Quality statement 1: Identifying local priorities

Quality statement

Members of the local community are involved in setting priorities for health and wellbeing initiatives.

Rationale

Communities that identify and articulate what is most important to them, and agree clear aims for the initiative, are more likely to develop a positive relationship with the commissioner, 'own' the initiative and get more benefit from it. Health and wellbeing initiatives that are developed in partnership between local communities and commissioners are more relevant and meaningful to the community.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements for involving members of the local community in setting priorities for health and wellbeing initiatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Priorities for health and wellbeing initiatives reflect what is important to members of the local communities.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Community ownership of health and wellbeing initiatives, such as levels of participation, and breadth of local community representation on committees, boards and other groups.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Health, public health and social care practitioners involved in health and wellbeing initiatives ensure that from the start of the process, they involve members of local communities as equal partners in all discussions so that the initiative reflects the priorities identified by those members.

Commissioners (community and voluntary sector organisations and statutory services) ensure that they commission health and wellbeing initiatives that involve local communities. Commissioners can do this by ensuring members of the local community are part of committees, boards and other groups so that the priorities of the health and wellbeing initiatives are jointly agreed with local communities.

Members of the local community have a key role from the start in expressing the needs of their community and their priorities for what should be done to improve their health and wellbeing. They have confidence that their opinions are valued as highly as the views of the professionals involved in the process.

Source guidance

Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities (2016) NICE guideline NG44, recommendation 1.1.3

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Community

A community is a group of people who have common characteristics or interests. Communities can be defined by: geographical location, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, a shared interest or affinity (such as religion and faith) or other common bonds, such as health need or disadvantage. People who are socially isolated are also considered to be a community group.
[NICE's guideline on community engagement]

Health and wellbeing initiatives

Health and wellbeing initiatives cover all strategies, programmes, services, activities, projects or research that aim to improve health (physical and mental) and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.
[NICE's guideline on community engagement]

Equality and diversity considerations

People in local communities may experience a range of barriers such as language, literacy, numeracy, low income, access to transport, childcare, digital exclusion and many others that prevent them from taking part in setting priorities for health and wellbeing initiatives. These barriers need to be addressed to support people to engage in the initiative and to increase equity.