Challenges and opportunities
London has substantial health and wellbeing inequalities with a significant burden of preventable illness. These inequalities are determined by health choices and things outside an individual’s control that directly impact on our health, life expectancy and health behaviours and choices.
Making every contact count has been around for a number of years. There is plenty we can learn from its implementation, including associated challenges and opportunities. In 2016, Public Health England and the Association of Directors of Public Health did a stocktake of its impact at local authority level in London. A similar exercise for health is planned in Autumn 2017. The review highlighted a number of areas where more work was needed in support of making every contact count across London:
- Develop a London strategy
- Implement a consistent approach to accessing high-quality training and resources
- Support robust evaluation to assess impact
- Share learning on implementing making every contact count
We want to build on the intelligence that has already been collected. In April 2017, representatives from interested bodies, including NHS and government organisations, local councils, public health offices, voluntary organisations and patient representatives, came together to begin shaping London’s way of making every contact count. By uniting we aim to maximise the impact across London.
A key challenge for a London approach was recognising the varied priorities. Many of the challenges were those that faced locally and London-wide:
- Ensuring that in developing a pan-London approach there is the flexibility to allow for local priorities and needs (universally tailored)
- Capturing data that identifies cause/effect when evaluating impact
- Developing an approach which recognises the different organisation priorities
- To develop evidence of return on investment
- Measuring the impact and developing the evidence base
- Competing priorities for time and money
A whole-group interaction method was used to focus conversations on identifying unique opportunities for London. Opportunities identified included:
- Develop and deliver consistent messages
- Develop an evaluation framework for London that reflects a pan-London definition and principles
- Enable the sharing of practice and its impact
- Develop a central hub for training across London
- Develop a repository of best practice and training resources
- Engage with and involve a broad range of public, voluntary and private organisations that work across London
- Use resources effectively by working collaboratively and co-commissioning
- Realise economies of scale
A set of actions were devised to put making every contact count in motion across London. A steering group has formed and with its networks will be taking forward those actions:
- Develop a communications and engagement strategy to raise the profile of making every contact count across London and get organisations engaged.
- Facilitate learning across London and sharing good practise.
- Share learning from piloting making every contact count in the wider workforce
- Develop a one stop shop to sign post to tools and resources relating to: skills and training; key enablers such as environment, culture and infrastructure; evaluation