Listening to your views and experiences

At the heart of our role as a partnership of health and care organisations is the commitment to listen consistently to, and collectively act on, the experience and aspirations of local people and communities

With your feedback we can keep learning and improving the connected ways of working for everyone living across County Durham.

Integrated Commissioning Team

Our Integrated Commissioning Team is helping us to develop this collective way of working. Established in April 2020, the team brings together staff employed by Durham County Council and the local NHS to collectively work to address challenges for the health and well-being of our population.

Commissioning = planning and paying for services.

Find out more on the Integrated Commissioning Team page

There are lots of ways that the Care Partnership working across County Durham is looking to listen to your views and experiences.

Our Shared Involvement Purposes:

  • Put the voices of people and communities at the centre of decision-making and governance
  • Engagement with our residents will be continuous, and our planning approach will support us to ask local people what they think before we make decisions of significance.
  • We will join up our engagement and experience information to improve the resident journey and use this to empower future joined-up system working.
  • Start engagement early when developing plans and feed back to people and communities how they have influenced activities and decisions.
  • We will use existing and tested opportunities to engage and communicate and seek to identify the best partner with the best relationship to lead the conversation.
  • We will work as partners to amplify our collective ability to communicate and listen.
  • Understand our community’s needs, experience and aspirations for health and care, using engagement to find out if change is having the desired effect.
  • Our work will be driven by insights and data to ensure it can be tailored and is built on a solid evidence base.
  • Every resident matters and we will seek to engage with everyone at every level, creating engagement opportunities where they do not exist for those voices that aren’t
  • Our teams will work to help empower residents to help shape and deliver our strategy.
  • We will invest in our communications and engagement to ensure it can achieve the required and desired results, driven by learning and evaluation.

Who is part of the Health and Care Engagement Forum?

The membership of the Forum is made up of a range of public and community representatives. 

The Forum is also chaired by the County Durham Lay member with specific responsibility for public involvement, who links into the wider work of the Care Partnership as well as the Health and Well-being Board.

This includes 10 public members.

The other members are representatives from a wide range of local organisations who are involved in working with people across the County. In April 2023, the membership consists of;

  • Healthwatch County Durham
  • Durham Community Action
  • Area Action Partnerships (Lead co-ordinators)
  • Durham County Carers Support
  • Durham Youth Council representative
  • Investing in Children
  • Age UK County Durham
  • Pioneering Care Partnership
  • Waddington Street (as part of the Mental Well-being Alliance)
  • Inclusion North

Staff working in our local NHS, Durham County Council, Public Health are also directly involved in support the Forum. In addition, there are staff linked into our local Primary Care (GP practices) as well as our local Hospital providers – County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

What does the Health and Care Engagement Forum do?

The purpose of the Health and Care Engagement Forum is to:

  • Constructively challenge Integrated Commissioning engagement plans
  • Help advise on appropriate engagement approaches
  • Support connections to relevant groups and audiences

The Forum meets on a monthly basis to help advise on new projects as well as receiving updates on those that are already happening. You can read more about local conversations on the webpages regarding 'Current conversations' and 'Previous conversations'.

As part of the way the Forum operates, funding is available to support collaboration with community partners in jointly delivering engagement activities.

The work that happens within the Forum, is reported back to the County Durham Care Partnership executive as required.