Shared learning database

Barton and Tredworth Community Trust Centre
Published date:
October 2008

The aim of this initiative is to demonstrate how lay people, working with NICE and other partners, can make a positive difference and bring about change.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

The overall aim of this implementation initiative is to demonstrate how lay people, working with NICE and other partners, can make a positive difference and bring about change. As a member of the NICE Project Development Group that established the guidance on the environment and physical activity, the aim of my work was to both develop the guidelines and then take the NICE guidance into a community setting. Working in true partnership with local agencies, organisations and individuals, and in particular the local authority, the overall aim was to take national guidelines down to a community level and secure a commitment to deliver a plan of purposeful action. 1. To bring NICE guidelines on the Environment and Physical Activity into a local community setting (in this case, an area in the 10% most deprived in the country) in Gloucestershire 2. To use NICE guidelines to enable key stakeholder discussions, in particular with local authority partners, around the planning of a local activity project in Gloucestershire 3. To use the NICE guidelines to work across agencies, in particular local authorities, and take forward a signed agreement to deliver a local activity project that is based on the NICE guidance

Reasons for implementing your project

What baselines assessment did you take I explored local organisations/people's knowledge of NICE and their knowledge of the Public Health arm of NICE. I explored if there was any systematic/structured joining up of the physical activity and the environment agenda at a local level. I explored if the NICE guidelines were intended to be included in the national to local level funding streams. What was happening prior to the intervention People from diverse communities, and agencies outside of health, were largely aware of NICE through media coverage around drugs and medication. Prior to the intervention there was no systematic approach programme of mapping environment and physical activity initiatives through a cross agency working plan. There was no signed agreement by a county wide body to use NICE guidelines to deliver a local community project that bridged inter agency working in this field. Why was it needed There was a clear opportunity to use a local launch of NICE guidelines to demystify the role of NICE, and also highlight the Public Health arm of NICE at a community level. The NICE guidelines provided information, and a living tool, in which to enable discussions with key partners in Local Authority (in particular the Environment Directorate) around creative working relations. The NICE guidelines provided an opportunity to map existing activities and identify/deliver a local based project based that took onboard national guidelines and local need.

How did you implement the project

Objective One (a local launch of the NICE Guidance) - On the 25th of January 2008, one day after the launch of the NICE guidelines in London, the Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE joined local statutory agencies, voluntary and community groups, and individuals from diverse communities to undertake a local launch of the NICE guidelines in Gloucester. This was organised by a Lay Member of the NICE working group and a health volunteer in the local community. Objective Two (working with key partners, in particular the Local Authority) Taking forward discussions from the local NICE launch on 25th of January, and using the NICE guidance as a template for a proposal to the Gloucestershire Accountable Bodies Group (that was linked to the Local Area Agreement) for agreement to deliver a local physical activity and environment project for the Gloucestershire communities. Objective Three (action on delivering NICE guidance at a local level) Use of NICE guidelines to map existing activities of local physical activity and environment initiatives has begun and a steering board for this project aims is due to meet in October where it will be Chaired by the Group Director of the Environment at Gloucestershire County Council, alongside that of the Lay Member of the NICE Programme Development Group for Physical Activity and the Environment.

Key findings

I monitored progress in a qualitative way by, a) Reviewing if individuals and originations were more knowledgeable of NICE and the Public Health arm of NICE, in particular people from diverse communities. b) Having ongoing discussions and meetings with the Director of Public Health, the Group Director for the Environment, and the Chair of the Accountable Bodies group/the Chair of the Voluntary Sector Arm in Gloucestershire. c) Presenting/sharing my local work to other members of Local Authorities and exploring if similar activities were taking place in their areas of the country. The work is not published although presentations of the work have been made with the Improvement and Development Agency, NICE, and at Ministerial and Secretary of State and Chief Officer level at the Department of Health

Key learning points

The belief that one person can make a difference is not always easy to see, but working in true partnership/with a common goal (in this case taking NICE guidelines to a community setting and producing action) is challenging, but not impossible. By empowering people in local communities through knowledge and information of what NICE delivers is a step in the direction when seeking to promote COMMUNITY NICE. NICE guidelines can be used as both a platform to systematically plan, deliver and monitor services, but the guidance can also be used foster better inter agency working, and in areas of the local authority that may be outside the traditional day to day workings (i.e. environment directorate and the public health directorate). To be successful it is important to recognise that a common theme, such as working within the Local Area Agreement, has benefits and commitment that draw in a number of other parties and agencies. It is also important to recognise that gaining commitment and agreement by Local Elected Members (in this case the accountable bodies group) is key to the ongoing success. Overall, the success of this work has been through the established and ongoing relationships with people and organisations, at both a national and local level - alongside the willingness to achieve a common goal. Time and patience is always a key factor and it is important to have an understanding of the working practices of individuals, agencies, and committees the key is to remain resolute and confident in what you believe in, the key operational and strategic leaders, and the positive outcome that you know so often begins with a small seed of thought. As a Lay Member of the Public, and a Volunteer in the work I do, you must never overlook the difference that one person can make to enabling change.

Contact details

Bren McInerney
Health Involvement Lead
Barton and Tredworth Community Trust Centre

Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?