CHEX Briefings & Publications

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CHEX Briefings provide more in-depth exploration of themed issues raised by our network.

To download previous Briefings, please click on the relevant link below (in date order).  

Redefining the model: An introduction to social prescribing - February 2019

CHEX policy briefing 1/18, Words into Action: How can community-led health organisations make use of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act? - June 2018

CHEX policy briefing 2/17, A place at the table? Community-led health within the new health and social care landscape - October 2017

CHEX policy briefing 1/17, Putting the "well" into welfare - February 2017

More Communities at the Centre: Evidencing Community-led Health - January 2016

CHEX National Event- June 2015

Knowing Me, Knowing You 2- Learning Exchange- June 2015

Healthy Influences- May 2015

CHEX response to Public Health Review - March 2015

Communities at the heart of a healthy democracy - January 2015

CHEX submission to the call for evidence regarding the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill - September 2014

Integration of health and social care: opportunities for community-led health- April 2014

Communities at the Centre: Evidencing Community-led Health - April 2014

Social Media for Community-led Health - March 2014

Getting the Message Across: Top tips for community-led health - August 2013

Tackling Scotland's health inequalities: A time for radical change? - January 2013

Healthy Influences - November 2012

Routes to Sustainability (Third Edition) - August 2012

Scotland’s Mental Health Strategy - A briefing and response to consultation (February 2012) (PDF file, 0.3Mb)

Routes to Sustainability (second edition) (April 2011) (PDF file, 0.3Mb) 

Breaking Through - Community-led Health Organisations: Removing Barriers to Wellbeing (March 2011) (PDF file, 1.25Mb)

Tackling Health Inequalities in Scotland: working with communities - a partnership of Scottish Health Intermediary Bodies (December 2009) (PDF file, 0.6Mb)

How does the Social Enterprise Model fit with Community-led Health Initiatives (September 2009) (PDF file, 0.8Mb) 

Breaking Through - Healthy Living Centres: Removing Barriers to Wellbeing (July 2009) (PDF file, 1.6Mb) 

Routes to Sustainability pack (May 2007) (PDF file, 1.2Mb)

Healthy Communities in Mind: Update (June 2006) (PDF file, 7.3Mb)

Beyond the Anecdote - story dialogue in action (Dec 2005) (PDF file, 2.3Mb) 

SOS - Steps on Sustainability (December 2004) (PDF file, 990Kb)

Putting the 'Community' into Community Health Partnerships (October 2004) (PDF file, 1.13Mb)

Briefing on Community Planning for Community Health Initiatives (Roots & Fruits) (2003) (PDF file, 642Kb)


CHEX & SCDC Publications

As well as our regular e-bulletin Snippets, our quarterly newsletter CHEX-Point, event reports and our Briefings, CHEX produces a range of publications to support our community-led health network and their partners. We also host reports and publications by our parent organisation SCDC, and our network and partner agencies.

Social Media for Community-led Health

This guide is in response to the increasingly important contribution social media is having on organisations of all shapes and sizes - and community-led health orgs are no different.
The guide is designed to be a starting point for organisations who want to start using social media to promote the work they're doing, engage with their communities and become more connected. It isn't a step-by-step guide, but will give you the foundations to ensure you're making most of your digital media efforts in your community-led health practice.
We link away to different tools and resources to help you take practical steps and also give you tips and tricks around specific issues such as privacy and what services to use.

You can download the guide here.

The Engagement Matrix

CHEX was one of the partners who, as part of a Scottish Government short life action group, developed the ‘Engagement Matrix’ to assist collaborative working on the planning and delivery of health and social services.  The 'Matrix' is essentially a template for third sector organisations and health boards to complete together and focuses on:

  • mapping existing engagement
  • identifying where there are gaps
  • agreeing what developments could be undertaken

The development of the Engagement Matrix was led by Voluntary Health Scotland in partnership with a number of other organisations, including CHEX.  Click to download the tool.

From Local to National and Back Again

This briefing provides information on the Learning Exchanges between Community and Voluntary Sector Health Organisations & Scottish Government Civil Servants which CHEX was part of.

