Hands holding scissors, cutting a piece of paper that says Inequality on it. The scissors are cutting between the In and Equality.

Health Inequalities Communities of Practice – communities working together to tackle health inequalities in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire individuals are going to have the opportunity to be involved with three new Health Inequalities Communities of Practice (CoP).

The Communities of Practice will bring together those who work and volunteer with people experiencing health inequalities in areas of deprivation in Buckinghamshire.

Did you know the average life expectancy for a healthy male in the most deprived areas of Buckinghamshire is 77.2 years old and for a female, it’s 79.7 years old? Compare this to the least deprived areas where men are expected to live to 81.5 years old and women to 85.1. (1.Bucks Data Exchange, 2020)

What is a Community of Practice and how can it help address health inequalities? 

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern (e.g. health inequality), a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to fulfil both individual and group goals. Health Inequalities Communities of Practice is the title given to the groups who come together from within the community to take action.

Each Community of Practice will give the attendees the opportunity to learn, share knowledge and experience. This learning will help deepen understanding of these complex issues, anchored in day-to-day work.  

Communities of Practice will help to build networks in Aylesbury, Chesham and High Wycombe. Each facilitated meeting will explore a theme or topic, bringing together those working and volunteering in communities to share experience and knowledge. 

Each Communities of Practice will have access to an online dedicated collaboration space for discussion and information sharing. Details will be shared with meeting participants after each session.

Where and when will the meetings take place?

The first meetings will explore multi-faith perspectives of mental health and accessing support: 

  • High Wycombe Health Inequalities Community of Practice is being held on Friday 10 May (10.30am-12pm) at Buckinghamshire Community Wellbeing Hub, Buckinghamshire New University’s High Wycombe campus – the first Community of Practice for High Wycombe was a success. The next date will be shared shortly.                 
  • Aylesbury Health Inequalities Community of Practice is being held on Thursday 16 May (10.30 am-12pm) at Buckinghamshire Community Wellbeing Hub, Buckinghamshire New University’s Aylesbury campus. The first Community of Practice for Aylesbury was a success. The next date will be shared shortly.  
  • Chesham Health Inequalities Community of Practice is being held on Wednesday 22nd May (11 am-12pm) (online) – book your free place via Eventbritebook your free place via Eventbrite.

If the session you are interested in is fully booked, please contact HealthInequalitiesCoP@communityimpactbucks.org.uk to be added to a waiting list.

Topics for future sessions may include: 

  • jargon-busting and highlighting barriers to accessing support 
  • cultural sensitivity and awareness for groups who commonly experience health inequalities 
  • how best to support young people on waiting lists for mental health services 

We understand different geographical areas will have their own unique issues and topics that are relevant to their community. There will be chance to shape the agenda for discussion as the Health Inequalities Communities of Practice develop. Suggestions from Communities of Practice participants for topics will be welcomed. 

 Who should attend? 

Anyone working on the ‘frontline’ in primary care, mental health services, local authority, and the Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise sector (VCSE), with a common interest in supporting people experiencing health inequalities.  

This could include :

  • Advice workers
  • Advocacy providers
  • Foodbank volunteers
  • Social support workers
  • Staff and volunteers in faith-based or community organisations
  • Outreach workers
  • Homelessness support
  • Substance misuse support
  • Refugees and asylum seeker support
  • Social workers
  • Community nurses
  • Community pharmacists
  • Social prescribers
  • Health and wellbeing coaches
  • Care navigators
  • Mental health practitioners
  • Probation support

This list is not exhaustive. 

This is not a forum for managers or CEOs, but a space encouraging open discussion between those working directly with communities. Individuals will learn from each other, share knowledge, ask questions and explore solutions that will benefit local people.  

If you would like to know more about the Health Inequalities Communities of Practice or would like to be added to the mailing list for its upcoming events, please email HealthInequalitiesCoP@communityimpactbucks.org.uk 

 The Communities of Practice are organised by Community Impact Bucks and Buckinghamshire Health & Social Care Academy. This new initiative is supported by the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB)’s Prevention and Health Inequalities funding. 

1. https://bucksdataexchange.org/data/life-expectancy/