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Understand the importance of community involvement and promote own service within the wider community

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to critically evaluate how community involvement/activities support positive outcomes for those in receipt of care and support within their area.

The government set out its commitment to local involvement in health and care services when it introduced the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. Under this legislation, local authorities were required to set up Local Involvement Networks (LINks) to obtain the views of the local community and promote the involvement of local citizens in health and care services. LINks were replaced with local Healthwatch organisations in 2013. Healthwatch describes itself as a health and social care champion and has powers to “make sure NHS leaders and other decision-makers listen to your feedback and improve standards of care“. They also have a seat on Health and Wellbeing Boards, which were set up following the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to promote integrated working between key local health and care leaders.

The Marmot Review (2010) explored ways to reduce social inequalities in England and one of the recommendations was to ‘Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities‘ because ‘the communities and social networks to which individuals belong over their life course also have a significant impact on health‘. NICE has also published recommendations regarding community engagement.

Backing from both national and local government along with evidence to support the benefits shows that community involvement is important for the achievement of positive outcomes for individuals in receipt of health and care services.

How the service is promoted within local communities

Creating and maintaining a sustainable care organisation requires engagement with the local community to market the services that it provides. As a leader, it will be your responsibility to promote your services to the citizens of your local area. Engagement activities may include local fundraising or charity events, networking and information sharing (e.g. Local Registered Manager’s Meetings) and using technology, such as email or social media, to keep the community informed of what is happening within your organisation.

How people using services and staff engage and integrate with the wider community

Social isolation is an issue for many individuals receiving care and support services, so staff should promote inclusion and engagement with local communities to prevent the development of related mental health conditions.

How working with other community services supports the development of health and care provision within the community

A holistic approach to health and wellbeing that encompasses an individual’s physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual needs will result in better outcomes for them. By working closely with other agencies, businesses and individuals in your local area, you can help to support all aspects of an individual’s wellbeing. Examples could include maintaining links with local religious leaders, musicians, foot care specialists, businesses that provide assistive technology as well as other health and care professionals, such as GPs, nurses and dentists.

By working in partnership, organisations can pool resources and expertise to provide better services for the community.