Past engagement highlights


Involving our communities

The Our Dorset approach to public engagement has a strong focus on working in partnership with people, communities and the voluntary sector. Strong engagement and communications is crucially important if we want to achieve the best outcomes with, and for, our communities.

Through our ICS partnership we will listen consistently to, and collectively act on, the experience and aspirations of local people and communities. This includes supporting people to sustain and improve their health and wellbeing, as well as involving people and communities in developing plans and priorities, and continually improving services.

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Looking forward

We developed a survey to seek the views of local people and staff on a number of priority areas for the development of health and wellbeing in Dorset (in line with the aspirations of the NHS Long Term Plan). We had around 900 individual responses to the view seeking – plus feedback from a number of workshops and events held throughout the view seeking period.

The view seeking ran for five weeks (ending on 18 August 2019) and was widely promoted across all health, care and voluntary sector communication networks, via social media, in the press and through a series of face-to-face events with stakeholder groups, staff, the community and voluntary sector and Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC).

The views were independently collated and analysed by Bournemouth University’s Market Research Group. A mid-point review was carried out to review who had responded so far. Ongoing promotion was then targeted to ensure a good representative spread across Dorset’s geography, demography and diversity.

Feedback was received from a number of sources, with representation from people with varied characteristics across a broad range of demographic groups. The full report is now available to download.

Healthwatch Dorset also promoted opportunities to take part in two national surveys linked to the aspirations of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Feedback and comments were reflected in the Our Dorset Looking Forward plan and helped to refine the priorities for us as a partnership going forward.

It is important to inform and involve people in the development of health and care services. You’ve told us you want us to find creative and varied ways to hear people’s voices, ensuring clear opportunity for people to be involved, and to let you know that views have been listened to and how they have informed plans.

This reflects other feedback from local stakeholders across Our Dorset ICS. In response our current approach to public engagement has a strong focus on working in partnership with local people, communities and the voluntary sector.

Dorset ICS has developed a system-wide public engagement group (PEG), engagement and communication networks (including the voluntary sector), a Supporting Stronger Voices network of local people, active patient participation groups (PPGs) across GP practices and a network of 80 staff engagement champions – recently trained to have a consistent approach to engagement, experience, facilitation and co-design.

We work closely with the voluntary and community sector and Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC), and meet regularly with a group of community leaders who represent a wide range of diverse communities.

We will continue to explore new, creative and varied ways of involving and informing people – working closely with our primary care networks, putting local people at the centre of discussions and ensuring opportunities for all.