Community Insights

The Health Equality Partnership is an initiative supported by Community Action Network that gathered an insight and data through a health research and engagement program. This exciting 6 month project which started in June 2021 was commissioned by Public Health Dorset and NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and enabled us to gather community insights and identify any areas of hidden inequality that people with enduring mental ill health and learning disabilities face across Dorset.

We worked in partnership with Dorset Community Action and Dorset Race Equality Council on this initiative to understand more fully the views of those with enduring mental ill health, learning disabilities and individuals from diverse communities using health services, the challenges they face, and their overall experiences. These individuals often fare poorly in terms of general health and life expectancy when compared to the rest of the population.

We worked with a wide range of VCS organisations from across the sector and by working together we were:

  • Provided a gateway to participants who are not normally approached to take part in these type of engagement projects.
  • Able to have an increased understanding of health inequalities across Dorset and the barriers that exist for them to access mainstream health services.
  • Able to develop realistic approaches, recommendations and solutions to tackle them. 

Our research sought to increase understanding of local health inequalities and public awareness of health inequality, to empower vulnerable people to shape and improve the health system, to clarify the link between social determinants and uptake of preventative health measures, to generate reliable, valid and objective data to support future research and assess progress with reducing the healthy life expectancy gap for mental health, learning disabilities and ethnic minorities in Dorset.

Apart from the important information received, real value included creating collaboration with a wide range of VCSE organisations and people working with these population groups day to day in the community and thus enhancing their network of support.

We are now able to share the report and its recommendations and would like to thank all those who took the time to be involved.

Health Inequalities Project Report

We are now working with Dorset CCG and Public Health Dorset to explore how we can address some of the recommendations highlighted in the report moving forward.

If you have any further questions or comments please email Andy Robertson, Project Officer on [email protected]

Our work is possible thanks to funding from our partners Public Health Dorset and NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).