Through the Learning Exchanges, the Scottish Government in collaboration with CHEX, Community Food and Health Scotland and Voluntary Health Scotland sought to create opportunities for structured dialogue between community-led and voluntary health organisations and civil servants.  The Exchanges aimed to increase the understanding of each other’s role and the potential for joint working on the planning delivery of policies on health outcomes. 

This briefing summarises the process and activities together with the lessons to support national bodies and community-led and voluntary health organisations in joint working on health outcomes.  It provides insights into (a) the work and impact of 4 organisations – Lifelink, Healthy Valleys, Broomhouse Strategy Group and Car Gomm (b) the role of civil servants in implementing national health and social care policies and (c) outlines a model to develop opportunities to enhance national and local collaborative working.   

Download the Briefing

CHEX Strategic Review 2008 - Report

The CHEX Strategic Review was completed in March 2008 and both the full and summary reports can be read using the links below.   

The report made 21 recommendations on the key priorities for CHEX in practice development and contribution health and social policies. It also addressed the strength and priorities of the community-led health sector at that time.  The recommendations were incorporated into the CHEX Business Plan for 2008 - 2011, which was submitted to NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Government in summer 2008.  

A full version of the CHEX Strategic Review is available along with a summary report. 

Download the CHEX Strategic Review (full report). (Word)

Download the CHEX Strategic Review (summary report) (Word)

Download the CHEX Fact Sheet here

SafeSpace Photography Project - the story behind the photograph

Earlier this year, CHEX invited network members to share their photographs of community-led health activity as part of a photo competition. We received a diverse range of photographs which represent the breadth of activity across Scotland and were delighted to receive images of communities at work in achieving positive health outcomes.  We found the photograph entitled ‘Friendship’ particularly striking in representing the outcomes for the participants of SafeSpace in Dunfermline.  While community-led health approaches consistently need to demonstrate robust evidence through facts and figures this photograph shows the power of relationship building and working together. We asked Pauline McGee, Manager of SafeSpace to tell us more about the background to the photograph. Download the article.

Community-led Health for All: Developing Good Practice - A Learning Resource'

Community-led health is central to asset-based approaches to tackling health inequalities and co-production.  The need for improved learning about and understanding the benefits of community-led approaches to health improvement has never been greater, at both strategic and operational levels. The Community-led Health for All learning resource is intended to help meet this need. It outlines the competences that are necessary to promote and support community-led health approaches and enable them to affect significant change in health ineqaulities. Read more about the resource here

ARC - Action Research, by, in and for Communities: a practical guide to community-led action research 

ARC was funded by Education Scotland developed by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) to help community and voluntary groups carry out research in and with their communities. The guide is based on SCDC’s experience of developing and delivering 3 Community-led Action Research programmes between 2003 and 2011. These programmes culminated in over 90 groups carrying out research that helped them to achieve positive change in their communities.

ABCD - Achieving Better Community Development

Achieving Better Community Development (ABCD) is a general framework for planning, evaluating and learning from community development approaches and interventions.  It supports those in community development – community members, practitioners, policy makers, funders, to be clear about they are aiming to achieve and how they should go about it.

Community Devlopment in Health - a Scottish Perspective

CHEX published Community Development in Health - a Scottish Perspective a good few years back.  It sought  to demonstrate that the understanding of, and application of, community development practice was crucial to the modernising agenda at the start of the last decade. It has much that is relevant to policy and practice in community-led health today, including examples of good practice and elucidation of the benefits, and challenges of applying  community development methods in health.

The assets approach – a community development perspective

An article by SCDC's Stuart Hashagen discussing assets approaches from a community development perspective and raises some critical questions - for instance, unless fundamental structural inequalities are addressed, might asset-based approaches risk exaccerbating these?  Pulished in Vol 1 Iss 3 of Health Improvement Practice which you can read here.

NHS Health Scotland Publications

CHEX has also been involved as a partner organisation in some reports published by NHS Health Scotland, including:

'Preliminary Case Studies of the Application of Economic Evidence of Health Improvement Work in Community-led Projects' Peter D Taylor Consultancy & Research (August 2009) 

'Exploring the use of economic evidence to support the health improvement contribution of the third sector' NHS Health Scotland, 2011 

Healthy Living Centre Reports & Publications

‘Breaking Through - Healthy Living Centres: Removing the Barriers to Wellbeing' was published in September 2009 and contains a series of excellent and engaging articles which highlight the work of Healthy Living Centres in Scotland. 

