In 2012, NHS Wandsworth CCG created the Community and Seldom Heard Grants scheme to help local community groups engage in local NHS decision-making. The grants were up to £2000 and were targeted towards groups in Wandsworth we had little contact with. Successful grants were awarded to a number of groups and organisations that met the following criteria:
- Identification of health needs for their members
- Attend 2 meetings a year, AGM and join Thinking Partners group
- Develop and train members of experience of group
- Undertake health promotion
- Promote CCG events and activities
- Provide brief of how money is spent
The scheme has proved a resounding success with community organisations and with NHS England describing the scheme as "an excellent initiative, demonstrating what the measurable improvement to services has been." Now in its 5th year and as part of the public and patient engagement programme and Thinking Partners Group agendas, the scheme is enabling the CCG to work with and hear the views and experiences of groups it has not been able to reach in the past. Throughout the duration of the grant and beyond, the CCG continues to work with projects and local organisations who inform and influence local health service commissioning. Over 40 grants have been awarded to date. The latest reports from last year's funding are below.