Community Health Ambassadors
We want to ensure that we are linked to local people and communities on health issues so we have introduced the Community Health Ambassador Scheme. This scheme helps us to plan and develop health services and broaden our participation within the community.
Our ambassadors are a vital connection between the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and communities in west Herts. We have recruited nearly 40 ambassadors to share messages and connect us with local people.
As we cater for a diverse range of people we are now developing this team of volunteers further by working with our stakeholders to ensure that everyone can have an opportunity to input into decisions. An example of this is are work with West Herts College, building our relationship with their health and social care students by running sessions alongside our primary care nurses and encourage them to use their social media networks to share health information to their peer group. This includes information on NHS111 and other campaigns.
We don’t just rely on our ambassadors to connect us - practice patient groups, with over 225 members, also provide a link to the wider community and supports us to broaden our engagement by sharing information through their own networks.
What do community health ambassadors do?
Being an ambassador is based around you and what you chose to focus on
Ambassadors are local people who, within their own community or organisation, share information on NHS campaigns or health service developments. They can do this in any way they choose and are provided with the information and detail to ensure they are sharing the most relevant information.
Since the scheme started in 2018 our ambassadors have distributed ‘'Help us, help you' leaflets, consultation information and invitations to events and meetings to diverse networks such as healthy walking groups, dementia cafes, Christmas markets, nursery / play groups and through local radio.
Ambassadors also act as a way to feedback into our commissioning plans –This is a vital step to ensure that the plans and strategic decisions have listened to the people they will directly affect.
Our ambassadors represent and connect us with groups such as:
Crossroads Care, Trans community, Gypsy and Traveller communities, National Childbirth Trust, Support groups, Herts Health Walks, Age UK Hertfordshire, Community navigators, Orthodontists, Carers hubs, Home care providers, Guidepost Trust, patient and disability group, and many more! The ripple effect is then seen as these connections also allow us to reach out through their clients, service users and networks. We are also working with West Herts College and our primary care nurses to deliver awareness sessions to their health and socia care students, asking them to share health messages through their peer group.
What do our ambassadors say?
Alan Bellinger, “Being a Herts Valleys Health Ambassador means that I am able to help people to improve their wellbeing and enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle. In short – it’s time well spent!”
John Wigley, “I volunteered to let people know about the many services that the local NHS provides for them."
Interested in find out more? For an informal chat, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.