We held a deliberative event (public event) to seek public opinion on our strategy to address health inequalities in Leeds.
Brief description of the project
We wanted the research to gauge public reaction to our health inequalities strategy, and to guide our approach to involving and engaging with the local population about it. We also sought insight on ways to successfully communicate with Leeds citizens about the CCG’s planned approach.
This event gave a diverse mix of local people an opportunity to explore and discuss the health inequalities strategy. The event was planned and delivered by QA Research.
Who did we speak to?
55 Leeds residents were recruited and selected to demographically represent the Leeds population. Because of COVID-19, the event was delivered during August 2020 as a series of facilitated online focus groups and in-depth interviews.
What and how did we ask?
The research sought to answer:
- What do Leeds citizens understand about health inequalities?
- How do citizens believe healthcare funding decisions are currently made in relation to health inequalities?
- How do people initially respond to the principles in the health inequalities strategy, and do they support this way of working in Leeds?
- What context do citizens need to help them understand the rationale for this
- How supportive or unsupportive are people of the proposed strategy?
- How can the CCG best communicate with its citizens about the strategy, how it will be implemented, and what does it mean for people?
What did people tell us?
There is a very high level of support from participants and they recognise that levels of need differ and so investment and support should vary to meet those differences. Access to quality healthcare is a basic right for all.
The CCG should use the statistics on life expectancy as this is an indicator that people were shocked by and understood most easily.
Telling personal stories will better explain how health inequalities impact on individuals.
We should explain the reasons for inequalities and why some members of society may experience difficulties accessing healthcare.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted health inequalities and should be used as a regular reminder about how some people are adversely affected.
What did we do?
We introduced our health inequalities strategy in public at the CCG Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 23 September and Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board on 30 September. Our plan and actions to address health inequalities have begun and will continue over the next few years.
We began part one of our communications plan to explain health inequalities and the life expectancy gap to people in Leeds by telling some individual stories in a week-long series of interviews and articles in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
We will continue with this during autumn and winter 2020/21, and especially as the pandemic continues.