Community Conversations aim to connect and listen to people in the places they live to help shape the future of heath and care services.
Born out of a genuine belief that people and communities hold the key to their improved health and wellbeing, supported by services where needed, the RD&E has helped kick start Community Conversations.
The conversations see a collaboration between service providers, commissioners, GPs, third sector organisations and, most importantly, communities.
Community led approach
Importantly, from the outset, the RD&E positioned itself as just one of many partners contributing to a broader approach to health and wellbeing rooted in “place”.
A key focus has been to help create the necessary conditions for communities to play a leading role in identifying need and working out how best to articulate this, as well as considering their own strengths and assets.
An on-going conversation
The Community Conversations, which now take place in ten market towns, have evolved in different ways, with different contributors and at different paces. Each is at a different stage of maturity and many have now morphed into existing community networks or established as new entities – all led by the community.
For a number of places, the output from these ongoing conversations has been the development of community-led, co-owned and co-produced plans to develop the right mix of bespoke interventions targeted at the specific needs of local people (and which seek to address the wider determinants of health and wellbeing), and the coordination of existing assets and connections that currently support people in their communities.