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Scarborough Healthier Towns (Healthier Communities)

We are looking to work with a consultant to help co-ordinate our Scarborough Healthier Towns scoping project, this is a 9 month project to start on 1st June 2021 with a budget of £25,000

 

Introduction and background

With funding from the National Lottery, this brief is inviting proposals from consultants who want to work closely with the local VCSE, councils, health care providers and public health.  Age UK Scarborough & District, Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind and Scarborough Citizens Advice are working closely with Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Public Health North Yorkshire and Humber NHS Learning Trust to build a healthier community for Scarborough Town Centre.

Having worked closely throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisations involved are building strong working relationships, which will be further developed through this project.  Our experience of the local communities has further developed throughout this time, with Scarborough being a highly deprived area, with high levels of mental health issues, long-term conditions, drug and alcohol abuse and poor sexual health.

The consultant will work with the local community to ascertain what they feel their requirements are for becoming healthier and gaining improved wellbeing.  This project will help us to build relationships across partners and the community to help guide future services and activities. The consultant will help to co-design this service. 

 

The Project

The initial approach will be to bring together key stakeholders from existing, extensive networks via groups such as the VCS Leaders’ group, mental health forum, Yorkshire Coast Disability Forum, LEP, Loneliness Steering Group, Police IAG and Health Partnership Board. You will identify any gaps in stakeholders and identify key individuals within the community who can help forge a strong, community focused engagement model.

The approach must be transparent and honest to engender trust in both partnership and subsequent service delivery. To enable the right level of buy-in from organisations, we need to clearly demonstrate longer-term benefits of the collaboration and subsequent projects, for example, creating clearly defined and understood pathways between organisations and services, supporting complimentary and innovative service development/projects, improving outcomes for residents and through providing support or resources to organisations. 

Effective communication protocols must be established with the core partnership and wider community, as well as sharing cultures and approaches between sectors.

Terms of reference must be agreed and a code of conduct that commits partners to:

  • Develop a cohesive, shared understanding of health issues and the barriers our community are facing in developing healthier lifestyles
  • Commit to a broader vision of health that incorporates our range of priorities, acknowledging the importance of social/environmental factors
  • Create a flat hierarchy so all partners are given equal weight, generous leadership by providing proactive support, feedback and sharing of relevant resources
  • Ensure a time commitment from all partners to maintain regular and open communication
  • Commit to a collective approach to encourage commissioning to consider a more localised approac

 

Main Aims

The main aims of the project are to influence the improvement to both individuals’ and community’s mental health, and to reduce isolation and loneliness.  We know that community led interventions can have a significant and tangible impact on hard health outcomes, for example, the Compassionate Community model delivered a 14% reduction in emergency hospital admissions in a relatively short time span. We also know from research (such as Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality – Meta Analytic Review) that relationships between people are fundamental to human health both mental and physical.

 

Consultant Outcomes

We are looking for a consultant to co-ordinate this project and help us to develop the partnership and reach our aims and objectives.  We expect the Consultant to help co-design the project, however, this will include:

  • Co-ordinate and facilitate in the steering group meetings
  • To research and map the health needs post Covid-19, focusing on lifestyle and environmentally related health issues (COPD, Diabetes, Obesity etc)
  • Produce a stakeholder analysis of current provision of health orientated services, engaging with a minimum of 15 organisations (including discussions with operational staff from TEWV, GP Surgeries, Voluntary Sector and local councils)
  • To organise and facilitate community spaces for developing open conversations and feedback, these will involve working creatively, to engage a wider population.  The events will focus on themes which come through the steering group.  We would expect at least 9 community engagement events, that capture a variety of communities and hard to reach groups.  This will include getting feedback, ideas, discussing barriers and the current situation. 
  • To engage with a minimum of 200 members of the community
  • To write reports and collate learning regarding the community engagement, the progress of the partnership, and the involvement of stakeholders – to be completed every 6 – 8 weeks
  • Aid with the development of a proposal for a Healthier Towns project, for future funding
  • Communicate using a range of channels with all stakeholders on a regular basis, for example, updating the VCSE leaders group, newsletters to external organisations, social media posts aimed at beneficiaries and networking

 

 

Specific Project Outcomes

The specific outcomes are somewhat challenging to define in full given that the project itself will not be designed until we reach a stage of full community engagement, however, we would be working towards influencing individual health outcomes such as 50% showing improved mental health, 50% increased physical activity (and the corresponding expected consequences such as decreased weight) alongside softer outcomes such as 75% increase in patient satisfaction with health and 80% decreased loneliness (based on the evidence that chronic loneliness increases risk of early death by 20%).

