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Prevention Conference Meeting Notes

Prevention Conference

Wednesday 24 October 2018

A Prevention Conference for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisations working in health wellbeing and social care took place in October 2018 at the Vassall Centre.

Meeting Notes

Welcome and introduction – Vicki Morris, Chief Executive, The Care Forum

Vicki opened the conference by setting the scene, highlighting the importance of prevention and the vital role the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector play within that. She outlined that personal experiences and understanding an individual’s motivations were key to getting people to engage with prevention and consider lifestyle changes, and that voluntary sector groups can be a key trusted source for motivating change. Vicki highlighted some useful VCSE resources that help to do this including the Man V Fat website. The help, advice and awareness that VCSE groups can provide is essential in delivering the prevention agenda.

Lindsay Gee, Head of Locality Planning South Gloucestershire, Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG)

Lindsay outlined the commissioning priorities of the CCG for the coming year. These include:

  • Strengthening general practice and enabling integrated community-based localities
  • Procuring a BNSSG community services provider
  • Improving services for people with mental health needs
  • Enabling transformation through digital
  • Increasingly working together as a system through the Sustainability & Transformation Partnership, including with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector
  • Prevention and self-care focus crucial to system functioning
  • Area Teams a key part of keeping place-based focus and reflecting local specific needs. They are keen to hear from you!

Full slides are available here: CCG priorities

Amanda Saunders, Programme Manager, Heathier Together

Amanda shared the prevention plan priorities of the Healthier Together (STP) Programme and the potential opportunities to engage for VCSE organisations. Their principles for prevention are:

  • Recognising prevention is everyone’s business
  • Maximising existing settings and structures and reducing variation in delivery
  • Applying population need data to decisions on commissioning and provision
  • Addressing inequalities and variation across geographies
  • Optimising digital solutions to enable prevention at scale

Five priority areas are Public Mental Health, Alcohol, Tobacco, Obesity & Activity and Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) risk factors. Examples in some of these areas were outlined. Amanda also raised the opportunity Healthier Together has to build a more ambitious social prescribing programme across BNSSG and some of the steps taken towards the development of this service.

Slides are available here: Prevention 24.10.18 Healthier Together

Workshops feedback

  1. Mental Health Integration – Enhancing the links between surgeries and voluntary and community sector providers

Tharsha Sivayokan, GP and Ronnie Wright, Voluntary Sector Service Manager, The Care Forum

The workshop explored local plans aimed at improving access to mental health support for people with mild/low risk mental health issues. Key themes emerging from the workshops included: the value of social prescribing when done right; the importance of communication, integration, making use of digital solutions and appropriate funding; an exploration of the issues that could prevent integration including exclusion.

More in depth notes are available here: Ronnie and Tharsha Meeting Workshop notes

  1. Making digital health technologies work for us and the people we care for

Dr Rupa Chilvers, South West Academic Health Science Network and Victoria Norman, Signum Health

Using digital health technologies as enablers for our day-to-day work is a must, but how and when can we really bring this into play? This session highlighted some of the work taking place through the Digital Health Accelerator South West using social prescribing and community-based diagnostics as examples for a wider discussion. Areas of discussion included the AHSN Innovation Exchange which is due to be officially launched early 2019 and aims to collaborate with the NHS, academia, enterprises, charities, and industry to apply creative innovative solutions which improve lives, quality of care, patient safety, and efficiency in the way care is provided.

More details here: AHSN Digital

  1. Demonstrating an Impact on public health

James Picardo, Voluntary Sector Service BNSSG

Many voluntary and community organisations in South Gloucestershire and the West of England will be doing things that improve public health. This workshop aimed to help you prove it and demonstrate your impact. Some useful tips in proving the impact of a VCSE organisation include:

  • Think about what you’re capable of measuring
  • Use existing data
  • Use existing tools
  • Depending on the context, it may or may not be useful to express your impact in financial terms
  • Don’t be afraid to claim contribution rather than attribution

There’s a raft of useful information within the slides here: Prevention and Impact – JP

  1. Prevention at Scale and the Voluntary Sector’s Role

Rosanne Sodzi, Health and Wellbeing Programme Manager, Public Health England.

