The effect of health inequalities across the city remains a significant and growing challenge. Primary care and healthcare organisations can’t tackle health inequalities alone.
However, through our work we ensure we recognise inequalities and as much as possible seek to reduce the gap in access to healthcare
We are committed to taking action to reduce health inequalities and this is an area where we have been genuine pioneers. Over 1300 vulnerable people in Sheffield have benefited from our HSJ award winning vulnerable person home-visiting service. WorkingWin Sheffield embeds an employment support programme within existing Multi-Disciplinary Teams to give health professionals new tools to address health inequalities. Over 1500 people have received support. In addition, our Primary and Community Mental Health Service (a 2021 HSJ Award finalist) joins up mental health care and puts the patient at the centre of decision making.
Involving local communities in the design of our services
We also have an active programme of patient engagement which is designed to ensure that we listen to the needs of those who are vulnerable or seldom heard, rather than just those whose views are expressed loudly or whom are the easier to get feedback from.For example, we are currently working with Sheffield University and Sheffield City Council, to map demographic features of interest in the city (ethnic group, deprivation, disease prevalence) using geospatial mapping. The project will build standard taxonomies/methods to profile for ethnicity, deprivation, prevalence and English vs non-English speaking. Once complete the tool will be further used to identify populations of the vulnerable or seldom heard that will be engaged with around health services / local government services and other areas likely to impact them.
We use patient feedback to help develop new services with our recent survey of 8,000 Sheffield residents influencing decisions on the locations and opening-times of our new enhanced access service.
PCS also has active partnerships with voluntary sector organisations. We work with these groups to access and engage directly with specific groups including those that are vulnerable or seldom heard. One such example is our partnership with Mind–the mental health charity, in our Primary Care Mental Health Transformation Programme. Mind helps facilitate engagement with patients and feedback on their needs from specific aspects of the programme and how they access it.