Community Voices

Using your feedback to improve care

NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB is working with District Councils and the local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to develop and deliver a new engagement programme to help us listen to our communities and better understand experiences and opinions of accessing healthcare. It started during the COVID-19 pandemic to help us understand vaccine uptake, but has since looked at a range of services such as bowel cancer screening and stop smoking.

This pilot, known as Community Voices, works with trusted communicators to speak with communities who may not already engage with the NHS and other statutory bodies to hear what is important to them. We have learned that when talking to people about health services they also talk about a range of other issues that affect their health and wellbeing, such as housing and employment. We are designing ways to capture all this insight and make sure it is shared with people who design and deliver a range of services across Norfolk and Waveney.

The information we gathered early on in the first phase of the pilot was analysed by the University of East Anglia with the intention that this knowledge and insight is used to make positive changes to the way in which we engage with our communities and deliver services. NHS England has written a case study about Community Voices so our learning can be shared. Since the publication of the UEA report, Community Voices has undertaken several projects, learning from these different projects has been collated in the evaluation report which can be found here. Findings of the Community Voices Bowel Cancer screening (InHIP)  project can be found here. The Research Engagement Network (REN) Phase 2 programme evaluation report can he found here.

A case study about the Community Voices project to understand experiences of smoking can also been seen on the Community Conversations website, hosted by The Shoebox Enterprises Community Interest Company (CiC).

We would like to thank our host organisations, Community Champions and our communities for supporting this pilot.

This graphic summarises the work of Norfolk and Waveney Community Voices

How has insight collected by Community Voices made a difference so far?

Some of the insight helps us plan services:

  • To decide where to send the Wellness on Wheels (WoW) bus and what services to include
  • To inform the Serious Violence Duty needs assessment
  • To help a local council apply for funding bids and prioritise services in their council strategies
  • Make improvements to cancer screening services and improve uptake
  • Informed the Norfolk and Waveney Health Inequalities strategy
  • Informed the NHS Talking Therapies service design and procurement

Some of the insight helps the trusted communicators make a difference during their conversations:

This graphic shows the outcomes from the Community Voices conversations up to March 2024.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions, which will hopefully answer any queries you may have if you have been involved in a Community Voices project. Please note, we aim to update this list of questions periodically.

Click on a question below to reveal the answer.

  • How are we engaging with people?

    The VCSE organisations and District Councils with whom we are working, will host Community Champions who will be trained to have conversations with the public about their experiences of accessing healthcare and the covid vaccine.

    These conversations will be happening through a range activities - from door knocking, group conversations, pop up events to individual conversations. Champions will then feed the conversations (anonymised) into a database held by the CCG which will then be analysed by the University of East Anglia.

  • How else can Community Champions help?

    Community Champions will have access to a range of healthcare information, including the latest information around the covid vaccination.

    Whilst Champions aren't able to directly help with your healthcare needs or make referrals, they will be able to direct you to relevant information or services.

  • What will happen to your information?

    Champions will only be feeding back anonymised information - meaning your personal details will never be collected or shared.

    The Champions are aiming to report back conversation topics, general experiences and opinions of those they speak with into a database held by the ICB. As noted above, this information will then be shared with the UEA for evaluation.

    Conversations are completely voluntary, and you are able to change your mind at any point during the conversation. You also do not need to answer any questions you do not wish to or speak about any topics that you are not comfortable with.

    Champions want the conversations to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, once the conversation content has been fed back into thedatabase, it will not be possible to withdraw it due to technical reasons.

  • How will the information you share with us help inform change?

    As outlined above, the information that you share with us will be anonymously reported back and analysed. This will then be shared with the NHS and the intention is that this insight could help inform areas of work such as community engagement methods, access to services and decision making.

    As the pilot evolves, we hope to embed this knowledge into ways of working and explore how we work with our partners to learn from our communities in order to improve our services and the way we work. We plan to develop an ‘insight bank’, where information gathered by our champions can be stored and help build a picture over time about what is important to local people. This would be made available to everyone involved in supporting people to live healthy, happy lives.

  • I spoke with a Community Connector, are they the same as a Community Champion?

    The Community Voices Programme brings together a wide range of organisations across Norfolk and Waveney, all of whom are having conversations with their communities. Norwich City Council are hosting Community Connectors who will be gathering conversation topics and experiences – much like a Community Champion does - as part of this overall project but will be doing it in a slightly different way.

    They will be sharing what they learn with the UEA, but Norfolk and Waveney ICB are not involved in this process. If you have any questions about how Community Connectors work, or would like to know more, please contact Norwich City Council (details below).

  • How can you provide suggestions/feedback about this project?

    Whilst we hope the experience of this pilot will be positive, if you have any concerns or would like to raise a complaint relating to your experience of speaking with a Champion, we encourage you to contact the host organisation directly as they will be best placed to support you.

    The list of host organisations can be found below:

Host organisations

If you have any feedback or suggestions on how the pilot could be improved, or if you have any concerns relating to the pilot, we would like to hear from you. You can direct these to Norfolk and Waveney Complaints Team via the contact details set out below:

Feedback and Ideas:

If you would like to feedback any ideas or suggestions please contact us at:

Complaints or concerns:

Tel: 01603 595897

Address: NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB, Floor 8 County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 2DH

If you have any concerns about another service or provider, please contact them directly.