Who we work with

Providers

We work with trusts and other health care providers or charities and consult local users and communities about their needs. We liaise with them to make resources that work well – conveying messages to increase awareness, access or other improvements in health behaviour. We can show cost effective outcomes and evidence based change that support provider targets (as well as helping front line staff!)

Communities and other stakeholders

We support communities who experience inequality in using health services; perhaps due to disability or issues around mental health, language or immigration.

Much of our work has focused on groups who are not well integrated into a wider community and who are sometimes called "hard to reach".

We make information resources that are cost effective in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, professional bodies and users.

Ethos

Integral to our ethos is the appreciation that people are experts in their own lives. We also use artistic style and creativity in our resources, to engage people more fully and to make sure that messages are not "lost".

Aims

Against the background of the Coalition Government’s policy, "No decision about me, without me" (DH,2010) we aim to signpost services and information resources currently available and in addition to create targeted and specific resources.

Through consultations we work with people so that these resources are useful, appropriate and attractive to them. We help them become more aware of services and empower them to be more proactive "healthy decision makers" and partners in their care.

    Our resources help providers and users:

  • open up discussion, tune into health messages and invest in health behaviours that work for them.
  • focus on perception and understanding of the client and their own reasons for making decisions about their health and care.

Approach

As well as the final product of an information resource or mechanism, we create tangible evidence of the consultation process along the way. For example, a "Visual Diary" can depict how the viewpoints of a community and of key health professionals can both be represented or met.

We often use an ethnographic and action research approach, pin-pointing needs before developing shared solutions and evaluating evidence of change.

We give communities a voice and contribute to a body of understanding about their real lived experiences and current needs.

We present this research in reports that are shared with the commissioning organisation, Department of Health and other key stakeholders.

In the long term we will consider some policy and campaigning work to improve equity and uptake of services for vulnerable groups.