Population Health Management community engagement
Warwickshire North (WN) Place have undertaken community engagement work with the local population, aligned to our Population Health Management (PHM) approach and focused on WN’s chosen PHM cohort, in order to understand their experience of or barriers to accessing services currently offered in the area.
Why change was needed
WN Place recently completed the Optum PHM programme, helping to foster a shared PHM approach. A population cohort was chosen to focus on for health inequalities and prevention:
- High/middle deprivation
- One existing acute condition
- History of smoking
- Age 20-59
The aim of an intervention with this cohort is to target key lifestyle risk factors and work with individuals to produce personalised care plans to improve long-term health.
It was important to engage with local members of the cohort first to understand their views on services currently offered in the area and barriers to engagement.
What we did
Place partners at the County Council and Public Health utilised Community Connectors to engage in this manner, targeting geographical areas with high levels of deprivation: Dordon, Mancetter, Bedworth, Stockingford, Artherstone, Polesworth and Nuneaton.
Engagement happened from 7am to 7pm at a range of locations, including industrial sites, takeaway food locations, community halls, school family drop-in sessions and generally talking to people on the street.
167 members of the population were engaged with, and five key themes came out as most important to the cohort:
- Mental health
- Physical fitness
- Access to GP services
- Cost of living
Individuals that were engaged with discussed the main barriers to engaging with services to improve their long-term health, including:
- Feeling isolated
- Unable to get a GP appointment
- Not knowing where to seek support
- Stigma attached to seeking support
- Long waiting times
- Lack of finances
- Lack of motivation
- Not deemed a priority
Key opportunities to increase access and engagement with services were also discussed:
- Workplace wellbeing focus
- Knowing where to seek support
- Mental health support
- Signposting to local services available
- Flexibility of appointment times
- Increased awareness of available services
These findings are now being used to agree the next steps with WN’s PHM intervention and focus on what is most meaningful to the cohort. A focus group is being scoped to continue this type of community engagement throughout the piece of work, with hopes to replicate similar approaches for other projects at Place level in WN.