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.

Project Description

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.

Application Process

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.

Fund­ing Available

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


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