Two extended deliberative workshops were planned and delivered on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council, as part of the development of its new 2015-19 Community Plan. The Plan was last refreshed in 2011, and since this time there have been significant legislative, financial and organisational changes within local government, health and other partners. The development of the new Plan also tied in with the start of a new Mayoral term, with a re-elected Mayor with a borough-wide mandate.
The emphasis of both workshops was on facilitating an informed debate with members of the public about the savings agenda, exploring possible approaches and challenges to implementing the expected budget reductions and identifying what local people think about what is important for the Borough.
The third health-related workshop was planned and delivered on behalf of the Tower Hamlets CCG and focused specifically on health priorities and health service commissioning.
Each of the workshops were well-attended by between 37 and 44 participants by a cross-section of participants broadly representative of the demographics of Tower Hamlets as a whole. Participants were recruited via telephone by Enventure Research, with quotas set by tenure, gender, age, economic activity and ethnicity. Tower Hamlets Community Champions were invited to attend the events and were recruited on the telephone using the same screening criteria. All participants had lived in the area for at least six months.
The third workshop was additionally attended by a mixture of patients (with experience of long-term and short-term health conditions) and carers.
Enventure Research’s skilled workshop facilitators used a range of deliberative techniques including small group working, plenary sessions, presentations, interactive voting sessions and prioritisation tasks to ensure all participants had the opportunity to effectively express their views. During small group working participants took part in paper-based exercises and key points were also recorded on flipcharts. Council officers were also present on the day to provide additional information and clarification of participants’ queries.
Upon completion of the three workshops, Enventure Research analysed the findings, grouping together common responses into key themes arising from the discussions. Separate tailored reports were produced for the Council and the CCG highlighting the key findings and main conclusions from the research.
The findings from the research will feed into the development of the Tower Hamlets 2015-19 Community Plan and inform the commissioning process for community health services in Tower Hamlets.