Community engagement is about involving local people and organisations, developing on-going conversations and making sure their views feed into how, when and where healthcare services are provided.
The ladder of participation provides a guide to the different stages of engagement with people:
Devolving – where decision-making is placed in the hands of the community
Collaborating – a partnership approach to decision-making, with the community
Involving – working with the community to make sure their concerns are understood and taken into consideration
Consulting – asking the community for views before a decision is made
Informing – letting a community know about plans for the future
You can use a variety of methods to engage with communities, many of which are highlighted on Involvement.
- Events – public events, conferences, open days, deliberative events, focus groups
- Surveys – opinion polls, phone surveys, interviews
- Patient groups – patient participation groups (PPGs) at GP surgeries, patient councils
- Partnership working – teaming up with other organisations who have on-the-ground intelligence and reach into communities - often those in the voluntary and community sector. A stakeholder mapping exercise will help you define those organisations.
- Creative engagement – using stories, art, drama to involve communities
- Social media – targeting localised topics using innovative software
Involvement offers Tools & Resources to help you with community engagement.