Designing and improving public services | 20 April | CoProduction Conference

9959244_orig1This is a conference for those of us working with our local councils, NHS and other public agencies.

By bringing the experience and expertise of our local communities together with those of the statutory bodies, we can co-design and co-produce public services that make a big difference to people’s lives, that use public money more effectively and which tackle the inequalities we are all aware of.

If your faith forum, church, temple, Islamic centre, synagogue or gurdwara is working with (or interested in working with) your local borough council or NHS, please come along.

WCEN’s CoProduction Research Conference is on Monday 20 April at Springfield Hospital in south London (Tooting Bec tube) & is open to religious and community groups from across London.

One of the workshops is tailored especially for those of us who are interested in getting started on making a contribution to the physical health & emotional wellbeing of our communities.

Professor John Benington (University of Warwick) is a leading thinker in the future of how public services are evolving and will be speaking on “mobilising movement for whole system change in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity”.  The day will finish with a conversation between Prof Benington and Wandsworth Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Martin.

It’s an opportunity to share ideas from across systems and social networks: academics, policy makers, public servants, local religious & community organisations.

The conference is free of charge and includes lunch.  Download the invitation and the programme and email if you plan to attend.

London – the TB capital of Europe | 24 March 11am

The NHS and public health agencies are struggling with tuberculosis.

London is now the TB capital of Europe, with hotspots in Brent, Newham, Hounslow and several other boroughs.  There is a lack of understanding of how communities work, how the disease is transmitted, the early symptoms and how treatment can be most effective.

Some communities are particularly affected and Islamic centres with members from a broad range of backgrounds are in a good position to take the lead on raising awareness.

TB map 2009

TB rates per 100,000 population in London boroughs, 2009. (Source: HPA)

At an event on Monday 24 March at 11am* (World TB Day) at Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, W1C 2DJ, Dr Shuja Shafi of the Muslim Council of Britain (who is a medical doctor), Islamic centres in London and NHS clinicians will explore how local religious communities could take a lead.  They will be able to pilot new ways of working with health professionals in preventing the rise of TB and of ensuring early detection and successful treatment.

If you are from one of the “red” boroughs on the map above, or from a pocket elsewhere which is affected by high TB rates, or have an interest in preventing illness or in hospital chaplaincy, please join us for this exploratory discussion.  Register here to book your place, which is free of charge.  No previous knowledge of TB is necessary. Contact LBFN for further information.

* Update – this event is postponed and now likely to take place in May.

May 24th – Health & Wellbeing

Andrew Lansley (photo: Dept of Health, Creative Commons)

It’s all change with the NHS at the moment.

At local level, the Primary Care Trusts are on their way out (some have already gone) and GP consortia are being set up, ready to take full responsibility for local health care by April 2013.  The Andrew Lansley ‘pause’ is likely to bring more accountability – and will probably require an amendment to the legislation (expected by December).

Responsibility for public health is no longer with the NHS.  Each London council now has a Heath & Wellbeing Board, an acknowledgement that good health/mental health depends not just on GPs and hospitals but on education, housing, community safety, employment, green spaces, etc.

“Patients must be at the heart of everything we do, not just as beneficiaries of care, but as participants, in shared decision-making.  As patients, there should be no decision about us, without us.”    Health Secretary Andrew Lansley

Our next LBFN meeting will focus on the health of our communities, and in particular how inequalities in health can be tackled in a sustained way.

  • How can churches, mosques, temples & other local faith communities take up these new opportunities?
  • How can we involve ourselves in positive conversations with local councils and GP consortia?
  • How can we bring about real improvements in the health and wellbeing of our congregations and the wider community?

Malik Gul, Director of Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network, will lead an interactive session, sharing the ups and downs of working closely with public agencies at local level and how religious groups are co-designing the kind of health services they need.

We are meeting in Knightsbridge, SW7 on

TUESDAY 24th MAY 10.30am – 12.30pm, ending with refreshments at 1pm

As ever, please let the Convener know (by May 20th if possible) if you are planning to come.  Details will be sent to you.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Your local faith forum

Map of London Boroughs from South London Inter Faith Group

How are things going with your local faith forum?

  • Are local councils (& police, NHS) able to reach their local faith communities to discuss priority issues?
  • Do religious groups contribute to policy and decision-making?
  • Education ♦ hate crime ♦ cohesion ♦ Prevent strategy ♦ equalities/discrimination ♦ stop & search ♦ planning ♦ neighbourhood policing ♦ health care ♦ employment ♦ emergencies ♦ end of life care – what are the issues that deserve attention?
  • Who sets the agenda?  Who is involved?  Who pays?  How does it work?
  • How do SACRE and Borough Deans fit in?  Is inter faith dialogue one of the activities?
  • What happens when key people leave?  Is limited time used well?
  • Twitter, texts, meetings, websites, blogs – what works best?
  • Is the future bright & rosy?  Or not?

LBFN’s next meeting is in King’s Cross, Camden next week.  Come and hear what’s going on across London.  Contribute your own experiences and ideas.

LOCOG‘s Duncan Green will also be with us with an update on Games 2012.

Tuesday 7th December

Coffee & arrivals 9.45am, meeting 10am-12.30pm.

Contact the convener asap or leave a comment here if you are planning to come – look forward to seeing you there.

The Changing Estate & NHS-church partnership

All the main world religions value health and wellbeing.

A church in Dartford (not quite in London, but very close) has linked up with the local NHS and created a flagship Healthy Living Centre, including a GP surgery.

Anyone interested in how statutory services and local faith communities can work together for the benefit of the wider community might like to go along on Wednesday 13th October 10am – 3pm.  There’s a meeting of the National Estates Churches Network London Region – hear about changes on the estate & how St Edmund’s is responding to them and take up the chance to look around the Centre.

More info and to book lunch (£5), email

Thanks to Susanne at PEN London for letting us know.