Engaging communities for health improvement: A scoping study for the Health Foundation – August 2010

Posted on September 7, 2010. Filed under: Community Services, Health Systems Improvement, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

Engaging communities for health improvement: A scoping study for the Health Foundation – August 2010

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“A community engagement project involves talking to people in different communities about what they want and need from their healthcare services.

This kind of project can help healthcare professionals to:

determine local needs and aspirations
promote health and reduce health inequalities
improve service design and quality of care
strengthen local accountability.

This report looks at community engagement projects and provides some ideas about what can make them work well.

Recommendations
The report stresses that, in order for a community engagement project to be effective, it is important to consider the community it is aimed at by:

finding out exactly how people want to get involved
providing as much support as possible for people to get involved in the project easily
making sure community members know that their views will be taken into account when any decisions about healthcare are made once the project is complete.

For a community engagement project to work, the following factors are essential:

Engagement plan: Put together a plan which looks at how many community members will be approached and what will be done to make sure everyone is consulted and informed appropriately about what is happening with the project.
Participation methods: Research the best techniques for promoting participation in order to make sure people want to get involved.
Cultural awareness: If the target group for the project includes people from minority groups, be aware of cultural differences, and where necessary, seek guidance on meeting the needs of this group with local leaders”

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