Community Health Ambassadors:
Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees CCG (HAST CCG) has developed the Community Health Ambassador (CHA) programme to help it effectively engage and involve local people in the planning, development and commissioning of health services – with a particular focus on engaging people from minority, marginalised and disadvantaged groups and communities.
Since 2015 the CCG has worked in partnership with Catalyst to recruit and manage a team of CHA volunteers who represent a wide range of communities from across all areas of the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees localities including those with learning difficulties/disabilities and their carers, BME community, LGB&T community, deaf community, blind community, homeless community, over 50’s/ageing population, ex-offenders, faith groups, mental health, and more.
Ambassadors are encouraged to provide feedback and recommendations that are solution focussed, allowing the CCG to provide a practical response to concerns and issues; whilst also providing a real opportunity to improve patient experience when accessing health services.
We currently have 5 ambassadors for Hartlepool and 19 for Stockton-on-Tees and we are actively recruiting. The CHA volunteers represent or are involved with a range of organisations/groups detailed below;
- Thornaby Residents
- One More Life
- Volunteering Matters
- North of Tees Dementia Collaborative
- Middlesbrough & Stockton MIND
- Norton Medical Centre PPG
- Eaglescliffe Medical Centre PPG
- Yarm PPG
- People Plus
- Healthwatch Stockton
- Little Sprouts
- Trans Aware
- Over 50’s Forum
- Christians Against Poverty
- Hartlepool Blind Welfare Centre
- Epilepsy Outlook
- Hartlepool Families First
- Home Group
- Hartlepool Deaf Centre
The CHA’s are a mix of employees and community volunteers who both make the most of their existing relationships via personal and professional networks to provide feedback to the CCG on key priorities as required. The ambassadors are also kept up to date with current projects, campaigns and changes to NHS services so that they can share this information with their communities. The role is very flexible without a strict time commitment expected and therefore the level of input from individual volunteers can vary.
The CHA Programme was nominated for the NECS Commissioning Awards 2016 and was Highly Commended in the ‘Excellence in Public Involvement’ category. A range of inclusive communication methods are used to ensure ambassadors and the wider publics’ diverse requirements are accommodated including:
Internal – Support, feedback and guidance:
- Quarterly peer support meetings
- Monthly coffee mornings
- 1-1 meetings
- Social media groups
External – Communication, feedback and promotion:
- Printed and online surveys
- Printed/digital materials including leaflets, business cards, pens, banners, ID Badges etc.
- Website and public Twitter/Facebook pages
- Public events/stalls
- Local printed press
- Radio slots with Stockton Radio and Hartlepool Radio
- Catalyst mailing lists including weekly e-bulletin (1,000 VCSE members)
- CHA Volunteers’ networks, friends/family and community groups
Please see outline report below of CHA activities in 2018.
Interested in becoming a member? Please contact Nathan Duff via e-mail at Nathan.Duff@catalyststockton.org or call 01642 733906