Agenda item

Community paradigm update

To update the Health and Wellbeing Board on the progress being made to develop the community paradigm approach in Herefordshire.


Hilary Hall presented a brief update on the Community Paradigm. The principal points included:


1.     The Community Paradigm focuses on investing in prevention and the wider focus is on how capacity is built at the grassroots level and community-based solutions.

2.     This work was launched in March 2023 and brought together a number of leaders across a range of sectors to explore and work through further.

3.     Dedicated support is needed to move this work forward and there is joint-funding through organisations in Herefordshire to fund a post for the start in 2024.

4.     There are six identified workstreams and they look at different aspects of how to build the community paradigm approach including community-led decision-making and a community chest approach.

5.     To drive a more proactive approach requires a change in the way commissioning works which currently focuses on large-scale commissioning. The community paradigm suggests a move towards early prevention focused around communities and what those communities see are the local needs and the solutions to them.

Christine Price added that there was an emphasis on a cross-section of organisations and not one agency as the kinds of solutions being pursued cannot be resolved by one agency. It was added that Public Health have committed £150,000 to support the attempt at the community chest approach aimed at encouraging grassroots initiatives around the two Health and Wellbeing Strategy initiatives and anticipate that going live with the Community Foundation in early January 2024.


The Chair acknowledged the challenge that exists with the community paradigm but added that there is a great opportunity to work with different communities.


Stephen Brewster agreed that this is a significant challenge but noted that there is a growing willingness from the VCS sector to embrace this, however, some of the smaller charities can struggle to identify where to fit in. The community chest element has helped focus minds due to the available resources, but some initial feedback has noted that it is a bit short-term oriented.


Hilary Hall responded that she accepts there is some fragmentation around the funding but that there are things that will help to make this approach more seamless in the long-term.


Dr Mike Hearne (Herefordshire General Practice) noted that he was approached by a mental health charity which asked if they could get better contact with general practice. It was asked regarding the community paradigm and community chest, how well the VCS could integrate and work together in a collective way to support health and social care services.


Christine Price responded that a lot of work of the community partnership is to bring people together to stimulate collaboration and there are pockets where it’s working well but also plenty that don’t engage with that. A significant challenge for the VCS is that there is not a strong infrastructure behind it to help facilitate integration and collaboration.


The report recommendations were proposed, seconded, and approved unanimously.


Resolved that:


a) Health and Wellbeing Board note the progress made to date; and

b) Organisations represented on the Board commit to supporting the further development of the community paradigm in Herefordshire, building on the principles identified at paragraph 9.


Supporting documents: