But what impact can local people have?
Over the past 3 years the Community Ambassador Programme has had huge impact on health services provided locally and to the ways the Clinical Commissioning Group work.
Community Ambassadors are currently:
- Helping to shape regular events such as the Annual General Meeting, Innovation Conference and Community Forum
- Having an on going input around the information, support and advice available for Carers both locally and across the county
- Supporting local families to discuss their maternity experiences through the Maternity Voices Partnership
- Encouraging mental health service users to help shape, inform and improve local services through United Communities
- Reviewing leaflets and letters designed for patients and the public
- Shaping and promoting work to help people care for their own health and well-being
- Championing on-going conversations with local people around all health care provision
Below are some further great examples of work Community Ambassadors have been involved with or instrumental in:
Community Ambassadors help to gather views which inform exciting changes across GP services.
In 2017 Community Ambassadors supported the organisation in receiving over 4000 responses to our Primary Care survey. The survey asked local people when they would like to have access to GP services and what was most important to them. Alongside sending the survey out through their networks and on social media; Community Ambassadors volunteered to spend time on train station platforms, in shopping centers and community spaces to give as many people the chance as possible to have their say. Read more about the services you can now receive in your Doctor's surgery here.
My Osteoarthritis Passport
In 2018 Community Ambassadors came together to assist in the creation of a document which would help people living with osteoarthritis. By providing valuable insights through their own lived experience and by encouraging further conversations with local patients the 'My Osteoarthritis Record' was created. This passport covers everything a patient should need from the moment of diagnosis. There are two versions - one for osteoarthritis of the hip and one for the knee. There are many ambitions for the booklet and it is hoped that patients being diagnosed with osteoarthritis will be able to use the information, including dietary advice, specific physiotherapy exercises, weight management, expert contact details, and more, to better manage and even improve their own health. We are proud to say the ‘My Osteoarthritis Record’ is now being used across the Frimley Health and Care System.
In 2019 we are planning to hold our 3rd annual Innovation Conference, an idea initiated by a Community Ambassador Valerie Fabry. In early 2017 Valerie suggested that the community might be able to suggest small projects that had an innovative aspect to them and which could have a large impact on the health and well-being of local people. The CCG supported this proposal and invited groups and individuals from across North East Hampshire and Farnham to put forward projects that needed help to become reality or required a boost. Successful bids would receive a maximum of £2,000 in funding.
On March 27, 2017 the first Innovation Conference was held and the CCG, together with members of the public, patient representatives, partners and stakeholders, voted on the schemes they felt should be given support. We are thrilled to have been able to support 17 initiatives over the past two years and look forward to what 2019 will bring. You can find more information on the North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group's Innovation Conference here.
So what are people saying?
Dr Peter Bibawy – Clinical Chair North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group
It is a real pleasure and privilege to benefit from the combined knowledge and experience of Community Ambassadors who support the Clinical Commissioning Group in many ways, such as influencing and promoting our engagement activities.
Nivula Jewel, Community Ambassador
I’m delighted to be part of such an amazing programme. Being able to contribute my ideas and represent young people in discussions about the services that are offered to us is something I’m very passionate about.
Nick Parkin – Senior Commissioning Manager for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.
Without the support of the Community Ambassadors we would never have been able to progress the setting up of the United Communities. Their enthusiasm and passion for mental health helped drive this forward and make it successful.
Valerie Fabry, Community Ambassador
It has never been about being told or waiting in a line to be heard. From the beginning it has been about a shared respect and ownership.
Aiden Lewis— Commissioning Manager for Planned Care
The Community Ambassadors have been so valuable to me and have had such a positive impact on designing, creating and implementing the Osteo Arthritis Records. These have now been rolled out across the whole of the Integrated Care System. The work they did on this was absolutely crucial to making it the success it is. I would never have achieved this without them.
Subrat Sunger, Community Ambassador
I have very much enjoyed contributing my thoughts and experiences to improve the services offered to the community and helping to make a positive difference. I am so proud to be part of a fantastic team.
For more information on the impact of the Community Ambassador Programme over the 2017/2018 period please click here.