CHEX is pleased to announce the publication of its new report highlighting the findings of research carried out with the CHEX network of Community-led health organisations on their perceived degree of influence in local planning structures.
The research was conducted between 2011 and 2012 and highlights that Community-led health organisations: support community representatives within community planning structures; contribute to consultation processes; create partnership and stakeholder groups at both local and national levels; liaise directly with policymakers and democratically elected representatives and are well placed to reach people who do not normally interact with more formal structures.
Encouragingly, nearly a fifth of respondents report that Community Health Partnership (CHPs) appear to be responsive to local Community-led health organisations in terms of influencing decision making. Respondents also cite examples of good practice in which Community-led health organisations pro-actively undertake independent research to inform local consultation processes. However, the research also reveals that many traditional barriers to involvement and influence remain in place. These include lack of information, decisions being made without consultation and experiencing partnership processes that do not support the inclusion of all partners. Addressing these barriers for greater healthy influence in the future therefore remains an on-going priority within local and national decision-making structures.
This investigation is an initial baseline study of how influential Community-led health organisations are in local decision making processes with the intention to return at future intervals to measure any discernible changes over time.