Community Renewal is considered by NHS Health Scotland to be the “subject expert” for Community Engagement in Scotland.

Community Renewal has become Scotland’s leading trainer and employer of Community Link Workers. However, this is only a small part of our wider work transforming Primary Care and improving health in deprived communities.

Since 2007 we have been working in partnership with NHS health boards to increase the uptake of Anticipatory Care programmes such as Keep Well and the National Bowel Screening Programme. In that time we have engaged over 3500 patients who were considered “hard to engage” in a variety of primary prevention screening programmes.  We have also delivered workforce development programmes for over 300 NHS staff in Better Engagement Skills

Commissioned to undertake a small-scale trial to increase attendance at the clinics, we worked closely with four GP practices to systematically identify and engage positively with this group of serial non-attenders. Around 250,000 people in Scotland have diabetes (twice as many as 10 years ago) and the NHS in Scotland spends over £1 billion on the condition, with 80% of this going into managing avoidable complications. That’s why GP clinics that promote the active management of the condition are important.  The results of the trial showed that we were able to re-connect  80% of the ‘hard-to-engage’ patients with their GP practice compared to a ‘control’ GP practice in the area that achieved no increase at all through using traditional communication methods.

Our Modernising Primary Care transformation programme with six GP Practices in Grampian funded by Scottish Government allowed a wider exploration of embedding community engagement into GP Practices.

The video below explores some of the learning from this work.