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Developing strategy that makes a difference

Building a regional way of working: developing a social strategy. 

We worked with members of the Health & Social Inclusion Panel of one of the Regional Assemblies who had set themselves the challenge of developing a regional social strategy that local agencies would use and value. We designed and facilitated a workshop for 50 people from numerous perspectives and levels of operation - parish, county, voluntary sector, local government - to explore how a regional strategy could add value to what they do.  We researched and presented ideas of social exclusion using a framework that allowed participants to share their different experiences of inequalities in a purposeful way.  This enabled them to go on to thrash out mutual responsibilities between local areas and the region, and the terms of engagement for how they wanted to work together. We wrote a plain English report that summarised the ideas and proposals.

A city - wide strategy for urgent and emergency care.

We were engaged to work with a team from an Acute Teaching Hospital Trust ‘trying to get GPs on board’ and get clinicians talking to each other.  From this starting point we worked over several months to develop a participative approach to creating a city-wide strategy for urgent and emergency care. This successfully engaged GPs and other clinicians as well as citizens, and the many other agencies involved in providing emergency care services in the city.

We used system mapping processes which helped people recognise ‘we’re in this together’. We established a multi-agency planning group of around 20 people from the statutory and voluntary sectors and worked with them to develop a draft strategy. This built on the existing plans of the organisations involved, but was re-cast in the form of strategy appropriate to a system in which there is no single formal power structure. We devised a simple format for testing examples of local action plans already in the pipeline against the whole system strategy. We wrote a functional analysis of ways in which an emergency care system responds to people’s requests.

The group then brought together around 120 people for a 2-day ‘Real Time Strategic Change’ event during which the strategy was redrafted overnight.  This rapid and public response to the views of stakeholders was received enthusiastically by people used to traditional consultation processes.

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