The winter season always sees a spike in attendance at Accident and Emergency Departments of local hospitals across the country, and the Bradford area is no exception. This spike can also continue into the Spring. Whilst no-one wants to turn people away who need to access Acute Care, the ‘winter pressures’ have been exacerbated by the attendance of people with minor ailments who could be cared for by alternative providers who specialise in non-acute care.
Services such as self-care, NHS 111, Community Pharmacies and General Practice would all be capable of providing support at a more appropriate level and convenience for members of the public.
However, we know that many people are not aware of these alternatives to attending A&E at their local hospital. This issue is frequently compounded by anecdotal instances of patients not being able to book an appointment with their GP within their perception of a reasonable period of time, and a well-known local lack of ‘health literacy’ in Bradford.
This lack of health literacy in Bradford can be particularly prevalent in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and within Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and cultural groups where English may not be their primary language. These are sometimes described as ‘hard to reach’ communities, but this simply means that non-traditional methods of communication and engagement need to be utilised, and that alternative approaches are required.
Bradford City and Districts CCGs have asked the local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) to help them to improve the health literacy in Bradford by informing these population groups of alternatives to A&E to care for minor ailments.
This fund will enable local community groups as trusted intermediaries to deliver these messages into their communities themselves. We will equip them with the relevant information in a simple and accessible format, and then empower them to develop the solutions themselves to communicate this information in the most appropriate way for their own communities.
The funding is to be targeted at known hotspots where high numbers of local people access A&E often inappropriately. However, organisations delivering services across Bradford City and District CCGs can apply. This map indicates ‘hotspot’ areas.
Bradford VCS Alliance has created simple postcards in line with the NHS ‘Choose Well’ campaigns (electronic and printed) for local community groups to distribute. The postcards are printed on one side with this design, allowing the groups to put their own information, translation or images on the other using a sticker (Avery J8169 or equivalent). Groups should consider the best approaches to use to tailor the messages to their target audience.
A messaging guidance document has been produced for organisations to ensure a consistent message is delivered. This will be disseminated to successful organisations, along with copies of the postcard.
There is a simple application process using a simple and accessible form.
Applications will be assessed by Bradford VCS Alliance. The assessment will be based on how the group is planning to communicate the key message to their target group, and the numbers of people they expect to reach.
The aim of this project is to reach as many different groups and communities as possible. If more than one application seeks to work with the same group of people in the same area, then preference will be given to the group considered to have proposed the project which will deliver the best quality results.
The deadline for this second round of applications is Friday 4th May 2018 at 5pm.
Local community groups will be able to apply for £250 — £500 to support their own approaches to delivering this important information to their own communities. Organisations can apply for more than one grant if they have access to a number of different community groups. This could be running a community meal or event to help promote appropriate choices for accessing health care, or to support and resource individuals to promote the message at existing events that their community may already deliver e.g. a lunch club for the elderly, or a Parent and Toddler Group for parents of young children. The key focus is for local community groups to have an ownership of the opportunity.
The total grant pot for this project was £10,000, and large proportion of this is still available.
The project will run until the end of May 2018.
Outcomes and Monitoring
Successful applicants will be required to report the following information about those they reach with their messaging:
- How their project went
- The number of people
- Their self-reported gender
- Their self-reported age ranges (0–10, 11–18, 19–30, 31–50, 51–65, 65+)
- Their self-reported understanding of how to appropriately access different types of health care.
They can be as creative as they like, providing that the outcomes are clearly stated e.g. photos, video, include a report from the local media, write a report etc.
The deadline for returning evaluations is Monday 11th June 2018.
Email the Bradford VCS Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.