Connecting and Strengthening the VCSE Sector

VSCE Alliance Asembly190

Community Health Research

In partnership with VCSE organisations across Worcestershire, our aim is to widen engagement in health and care research across the region to better understand and ultimately reduce health inequalities.

This project aims to better understand and reduce health inequalities, through widening engagement in health and care research across the region. It is funded by the Clinical Research Network West Midlands (CRN WM) which is a network within the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

The focus of the project will be on listening to under-researched communities in Worcestershire including those that are seldom heard. Working with VCSE partners, the project aims to engage with these communities about research by considering barriers to participation and how best to mitigate them.

We aim to co-develop a sustainable model for continued collaboration, which will inform future research strategies across the Integrated Care System (ICS).

This project is led by Sarah Wilkinson, Community Health – Research Engagement Lead.

The Community Health – Research Training programme will develop the research and evaluation skills of the existing Worcestershire Wellbeing Roles Network workforce in order to identify Local Research Leads (LRLs) and establish Local Research Engagement Panels (LREPs).

The project will link with the CORE 20+5, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and work in collaboration with the University of Worcester and the ICS Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and Delivery Plan.

As a result of the training, it is intended that those working in wellbeing roles and as LRLs will feel more able to use their research skills and knowledge of different approaches to data collection and evaluation in their interaction with communities. This will enable them to introduce informed conversations about health research, as well as better represent their communities in an informed way, acting as a conduit for community members to feedback on issues pertaining to improving access to research, research topics relevant to them, and engagement.

This project is led by Branwen Bingle, Community Health – Research Training Lead.