NHS chiefs are looking to recruit 10 volunteers to be “community ambassadors for diverse ethnic communities” and help change future health and social care services.
The Sussex Health and Care Partnership, made up of councils and NHS trusts, said: “People from diverse ethnic communities experience some of the biggest health inequalities, even more since the start of the pandemic.
“It is really important to hear directly from people in those communities so that we can fully understand the challenges communities are facing and work together to create solutions.
“Community ambassadors are part of an exciting new way of helping the Sussex Health and Care Partnership to understand what is important to your community and make sure local health and care services are what your community needs.
“We are looking for 10 members of the public from diverse ethnic communities to become community ambassadors.
“The role of a community ambassador might include engaging with your community, trying to make contact with people to talk to them about health and care services in the area and to find out their views (and) doing office-based work, giving advice and support to NHS programmes across Sussex, and helping to make decisions about health and care services.”
The partnership said: “We currently have 15 community ambassadors across Sussex and since our volunteers joined in October 2020, they have helped to influence services locally.
“Community Ambassadors have been active participants in eight interview panels for staff within the Sussex NHS Commissioners, providing an independent perspective on the panels.
“(They have) undertaken research on the views of the BAME communities on the flu vaccine and identified solutions to support the flu vaccination campaign and covid-19 immunisation programme, worked in partnership to develop a questionnaire for the pre-consultation engagement for the cardiology and ophthalmology services in East Sussex – over 200 questionnaires were completed by patients (and) worked collaboratively to design two questionnaires as part of the engagement with service users and practitioners for the Brighton and Hove mental health accommodation tendering process.”
The partnership added that they had “supported the development of the materials for the pre-consultation engagement for stroke (services) redesign in West Sussex, including the narrative, communications and engagement plan, patient survey questions”.
It also said: “Community ambassadors receive expenses and, in some situations, recognition payments are offered.”
The deadline for applications is Thursday 12 August.
Click here for more information about the role and how to apply.
Roz Scott is a freelance journalist. To read more of her work or subscribe to her blog, visit www.rozscott.com.
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