Our aim is to demonstrate the value of lived experience in improving services and systems for people with a trauma history or are facing multiple disadvantage.

‘“We had the pleasure of working with Staffordshire Healthwatch on a strategically important patient engagement project. The project sought the views and insights of patients receiving Care UK services in ten prisons across Staffordshire & Worcestershire.
Staffordshire Healthwatch’s informed and systematic approach resulted in insightful and useable data instrumental in delivering Care UK Patient Engagement Strategy. We’d particularly like to acknowledge the value that volunteers brought and how people with lived experience contributed to the overall project”

Luke Wells, Regional Manager (Midlands) Care UK

Led by our Senior Analyst for Hidden Groups, we use lived experience to engage with people facing multiple disadvantage to co-produce positive change and reduce systemic inequalities. We train and support services to use trauma-informed approaches.

Engaging Communities Staffordshire were commissioned by Care UK to work in 10 prisons across Staffordshire and Worcestershire to enhance patient engagement and co-produce a Patient Engagement Standards Framework with staff and patients.

Almost 1000 patients and staff were involved in our consultation and through qualitative and quantitative analysis of the feedback the Framework Standards and Framework, Values were created. We also designed and delivered training for Healthcare, Safer Custody and the local health trust staff to embed an understanding of adverse childhood experiences, adult trauma and the benefit of building resilient communities.

Further to this, we were able to make recommendations for Patient Participation Groups to be set up at each site that would enable all patients, regardless of security restrictions, to have a role within the PPG community, and therefore creating fairness of opportunity between the sites.

The Framework Standards have been accepted by Care UK and will be implemented in all of their UK sites, and the Patient Engagement Standards Framework will be included in Care UK internal governance and service inspections nationally. Registration for the Patient Participation groups with the National Association of Patient Participation has already commenced.

Engaging Communities Staffordshire were members of a task and finish group with Stoke and North Staffs CCG looking into the recent de-commissioning of the Community Matron for the Homeless service, and the impact that this had on individuals and services. We supported the CCG to conduct an engagement exercise with homeless people, by engaging with people who are homeless or face multiple disadvantage to gain an understanding of their health needs, identify any barriers that they face in accessing community services, and design or develop services that are better able to meet the needs of this cohort.

Working closely with our partners in the voluntary sector, we were able to plan a series of engagement activities to ensure that we could include the voices of people experiencing homelessness of different types, including rough sleepers, those in temporary housing, ‘sofa-surfers’, people in hostels and B&B accommodation, recovery communities and people with experience of accessing the local Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP). We were able to use creative and assertive engagement techniques to capture the views of some of the most excluded members of society who would not have been able to participate otherwise.

Working closely with our partners enabled us to add additional information to the overall report and considerations by including feedback from a service provider perspective, and an ongoing case study that highlighted a significant gap in District Nursing provision for homeless people at the risk of poor health outcomes and cyclical admissions to hospital for the same issue. Shortly after the report was produced a bespoke nursing service for the homeless was commissioned that addressed all of the issues and barriers identified.

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