The Whipps Cross Community Forum

Following a process of engaging with local people and organisations across the Whipps Cross catchment area the Community Forum was formally established in early 2021. Its role is to facilitate an enduring partnership with the local community to help build a stronger relationship between Whipps Cross Hospital and the communities it serves, both now and in the future.

The Community Forum consists of member organisations from across the Whipps Cross Catchment area including: the Community Engagement Action Group, Whipps Cross Patient Panel, Healthwatch Redbridge, Healthwatch Waltham Forest, Redbridge CVS, TELCO - Citizens UK, Carers First Waltham Forest, Waltham Forest Young Advisers, North East London NHS, Waltham Forest Council, and Epping Forest District Council.

The Community Forum works closely with Barts Health and other health and care partners to increase community participation, involvement and engagement at Whipps Cross across four main themes:

Engagement in service transformation

The Community Forum advises and supports hospital departments to develop and deliver inclusive engagement when putting forward service transformation proposals. Working with commissioners and clinicians, patients, and carers the Community Forum is currently actively involved in End-of-Life Care and Maternity service transformation.

Engagement with the Whipps Cross redevelopment

The Community Forum works with partner organisations, health and care providers, and local people to ensure those impacted by the redevelopment are involved, valued and can contribute to creating shared solutions and visions for the new Whipps Cross Hospital. Work to date has included specific engagement with young people and carers to better understand their views and experiences of the hospital.

Whipps Cross Hospital as an ‘anchor organisation’

The hospital plays a critical role in addressing health inequalities and promoting health equity. Working with the Barts Public Health Team and other partners, the Community Forum is striving to ensure that we use our resources to invest in our local communities. This work includes enabling local students to complete their work placements with the hospital, and we are also collaborating with local employment teams to promote hospital vacancies and apprenticeship opportunities to people across our local communities.

Building new relationships

A key focus is to build new relationships with local people and communities who do not currently or historically engage with the hospital. The Community Forum is currently working with the NHS England/NHS Improvement Community Participation Team to deliver community engagement training within Whipps Cross. We are also in discussions with the NHS Race Observatory and the Institute of Health Equity to explore how we can work more closely with them.

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