Grassroots Outreach 2017/18

In November 2017, the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for south west London was refreshed, with a strengthened focus on partnership, prevention and keeping people well. It was agreed that a local approach works best when planning health and care services. Because of the local focus, the aims for 2017 – 18 grassroots outreach programme have differed slightly to the previous year of grassroots 2016 – 2017.

Key aims of the 2017 – 2018 grassroots programme were:

  • For feedback to inform the local health and care plan development
  • To enable closer working with CCG (clinical commissioning group) colleagues to ensure that commissioners were able to give a clear steer of key areas to explore or help shape questions to discuss with specific community groups.
  • To provide CCG commissioners with opportunities to have face to face conversations with local people
  • To extend our reach into priority groups who would not usually be reached by usual methods of engagement (large scale events/focus groups).
  • To have in-depth conversations with people who have used a particular service (maternity service users/ those who have had/have cancer)
  • To continue to strengthen our relationship with Healthwatch and Community & Voluntary Sector.

The programme has undoubtedly succeeded in expanding our reach into our local communities, and the conversations we held have enhanced our understanding of the needs of specific populations where health is just one of a number of challenges associated with daily living.

During September 2017 – November 2018, the teams met with 67 groups reaching over 1900 people and having in-depth conversations with over 1500 people.

We used insights from these sessions, alongside feedback from other recent engagement activity, in presentations to set the scene and present a picture of health at our large-scale deliberative events in Croydon, Merton, Wandsworth, Kingston, Richmond and Sutton in November 2018.

These events brought local people, health and care staff and stakeholders such as politicians and community organisations together to design an integrated Health and Care Plan for each borough.

You can read more about the Health and Care Plan events here

We asked local groups how the funding helped their local community and the benefits the event had:

  • “The advantage for the participants in our event is that during the meeting they met new people, creating new relationships by banning isolation within the community. The participants have expressed their difficulties or problems in their discussions with our team, and with/in the presence of the NHS team. They are confident, no longer living isolated, and acquire new knowledge or information.” – Croydon
  • “It brought closer engagement with a small but significant group of people who were or had experienced homelessness.  It raised the profile of our charity and another example of how our charity can work with NHS Services and Healthwatch Kingston to highlight the issues that people experiencing homelessness have.” – Kingston
  • “Educating and preventing young people from becoming perpetrators knife crime and/or victims. Saving lives, keeping people healthy and aware of the dangers. We also helped people understand how to deal with the consequences should they unfortunately arise. Overall safer community!” – Merton
  • “The funding encouraged social inclusion, brought together new interactions” – Sutton
  • “It was good to provide participants with an opportunity to give feedback to the NHS and we appreciated the support provided to Art & Soul in organising the event and covering some costs” – London Borough of Richmond
  • “The NHS participation added to the depth and interest of what the event offers. It underlines that it’s an event for the whole community and not for one section of it or a particular interest group. Everyone cares about their health and is keen for an opportunity to talk about it, especially those from groups that find services less easy to access. It gives a good signal that the NHS doesn’t stay behind closed doors but reaches out to the community.” – Wandsworth