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ICB creates research engagement network to tackle inequalities

ICB creates research engagement network to tackle inequalities
By Beth Gault
5 June 2024

Mid and South Essex ICB has created a joint research engagement network to provide better services for underserved groups.

The project will work with the hospitals and community groups in the area to increase engagement of underrepresented communities in research initiatives.

This will include finding and training community champions to listen to people on their views of health and social care research, and to then co-design local activities taking these views into consideration. The ICS has also set up a survey so patients can feedback why they do or do not get involved in research.

The aim will be to have more diversity in research and to therefore be able to provide a better service for patients.

Groups of people it will seek to engage include:

  • Under 25s and over 65s
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Ethnically diverse groups including faith groups, Gypsy and Roma travellers
  • LGBTQ+
  • Groups of those who suffer from health inequalities, including learning disabilities or mental illness
  • Those who are neurodivergent.

In a statement on its website, the ICS said: ‘Mid and South Essex ICB, all our main hospitals and members of the community assembly are working on a project to set up a research engagement network.

‘Once created this network will help researchers provide a better service for underserved groups.’

The ICS approach to inclusion in research

Our plan

Make sure health and social care research better reflects the needs and interests of all areas, groups and communities across the country. As a result, we will be better able to address health inequalities.

Programme aims:

  • Build trusting, mutually beneficial relationships with the community.
  • Listen to and understand the community better.
  • Work in partnership with community members and organisations to make research more inclusive and representative.

How we will achieve our goals

  1. Partner with local organisations
  2. Work with partner organisations to find and train community members as Community Champions
  3. Support Community Champions to listen to people in the community about their knowledge and views of health and social care research.
  4. Co-design local activities that respond to what people have said, and that will help improve local inclusion in health and social care research.
  5. Implement co-designed local activities together.
  6. Continue long-term partnership to build inclusive research for the community.

 Source: Mid and South Essex ICS

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