Engagement Champions are individuals working in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector who are trained to engage with the local population on Calderdale CCG’s behalf and talk to them about changes and developments in health services. Engagement Champions give communities a louder voice and help to make sure that health services are developed in response to the needs of local people.
VAC – Improving Local Lives as part of the VSI Alliance, offers free training for local people to become Engagement Champions and help local communities to have a say when changes to health services are proposed.
The NHS has a duty to involve local communities when health changes are being considered and the training provides the knowledge and skills needed to carry out engagement and consultation work on behalf of the NHS locally.
Engagement is an ongoing dialogue with the local population which seeks to build up a positive and meaningful relationship.
Consultation is the formal process of asking the public their views on any proposals to change the way a service is provided and delivered.
Engagement Champions are from local voluntary or community organisations*, have strong links to their community and enjoy listening and talking to people. Because their role is to talk to local communities about changes to local health services, it is important they have an interest in health issues.
The mandatory training is spread over 1 full day and 2 half day sessions and has 5 elements, including a practical task:
Once the training has been completed Engagement Champions are:
Offered opportunities to carry out surveys or run focus groups
Able to earn money for their local voluntary or community organisation for each survey completed.
Invited to local events where they can meet with the people and organisations involved in shaping local health services.
On completion of the training Engagement receive a certificate valid for 12 months. It’s easily renewed by taking part in an annual refresher session.
To gain your certificate you must attend all the sessions and successfully complete the practical task.
The role of voluntary and community organisations
Because Engagement Champions must have links to a local voluntary, community or social enterprise (VCSE) organisation, that organisation must confirm it meets certain standards. This is to make sure that the organisation can deliver any engagement or consultation activities safely and competently.
If you are interested in taking part in our Engagement Champions Programmes, please email email@example.com . We are currently looking at providing programmes either in a socially distanced manner or via a series of Zoom training sessions for the time being.
To help support the development of a new model for wheelchair services, NHS Calderdale and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups wished to engage with service users, carers and stakeholders to help them improve this model and inform decisions on what a good quality service looks like if the resources are in the right place.
The purpose of the engagement is to provide a picture of A&E over a one week period by surveying people who attend A&E and then do a follow up survey 7 days later. The information gathered would then be used to tell NHS Calderdale and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups what else needs to be done to support people in the local community who may not have needed to go to A&E.