'Healthy Living Centres in Scotland: Lessons for Policy and Practice' was published in 2008 and shares the learning from the evaluations undertaken by the University of Edinburgh's Research Unit (RUHBC) of part of the Healthy Living Centre (HLCs) Programme in Scotland. The report offers valuable insights into the unique role HLCs have played in shaping and delivering health improvement strategies and activity across Scotland.

‘Supporting and sustaining the HLC approach to tackling health inequalities in our communities....what now?' was presented at a Roundtable Discussion held in Glasgow in September 2007.  The purpose of the paper was to provide an up-to-date picture of the funding situation with HLCs across Scotland and highlight the critical circumstances that many were facing at that time.

West Dunbartonshire Healthy Living Initiative - Final Report from the Board' - this Final Report was compiled at the request of the West Dunbartonshire HLI Board after the decision to close the project was made in July 2007. The report looks at how the project was originally set up and makes some observations on how the project worked in practice. It includes lessons learned by the staff and Board which they would like to pass on to other projects.

'Evaluation of the Healthy Living Centre programme in Scotland - Report of phase 2 (October 2007)' - this is the second and final report on the evaluation of the Healthy Living Centre (HLC) Programme in Scotland. To evaluate the success of the programme, a series of national, regional and local evaluations of HLCs was commissioned. In Scotland, a longitudinal process evaluation of the HLC programme was conducted using a case study design over two phases.

The HLC Evidence Summary Paper is intended for a wide range of agencies and organisations who have a focus on Health and Wellbeing.  The document highlights how the HLC approach impacts on health improvement priorities such as mental health, cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes and sexual health through partnership working, community development and service user involvement

The Sustainability Workshops 2006:  These are the reports on a series of regional workshops developed by the HLC Support Programme and CHEX. 
Largs 2006 (PDF file, 97kb)
Aberdeen 2006 (PDF file, 96kb)
Edinburgh 2006 (PDF file, 87kb)
Glasgow 2006 (PDF file, 97kb)

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Dundee Healthy Living Initiative Research Report was produced by Dr. Susan Lewis (PhD Social Anthropology) over a 2 and a half year period from the beginning of the project in March 2003 until September 2005.  The research focuses on the effect of the Healthy Living Initiative on community defined objectives and goals. The overarching research theme is to answer the question: what is it about the programme which makes it work?

'Evaluating Healthy Living Centres in Scotland: lessons for policy, practice and research' - summary of findings from 6 HLCs in Scotland from reseach conducted by RUHBC.  The document reports on the first phase of a process evaluation of six Scottish Healthy Living Centres.

'Evalation of the Healthy Living Centre programme in Scotland - report of Phase 1 (August 2005)' - the Scottish Executive commissioned the Research Unit in Health, Behaviour and Change (RUHBC), University of Edinburgh, and the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU), University of Glasgow, to conduct an evaluation of the Healthy Living Centre Programme in Scotland.

'Healthy Living Centre Support Programme Annual Report (April 2005 to March 2006)' - This report is intended to provide information and an analysis of the work and impact of the Healthy Living Centre Support Programme (HLC SP) in its first year of operation.  The report is structured in a way which will assess achievement of outcomes identified by the Support Programme Team and key stakeholders, and the delivery of agreed outputs for year one (PDF file, 0.3Mb).

Healthy Living Centre Newsletter

CHEX was involved in the HLC Support Programme aimed to provide support to Big Lottery Funded community health projects in Scotland. The support was intended to assist them to develop practice, influence policy and promote local models of partnership working to improve health and tackle health inequalities.  The following newsletters were produced as part of the support programme:

Issue 4 - The Road to Sustainability: 4 Factors - 2007  (PDF file, 517kb)

Issue 3 - HLC Conference Report - 2006  (PDF file, 1.4Mb)

Issue 2 - HLC Exchange Conference Report - 2005  (PDF file, 1.5Mb)

Issue 1- Your News, Your Ideas, Your Voice - July 2005  (PDF file, 167kb)


HLC Toolkits / Resources

This page contain useful toolkits and resources for marketing, organisational development and partnership working: