The project team combined a fantastic skill mix, that allowed the project to achieve complete sustainability of the Practice Health Champions programme in four different practices in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The Practice health champions projected started in January 2014 and was delivered of an eighteen month period. During this time the project team worked to develop a model which empowered volunteers to work with the practices and their CCG to co-design, co-produce, co-deliver and co-commission services which will lead to a range of positive outcomes including:

  1. Increased range of health and wellbeing activities.
  2. Increased involvement and engagement of people and communities.
  3. Improved health outcomes.
  4. Increased community capital and social value.
  5. Safer and better quality services.

The staff share two main qualities that encapsulate the whole project. These being ‘passion’ and ‘innovation’. They are passionate about the need for improving the health and wellbeing of communities, passionate about helping volunteers get the best out of their own lives, passionate about helping to support the NHS to best cope with the challenges it faces and they have a passionate commitment to the project as a whole.

They believe that innovation should be the driving force to the whole project and this is the energy that runs through all their work. They invite the champions to think innovatively, as they do themselves – as fresh thinking and fresh solutions often prove to be the best medicine!

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  • Natalie Belt, Project Manager

    What is your favourite aspect of the project?

    “I saw a great opportunity with this project, to help reach the grass roots levels of the national delivery of health and well-being. The project captures the desire and needs of the NHS at this current time, to involve patients in the creation of their own care and to value them as equal partners. The whole project makes such logical sense. It is simple and provides effective and cost-efficient solutions to benefit all. My favourite aspect is telling people what we have created, as there is often a look of surprise – but then it’s immediately followed by a smile and then lots of questions.”

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  • Geof Dart,


    Project Co-ordinator

    What is your favourite aspect of the project?

    “I have always been passionate about NHS services, community development and supporting and empowering individuals. Being innovative and transformative, this project has led to a wonderful relationship between patients, communities and general practice. To see the benefits for general practice, the communities they serve and the individual champions we work with is hugely inspiring and a great privilege to be part of. ”

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  • Ryan Nicholls, Liaison Lead

    What is your favourite aspect of the project?

    “As the trainer for the Practice Health Champions, I love engaging with the people and getting to know their own stories and skills that they bring. A lot of champions doubt what they can offer to the role and then during the training, you see that transformation take place, where they realize that they already bring so much. Motivating, inspiring and supporting people in their roles, is undoubtedly my favourite aspect to my work”.