All organisations represented on the Board will present a verbal update on their engagement work during the last year.
The Chair invited all organisations represented on the Board to present a verbal update on their engagement work during the last year.
The Chair commented that there was tendency to continually engage with the same people in the same way and partners should think about how engagement could be carried out differently. People’s sense of place was often very different to officers. The recent example of the government establishing a vaccination centre at Peepuls Centre to improve vaccinations in an area had low usage but when it was suggested that it should be moved to a moved to a property within the community the vaccination rates increased. Those living in the community intended to be vaccinated did not see the original location as part of their community area, but then moving it a relatively short distance into their recognised community area had achieve a better outcome.
Kevin Routledge (Strategic Sports Alliance Group) reported that professional sports clubs meet regularly in relation to the importance of physical activity as it was recognised it had a positive impact on health. Engagement was discussed together with the following :-
· How the clubs and participants had been impacted by Covid.
· Had it created opportunities and redefined how people interface with health, hospitals, health centres and GPs.
· Had there been transformation and demand changed and would that return to normal or would it be transformational.
· Was there room in this change from the normal and whether something should be done in the short term to recognise the total demand on the whole system has changed.
The Chair suggested that these issues could be picked up in a development session.
Martin Samuels (Adult and Children’s Services) commented that:-
· Work had been undertaken with the Participation Strategy and the Professor Lundy Report and staff had embraced the exciting opportunities offered by a different approach to service delivery. A Rights Based Model had been embraced as recognising children had a right to a voice about the service they received for their needs and should not just be given the service determined by officers. It was an opportunity for an innovative engagement.
· There had been full consultation on the new approach during lockdown through active social media, daily polls, online consultation, webinars and topic groups to connect with young people in ways they chose and preferred.
· Children had been supported by having access to devices and they could meet in private.
· Valuable lessons had been learned and had brought out strongly the mental health of young people in a difficult year and an understanding of the pressures they had been under.
· Children did not want to use Teams and Zoom for meeting but preferred Facebook Live instead.
· Children could be far more resilient than often they were thought to be when facing pressure. They do respond well and if officers used their preferred technology they do engage positively.
· Professor Lundy had also said that Leicester’s work was exemplary, and she uses it as a reference to others.
The Chair asked that information on the Participation Strategy be circulated to Board members as this would assist others to see how they could to engage with hard to reach groups.
Kevan Liles (Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Leicester) reported that they engaged with organised public groups through the website and newsletters. They also held a 3-day conference on-line and services users used Facebook portals to engage.
Cathy Ellis (Char of LPT NHS Trust) commented that they had set up in LPT People’s Council in September 2020 chaired by Healthwatch which included diverse groups with protected characteristics and others. They came to a Board Meeting to report on mental health services. A Youth Advisory Board for 13-21 year olds had been set up to meeting weekly. They had engaged as mystery shoppers and taken a critical look at website and worked on 10 second tips on twitter to comply with social distancing and how to keep engaged. Participants were supported by training and developed by the Trust.
Mark Wightman (UHL Director of Strategy and Communications) indicated they had used Facebook Live to promote vaccines and address the resistance of people to have a vaccine for Covid. 6,000 people had taken part. The views of children and parents had been taken into account in relation to the building of the new children’s hospital. There was merit in engaging with the public without already have an pre-determine agenda to implement in order to encourage the public to participate and find out the matters which were of importance to them.
Ivan Browne (Director of Public Health) stated that engagement had taken place though speaking to relevant people rather than issuing long consultation engagement documents. It had been beneficial to find that when the right people were engaged, they were able to pull together the right team rather than the usual group of people putting themselves forward. This had been particularly useful in relation to identified ethnic groups such as Somali and Black African Caribbean. Engagement could not be carried out without trust. Engagement work had started with Covid-19 and then developed into mental health, wellbeing and young people.
Richard Morris (Director of Operations and Corporate Affairs, LLR CCG) indicated that one size or model of engagement did not fit all situations. There was a need for a range of issues in a dynamic model as groups and communities were all different. The CCG had put in place a public involvement assurance group and had developed a citizen’s panel. 1,000 people were used as a rapid testing method to give quick insight of public opinion. Engagement also took place on-line which enabled to the CCG to engage many with people who had not engaged before. It also resulted in seeing different people that would not normally come to face to face meetings. Going forward it would be important to engage through all different engagement methods to engage with as wide a base as possible. The CCG also engaged with faith and community leaders and groups to have dialogue about services with them. The engagement model had been radically changed so that engagement was not taken on issues when it was realistically too late to make a difference to one where having more open and place based discussions and consultation to inform the development of the strategy model. There were direct benefits for engagement when it was possible to say these are the issues you said were of concern to you and this is what we are doing to address them. It would also allow better joint working with others.
Executive Members commented that:-
· It was important to build trust during engagement and the joint central resource for all to access the outcomes of engagement was welcomed. Learning outcomes should be pooled together so each organisation can draw from each other’s learning outcomes and use them for future reference.
· It was important to understand that communities and geographical areas were very different and needs different aspects when undertaking engagement. For example, there’s an old established Polish community in the City and also a newer more recent Polish community and each community generally lived in different areas of the City.
· It would be helpful to develop principles to draw together all the elements needed for engagement as had been done for the earlier item for health inequalities. This then would provide guidance for everyone to work to in the future. The Director of Public Health could lead on this and circulate to partners to add their contributions.
That organisations be thanked for their updates and the items requested by the Chair above be actioned.