In the long term, we are seeking to influence overall population health measured by population wide data such as 15% decreased admission to hospital, decreasing rates of lifestyle related diagnoses such as type II diabetes, and decreased rates of admission for self-harm.

The NIHR review of evidence in 2013 concluded that community engagement interventions are effective at improving health behaviours, health consequences, participant self-efficacy and perceived social support for disadvantaged groups.

There are four areas we wish to focus on:

  • Movement away from single condition, restrictive services; preventing organisations/services taking a more holistic view of health and wellbeing and forcing people to transition through an array of services
  • Addressing lack of coordination with a more ‘helicopter’ view of support - both professionals being unaware of whom to approach, how to access resources, or what the criteria for support is.
  • Empowering the community to deliver emotional and social support: in particular, a greater focus on the mental health and wellbeing of people with ‘physical’ health problems and reflectively, the physical health of people with mental health problems.
  • Identifying the gaps and developing new pathways to move away from fragmented care. Whilst the NHS and Social Care are not in place to deliver services within a whole systems approach in partnership with the VCSE, we can begin to develop a model that supports people with ‘more than medicine’.

Specific action will develop as the partnership evolves however we have already identified issues with workforce development and training, and we hope to create a lasting impact beyond this project.  The VCSE leaders have already begun sharing training and development resources in a reciprocal model Given pressure on budgets and waiting time for specific services, expanding this approach across all partners to create a better qualified workforce with a wider knowledge base should enable partner organisations to deliver low level interventions on a range of health issues, for example, if VCS workers are trained in smoking cessation interventions.

For service delivery we will be look at the hard and soft health outcomes, measuring the impact of the project alongside participant feedback on quality and accessibility of the service, levels of engagement patterns across the community as both participants and volunteers – broken down by diversity demographics so we can understand better who we have (and have not) reached.

This information will be collated 6 monthly and then as a full project evaluation at the end of delivery. Findings will be presented regular to the steering group with the purpose of further developing and redesigning the project in line with the feedback and evaluation.

 

 

Partnership Development

It is proposed to create a basic framework to record our individual and group reflections against each commitment via:

- Reflective video journals

- Stakeholder surveys

- Independent interviews with participants

To be of value, this information must be honest and especially where things do not go to plan however, we should be able to reflect on the reasons why and use that learning for future planning.

Community Intelligence:

This information would need to be gathered in an ongoing way throughout the life of the project using a multi-channel approach, not everyone is able to engage with consultations in the same medium so we would be asking our community for information via surveys, focus groups, and large group consultations.

 

Consultant specification

Values

  • Partnership working, co-operation and collaboration
  • Commitment to personal and professional development
  • Open, patient and flexible

Knowledge

  • Understanding of safeguarding and professional boundaries
  • Knowledge of relevant methodologies, including primary and secondary research and creative thinking
  • Knowledge of health, mental health and determinants of health
  • Understanding of the local area – Scarborough area
  • Knowledge and understanding of partnership working

Experience

  • Working with Public Health or the NHS
  • Research Experience
  • Networking
  • Successful engagement with the local community
  • Working in or with a charity or community organisation
  • Experience of outcome monitoring and working to KPIs
  • Working with volunteers is desirable

 

 

Proposal Content

If you are interested in this project, please cover the following areas in your proposal (Maximum of 4 sides of A4) and e-mail to Julie Macey-Hewitt at ceo@ageukscarborough.org :

  • Your overall approach to developing the project, its outcomes and its values (methodology/theory)
  • How you would implement this work to achieve the outcomes
  • Examples of relevant values, knowledge and experience
  • Case study
  • Set of realistic recommendations for moving the project forward
  • Breakdown of costs and time allocation (please note maximum budget is £25,000)

 

Timescales

  • Proposal deadline 4th May 2021 at Mid-day
  • Interviews 6th May 2021
  • Start date - 1st June 2021
  • End date – 28th February 2022