively communicate the research findings to a much wider audience.

Rethink Mental Illness – London

Rethink Mental Illness will use its grant to share experiences and lessons learnt from service user engagement and collaboration in a project called ‘Joining the Dots’. Joining the Dots is a collaboration between Otsuka Health Solutions and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust. The project has seen the introduction of new digital care tools that can be used on an electronic tablet to capture service users’ health information in a simple and easy to use format. The screen is shared between healthcare workers and service users during face to face meetings; enabling both to input and review important information. This creates a single co-produced care record, which the service user and the healthcare worker feel fully engaged with and can be shared with other people involved in the service user’s care. Rethink have developed an animated film to share the experiences of people who use mental health services, and their carers, in co-producing digital tools for better care.

The Intercom Trust – Exeter

The Intercom Trust set up a project to explore the mental healthcare needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) communities. It commissioned LGBT+ groups in the south west to engage members who had lived with mental health problems. They produced a film about their experiences of using mental health services, which highlighted that they felt that NHS professionals needed better training on basic LGBT+ issues. In response to this, Intercom developed an online learning package for mental health practitioners, working with LGBT+ experts by experience and a wide range of NHS and other mental health practitioners. Intercom have produced a video and posters highlighting the best practice developed in consulting with LGBT+ people on their community-specific mental healthcare needs, and using the results to develop a community-led resource that benefits NHS staff and LGBT+ people.

You can find out more about last year’s projects and how community groups used their grants.