Engaging and involving local people, stakeholders and communities
We want to involve individuals and communities in shaping the services they receive in a way that is both meaningful and representative, working together across the system to make services work for everyone.
In order for our ICS to be effective, we will have local people and communities at the heart of what we do and how we do it. This will enable everyone who wants to, to be part of identifying the issues and helping to find solutions in ways that work for them and meet the priorities of local communities. Without the insights and diverse thinking of local people we will not be able to meaningfully tackle health inequalities and the challenges faced by health and care systems.
At the heart of how we work together as an ICS will be an ethos of learning from local people and, where needed, changing the way health and care partners work together, removing the barriers between services and joining up care around people and populations. This engagement will be an ongoing dialogue between the providers of care services and the recipients of those services to drive continuous improvement and involve people in care that is personalised to them.
This engagement and involvement of people is pivotal to improving access to and increasing trust and confidence in the health and care services we provide. Our engagement will always be meaningful, undertaken in culturally competent ways and we will do our best to coordinate engagement and involvement across the system understanding people’s priorities and experiences in the context of their lives, not just their health conditions.
What are we doing already?
We have some really strong foundations to build on. The Covid pandemic and delivering the vaccination programme has shown us that when we work together to engage and involve communities with a common purpose, and without barriers between local authorities, NHS providers and commissioners and communities, we can better support and respond to the true priorities of local residents and extend our reach much wider and deeper into local communities, particularly those who may have been or felt excluded in the past.
Across Coventry and Warwickshire, all partner organisations, particularly the two Local Authorities, voluntary sector and Healthwatch, have developed many examples of excellent best practice in working with communities, understanding experiences and championing co-production, and we will build on and learn from their experiences in shaping the ICS approach.
We will adhere to the NHS England principles on how we communicate, engage and involve people and communities.
Our Communities Strategy outlines in detail the steps we will take to deliver these priorities. Throughout the strategy, there are case studies from across the partners of the ICS which demonstrate the breadth and depth of engagement activity that already takes place. We will build on these strong foundations, learning from each other to design how we work together as a system and better collaborate and engage with both individuals and communities.
Engagement is something which must be done with local communities not to them, and there are many great examples of communities being empowered to look after their own health across our health and care system. The National Lottery Community Fund and The Kings Fund-supported Healthy Communities Together programme presents an enormous opportunity for us to learn about how best to mobilise communities and redefine the shape and scope of local systems to improve the outcomes for our population.
However, there remain barriers to delivering engagement, both as a system and at local, place and neighbourhood level, which this strategy aims to eradicate as we begin to work as one whole system – working in co-ordination at a system level where appropriate and empowering local communities to lead the way.
What will change in our ways of working?
- Greater levels of personalised care enabled by effective engagement with patients and communities.
- An improved methodology and approach to how we engage patients and communities consistently across system partners based on a shared framework.
- Developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with our diverse communities.
What actions are we prioritising?
- Investing in the community and voluntary sector.
- Delivery of our Communities Strategy.
- Developing a framework for how we work together as partner organisations within the ICS.
- Promoting cultural change across the ICS to put people at the heart of everything we do.
- Building trust and relationships through always listening to and learning from our communities.
- Equipping everyone with the tools they need and demonstrating the difference that community involvement makes, drawing on learning from across the system.