Our work on inequalities, diversity and inclusion

We have begun to establish ways of bringing our ED&I agenda to our work with clients and have expanded our portfolio of work around inequalities. The findings from our recent projects have highlighted the need to support clients in ensuring that community engagement is representative of people from different backgrounds and that all voices are being heard.

Our work with South East London Integrated Care System

In 2020/21, PPL supported South East London Integrated Care System (SEL) to understand and address inequalities in children and young people’s mental health services. The project focused on two key groups of young children disproportionately affected by mental health inequalities in South East London – black and mixed heritage boys responding to trauma and distress, and black and mixed heritage children of parents with poor mental health. This focus allowed the team to take an intersectional approach to understanding the causes of inequalities.

The PPL team worked closely with SEL to:

  • Engage individuals, communities and partners to identify priority areas for collective investment and action.
  • Understand and share existing developments and best practice.
  • Facilitate a co-design process with system partners and experts by experience to develop an agreed set of actions for 2022/23.
  • Bring people together to create ownership for the change.

Taking an inequalities lens, and focusing on what can only be achieved together, provided a valuable framework to address mental health inequalities through system working, building on relationships and ways of working established but not effectively embedded during the pandemic crisis response.

Moreover, quality improvement techniques, including driver diagrams, laid the foundations for continuous improvement in two areas of health inequality and encouraged teams to think holistically about the causes and effects of inequalities in these areas.

SEL now stand poised to implement future plans, working directly with young people, their families and professionals across organisational and geographic boundaries. SEL will strengthen the case for greater upstream investment while using cross-partnership assets and resources, to share and scale learning and innovation and to make shared, measurable progress in addressing inequalities across South East London.

Our work with Lewisham health and care partners

PPL supported Lewisham Health and Care Partners (LHCP) to review and develop new approaches for more inclusive community engagement. The aim of the project was to amplify the voices of seldom-heard groups and ensure that everyone in Lewisham felt able and welcome to get involved in and contribute to engagement around their health and care services. The project supported LHCP to develop a shared plan for next steps around citizen and community engagement and activation.

The PPL team spoke to people across the system in Lewisham, including primary and secondary care providers; communication and engagement leads and the CCG, council and several VCFSE organisations supporting refugees and older people; mental health service providers; young people in alternative education; and disabled residents.

Informed by this engagement and by best practice research, we developed a shared approach for inclusive community engagement in Lewisham aimed at building trust and supporting marginalised communities to exercise their power, while also recognising the limits on funding, time and capacity available.

The final report and recommendations are grounded in the feedback and engagement we heard from people in Lewisham about what was working well and where the areas for improvement were. The team also co-developed a clear set of short, medium and long-term actions and a roadmap for delivering change that LHCP can take forward in partnership with communities in order to ensure that future engagement is even better and more inclusive of seldom-heard groups.

You can read more about our work with clients and partners in our latest Impact Report - https://ppl.org.uk/perch/resources/ppl-impact-report-202021.pdf.