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Re-energizing the community

There’s never been a better time to get involved in local health and social care services, and what’s even better is that it’s never been easier!

I was at a relaunch event for our local community membership group Accord recently.  If you haven’t already heard of Accord it’s a scheme that has been around since 2009 to give people the chance to feed back their views on health and social care services in North East Lincolnshire. Over 2,500 people have signed up to receive information about topics they’re interested in, such as diabetes care, complete questionnaires about services or feed back their experiences of care. All comments are fed directly to North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and used to make real and lasting changes to services.

You might be thinking “Like what?” and if I was a member of the public who wasn’t already a member I’d probably be thinking the same thing. But I read about some of Accord’s achievements on its new website, such as the carers’ support service and its contribution to the NHS which really highlighted how Accord can improve local care.

But we’re all busy people, so why should you join Accord and how will you find the time to get involved and have your say? At the event we heard about Accord’s new structure and its new Suits You scheme which gives people like you more flexibility and choice so you can get involved as much or as little as you like.

Accord is planning to make better use of technology and wants to use online forums or texting as a means for people to feed back, and there are different roles for people who want to be more proactive and talk to people face to face. It’s all outlined on Accord’s new website http://www.nelccg-accord.co.uk/. You can also keep up to date with Accord on Twitter www.twitter.com/NELAccord or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NELAccord.

I can honestly say there was a real buzz in the room at the launch and confidence that, while health and social care services are under increasing pressure, we can create better services with real community engagement. Our Chair Mark Webb hit the nail on the head when he said “Community involvement is here today and is here to stay.”

Anne Hames
Community Forum Chair

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