£450,000 to support practical and innovative ways to help patients improve health services has been announced
The Building Health Partnerships programme has been awarded funding from NHS England and the National Lottery – through the Big Lottery Fund – to provide tailored support for co-production to 10 areas, helping to more easily involve patients and carers in designing the services they use.
It is intended that the funding will also support a leadership training and develop a ‘champions’ network’ where community representatives and commissioners can share the best ways to ensure communities and patients are at the heart of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ (STP) and Integrated Care Systems’ (ICS) plans.
The Building Health Partnerships programme – delivered by the Institute of Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) – has so far helped communities to bring together patients with local, voluntary, community and social enterprise groups.
This has included:
- Gaining recognition for the role of mental health peer support workers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
- Helping healthcare professionals bring carers into conversations about patients in Herefordshire and Worcestershire
- Making it easier for organisations that plan local health services to support community groups by developing a shared set of aims or “outcome measures” in Humber, Coast and Vale
- A new programme to get early diagnosis for people with lung diseases in Essex
The 10 areas receiving the support will take part across two cohorts, and the first five STP/ICS areas will be:
- Frimley Health and Care
- Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria
- North Cumbria
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
- West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership
These STPs will bring local groups and key decision makers together to put patients at the heart of decision-making, being supported by a series of externally facilitated sessions.
Eight areas received this package of support last year.
Mid and South Essex STP, one of the first areas to benefit, is already showing the value of local collaboration:
- The partnership procured lung testing equipment to take into the community and, by approaching people at events and clinics, they identified early indicators of respiratory illness in 20% of those tested.
- Early diagnosis can help prevent flare-ups and stop or slow deterioration of the lungs which can lead to breathlessness and limited mobility.
- The partnership is also supporting a new “Breathe Easy” group where those with respiratory and lung conditions can get support and advice on treatment, ask questions, access support and take part in social activities.