Quality statement 2: Peer and lay roles

Quality statement

People from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are represented in peer and lay roles within local health and wellbeing programmes.

Rationale

People from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are underrepresented in health and wellbeing programmes. To ensure that the programmes are accessed and used by minority ethnic groups, commissioners and providers need to recognise the knowledge, skills and expertise of local communities. People known to and trusted by communities can take on peer and lay roles and encourage uptake of services among groups that may otherwise be reluctant to get involved. They can raise awareness, deliver information and advice in a culturally appropriate manner, and help with designing and providing interventions and services that are relevant, acceptable and tailored to the local population.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are represented in peer and lay roles for local health and wellbeing programmes.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, from service planning and service design records, and recruitment records.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to support people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups taking on peer and lay roles in local health and wellbeing programmes.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, records of meetings, mentoring sessions, existing support networks or workshops with people taking on peer and lay roles.

Process

Proportion of local health and wellbeing programmes with people working in peer and lay roles who are representative of the local community.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with people working in peer and lay roles who are representative of the local community.

Denominator – the number of local health and wellbeing programmes.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, from service annual reports.

Outcome

a) The number of people from black, Asian and other minority groups who access local health and wellbeing programmes.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of service records.

b) The number of people in peer and lay roles supporting black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups to improve their health and wellbeing.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of service records.

c) Experience of engaging with local health and wellbeing programmes among people from black, Asian and other minority groups.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, service user survey.

d) Long-term retention of people in peer and lay roles.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, service annual report.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (primary care services, community care services and services in the wider public, community and voluntary sectors) ensure that they work with established community groups and educational or religious leaders to identify and recruit members of the local community who can support people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups and represent the diverse needs of the local population. They ensure that people in lay roles are supported with resources, information and mechanisms to proactively engage members of the community who may be excluded or disengaged. Service providers also support people in peer and lay roles with feedback, support networks, training and mentoring to allow them to fulfil their responsibilities, reach their full potential and continue with the role.

Commissioners (community and voluntary sector organisations and statutory services) understand the diversity of their local community and make a long-term commitment to funding and supporting effective community engagement approaches, such as peer and lay roles. They secure resources to recruit people to peer and lay roles and provide them with ongoing training and support.

People from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are given support and information by other members of their own community who are working closely with organisations that provide local health and wellbeing services. These people represent the interests and concerns of the community and ensure that local health and wellbeing programmes and services recognise the beliefs, expectations and values of people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups.

Source guidance

Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities (2016) NICE guideline NG44, recommendation 1.3.1

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Health and wellbeing programmes

Health and wellbeing programmes cover all strategies, initiatives, services, activities, projects or research that aim to improve health (physical and mental) and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on community engagement]

Peer and lay roles

Community members working in a non-professional capacity to support health and wellbeing initiatives. 'Lay' is the general term for a community member. 'Peer' describes a community member who shares similar life experiences to the community they are working with. Peer and lay roles may be paid or unpaid (that is, voluntary). Effective peer and lay approaches are:

  • Bridging roles to establish effective links between statutory, community and voluntary organisations and the local community and to determine which types of communication would most effectively help get people involved.

  • Carrying out 'peer interventions'. That is, training and supporting people to offer information and support to others, either from the same community or from similar backgrounds.

  • Community health champions who aim to reach marginalised or vulnerable groups and help them get involved.

  • Volunteer health roles whereby community members get involved in organising and delivering activities.

[NICE's guideline on community engagement]

Equality and diversity considerations

Due to language and communication difficulties or past experiences of racism and prejudice, some people from the black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups may not have had a positive experience of accessing services. This may prevent them from engaging with services and increase their risk of poor health outcomes. People in peer and lay roles may be more successful at engaging with and supporting people from similar backgrounds than traditional health and wellbeing services.