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We are a partnership of NHS, councils, and voluntary sector organisations, working together to improve health and care in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington.  

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Community Action Research

Across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington the North Central London Integrated Care System commissioned five voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) partnerships to undertake a community action research programme. These partnerships brought together a range of grassroots organisations that work with disadvantaged and underserved communities.

The Community Action Research Programme looked at key health improvement priority areas and supported open conversations with local communities to identify and explore inequalities regarding reach, access, outcomes and experiences of health and care. The aim of the programme was not only to understand the barriers to accessing health and care but also to identify practical solutions and actions to increase trust with, and to help people navigate the local health and care system.

We worked with local VCSE partners to build knowledge and skills in our communities about healthy lifestyle behaviours and how to access local services.

By working with local partners, we were able to work with people in the heart of their communities, where they already access support and feel comfortable. Another important benefit of working with VCSE groups that local communities trust and respect was that health messaging and signposting were delivered in a culturally sensitive manner.

The impacts of our Community Action Research Programme include:

  • building strong and diverse VCSE partnerships in each borough
  • raising the voices of local communities who experience high health inequalities and barriers to accessing services
  • meeting communities where they are
  • harnessing local VCSE and communities’ strength to co-design solutions with local people and bring the services and support they need to them
  • raising the knowledge of local healthcare services across VCSE organisations and local communities through a local training programme
  • innovative community research methods used across each borough VCSE partnership – with local grassroots organisations given additional training in community research
  • a best practice VCSE Peer Network set up across North Central London
  • embedding community engagement into our governance structures

Further information, including how we are taking this programme forward can be found in our evaluation reports below.

Evaluation reports: