Citizen engagement programme

Through our Citizen-Engagement Programme we want both residents and staff to feel empowered in helping to drive positive change, and to embed this as the consistent Surrey Heartlands approach to engagement in service development.

To support this we have developed the following toolkit:

Before we embark on a research project, it’s important to check whether a similar project has been conducted previously, and use the findings of that project to inform ours. Similarly, existing data may be available that can help us construct a more focussed research question. Input from our citizen and workforce ambassadors should also be obtained to hone the research question. The consolidation of existing knowledge is the foundation from which a research framework can be built.

The research team has set up an online resident panel to carry out regular survey research online among a sample of people who live in Surrey Heartlands. The panel is “statistically representative” of the Surrey Heartlands population and therefore is more robust than surveys and consultations that are open for anyone to complete.

Desk research is an exercise to collate existing information that is related to the area of interest. Information can be found internally and externally and can come from sources as varied as previous research carried out through to publically available data.

Primary research takes raw data from information collected through qualitative or quantitative methods and interprets the data to meet research objectives. Qualitative research is recommended for exploratory research, where underlying reasons, opinions or motivations need to be explored. Qualitative methods range from non-participatory observation to focus groups to fully interactive co-design workshops. Quantitative research is carried out in the form of surveys, usually conducted online but also over the telephone or face-to-face.

Co-design is often used as an umbrella term for participatory, co-creation and open design processes. The qualitative co-design approach goes beyond traditional consultation sessions undertaken in the public sector and builds and deepens equal collaboration between citizens affected by, or attempting to, resolve a particular challenge. A key tenet of co-design is that users, as ‘experts’ of their own experience, become central to the design process.

The Citizen Ambassador programme was commissioned by Surrey Heartlands in September 2017 and is led by Healthwatch Surrey. An aim of the programme is to maximise the representation of different citizen voices by engaging and involving people who do not already consistently engage in service change within the NHS. The Citizen Ambassadors act as the independent voice bringing insight from local people and communities.

The Workforce Ambassador programme is in development, but the aim is for the WAs to work in collaboration with clinical leads and citizens to help transform care services.

The term Knowledge mobilization refers to making information useable so knowledge can be put into active use. Working collaboratively is seen as key to research uptake, so encouraging researchers, commissioners and clinicians to work together will help ensure research informs policy or practice