Working Alongside our communities
Alongside Communities – the Solent approach to engagement and inclusion, was published in 2020 and launched in April 2021. This 5-year plan was the result of working with people and communities to understand what really matters most to them about their local community and mental health Trust. They shared their health ambitions, and what we could do together to improve health, reduce health inequalities and improve the experience of care when using services.
The way the NHS currently designs and delivers services has been long reported as being responsible for 20% of health inequalities . The Solent approach to engagement and inclusion, affords a unique opportunity to start to address that, by working with local people and communities. We recognise our communities as strong; as a source of knowledge, expertise and skills, that we in the NHS could and should tap into.
We aim to ensure that we enable communities to do for themselves those things they are able, to support them to do things they could do if helped and to better understand what they really need from their local community and mental health Trust. As we strengthen our relationships we will move from doing to, doing for, doing with to community doing for themselves.
Since the launch of Alongside Communities, a key focus of our work has been to ensure that we hear and address the needs and priorities of those groups that are often not heard from. Over the past two years we have developed relationships with diverse communities, and we continue to build on these partnerships whilst supporting our services to also explore and build on delivering services in a way that our communities have told us they need.
Working with people and communities to understand what they need from their local community, mental health and learning disability Trust is key to the successful development, design, and delivery of the new organisation. Our strengths based approach of working with communities has been adopted as the way we work with people and communities as we develop our proposals for the development, design and delivery of the new organisation which will be created from April 2024.