Public Health England (PHE) run a health, prevention and early intervention sector-led improvement programme. This workshop provided information to allow VCSE organisations to feed into prevention and how PHE can help by providing:

  • Data: providing you with local level information on what the health needs of the population are in an easy to use format.
  • Evidence : what works with who in an easily understandable format
  • Resources : to help you implement prevention and early intervention initiatives where you are working
  • Support/Advice: SW PHE Centre staff are happy to advise and support you in signposting you the right data, resources and evidence as well as linking you up with local public health teams.

All of this and more can be accessed here:

Workshop slides are here: PHE workshop – Prevention at Scale

  1. Making Every Contact Count

Claire Rees and Paul Volker: Public Health, South Gloucestershire Council

Making changes such as stopping smoking, improving diet, increasing physical activity, losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption can help people to reduce their risk of poor health significantly. Making every contact count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day to day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to encourage changes in behaviour that have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations. Learn how to further make to most of every engagement.

You can learn how MECC can help in prevention by reading the slides from this workshop here: MECC Training VCS

Evaluation Feedback

The conference was attended by 73 people in addition to speakers and conference organisers. 39 participants completed evaluation forms.

As a result of the conference 31% of attendees said they would work in closer partnership with another organisation, 33% would review their current organisation practice in this field, 16% would like to get more involved as a voluntary sector rep and 23% are going to explore or develop a new project or piece of work.

Participants identified the following key themes as potential areas to inform future work:

  • Social Prescribing and the voluntary sector
  • Collaboration between voluntary sector organisations (potentially through networking)
  • More opportunity for involvement in the STP/Healthier Together
  • Prevention and specific groups in society (eg those who have mental health issues)
  • Working more closely with service users
  • More training opportunities for staff


We received a high level of positive qualitative feedback with respondent comments including:

  • excellent event – very informative – Thank you for organising a great event (multiple respondents)
  • Good info for bid writing and measuring impact
  • All very interesting. Very good intro to the day from Vicki Morris
  • I would have liked to have attended more workshops, not just two
  • Helps to give some specific detail and resources for a piece of work we are doing during the autumn
  • Really good event. Thought the Making every Contact Count workshop was excellent. Paul a really good trainer
  • Really good morning. I enjoyed the sessions I chose. Well done!
  • Thank you! Well presented, useful workshops, great venue
  • Better monitor/gather info about what we do and its impact
  • Not much opportunity – but something to do afterwards. Good that not too much ‘networking’ time and good to see info packed in.
  • It will inform my practice in general and help me work better with the CCG
  • Really helpful and energetic event – thank you
  • Very good, informative and productive time spent. Gained confidence and experience
  • Good idea to take ‘the top 3’ forward. Get us involved to make effective change
  • I found it extremely helpful and have taken a lot of information away with me which will help our team

We also received a number of comments which will help inform our future planning:

  • It would be great if there was a triage system available for VCS
  • Maybe my misunderstanding, but I thought I was coming to a conference on prevention and early intervention in mental health. A bit disappointed…. Also on my emails start time was 9:30 (not 9:15) and nothing on workshops.
  • Big room wasn’t very accessible with tables
  • Pre-event info could have been clearer re start times. Unexpected emphasis on South Glos. I would have preferred representation from across the CCG.
  • What connects all attendees to take action during and after events? How can this generate community?
  • Useful event – thanks for organising, but please use amplification for people with hearing impairments, and avoid more than one group in the room
  • More time. Could have been a whole day, felt a little rushed.
  • If hours were adjusted to 10am to 1pm as need to go to office at 9 then across central Bristol before. This may help more people to attend.