The Health Creation Alliance is part of a consortium co-designing a Community Connector Programme, the purpose of which is to help address some key health issues that are caused, or exacerbated by, inequality.

This is an NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) programme to support community-based roles that impact on the goals of the proposed Core20PLUS5 approach in a locality. This will be achieved through providing community insight into the barriers and enablers for the reduction of health inequalities, connecting people with decision-makers and influencing practical steps to health improvement in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

In the first phase of a three-year programme, NHSEI will fund and support a number of areas to develop and mobilise the model of Community Connectors locally. An example of this support might be a partnership with a local VCSE organisation or Local Healthwatch Group to recruit a salaried local co-ordinator, while building a network of local volunteer-based Core20Plus5 Community Connectors.

At this early stage, the focus is on co-design with systems and people / organisations with direct experience and expertise in community-based roles and impact to develop an approach with strong design principles, while allowing flexibility for local adaptation and delivery.

To inform the co-design stage we are requesting information such as reports, evaluations or other written and web content (including video material) on programmes that havesimilar community-based roles at their heart. Examples include: Community Champions, Peer Advocates, Peer Connectors, Link Workers, Local Area Coordinators, Informal Connectors (not necessarily part of a formal programme) and other Community Connector roles.  These may be in health and care related settings, but could be in other wider contexts.

In addition to examples or evaluations, any ‘Theory of Change’ models, or Logic Models, that have been developed that help to shed light on how such roles actually lead to a reduction in health inequalities would also be valuable.

As background context, the concept of the ‘Core20plus5’ Community Connectors is that they will:

  • be representative of Core20plus population groups
  • be a powerful voice for their communities – connecting (or already be connected with) local voluntary sector and community groups, or faith organisations
  • be supported and trained in understanding and communicating the Core20plus5 and clinical interventions
  • be supported/we will develop a mechanism to feedback to us nationally to inform our policy development and identify what our communities need from the NHS
  • also be supported to hold local health and care partners to account and represent their communities
  • join up/make links with existing community champions where relevant e.g. cancer champions

To share relevant examples, reports, web-links, evaluations etc please email South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit here: [email protected]

South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit are the NHS organisation co-ordinating with Healthwatch England, National Voices and The Health Creation Alliance to develop and establish the programme with stakeholders and partners.

Deadline for responses: Wednesday 1 December @ 17:00.

Thank you in anticipation of your support for this important programme.

The team at THCA