The need for community-based approaches to give people a real and effective voice in their own health and wellbeing needs has been validated and given greater weight by the NHS Five Year Forward View and its recommendations under Next Steps to utilise those assets as a catalyst for change.
Realising the Value has drilled down to provide the evidence of the validity of these approaches and is a call to action to make it happen.
All well and good, but it’s our contention as authors of Commissioning for Community Development for Health that there are many decision-makers in the health system who want to strengthen community action, but have no model for how to start going about it.
We wanted to produce a research-based publication that addresses this need and provides a framework for action, starting in priority neighbourhoods.
It offers a systematic approach to increasing resident involvement in health-giving activity, mutual aid and community effectiveness across a CCG area, and provides the tools to get it going.
- a down-to-earth explanation of what community development is and does
- where it fits in to current health policy
- the kinds of health benefit that these methods can generate
- a rationale for partnership with other local services to boost community activity
- mobilising participation through all community groups and networks
- addressing both health and care and the social determinants of health
- making services more responsive to communities
- designing a two to five year community strengthening strategy
- phasing the work across the CCG, starting with priority neighbourhoods
- what skills should be sought in recruiting project leader and staff
- model contract for provision of the community development project
- model baselines, milestones and key performance indicators
- reconciling planned outcomes and objective evaluation with scope for flexible fieldwork method.
The Handbook closely reflects C4CC’s own 3Cs. So we are proud to help spread the message to a wider network.
It has also been endorsed by the Royal College of GPs and Think Local Act Personal (TLAP). support we obviously welcome.
But our work does not end with its publication and we are offering introductory seminars and practical workshops to commissioners and others keen to learn more.
As well as explaining the key concepts and instruments and looking at case studies, these can be tailored to particular audiences, priority local issues and participants’ needs.