Not just ticking boxes

Four stories illustrating the power of community-led health service design

Covid-19 further exposed the health inequalities that exist across the UK, with research showing that groups experiencing racial injustice, those living in deprived areas, and people working in lower-paid professions were more vulnerable. We understand health inequalities to be driven by various determinants of health such as housing, income, age, employment, education, social isolation or disability – all of which affect people’s access to good healthcare.

Through our Connecting Health Communities initiative, we aim to address health inequalities by bringing together people with lived experience, VCSE organisations, the NHS and local authorities to co-design solutions. Our model is built around a deep commitment to listening and collaboration.

In this report, we share learning from four partnerships. Their stories illustrate the progress that can be made when communities are involved in designing services; and when cross-sector groups work together to invite people in, listen, and then make changes:

  • Improving access to cancer screening
  • Improving rural access to healthcare
  • Reducing smoking
  • Asking older people what works for them

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