Dr Ilhem Berrou | University of the West of England
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2023
GP practices are the gateway to accessing healthcare, but they are inaccessible to many people who live in deprived neighbourhoods. We need to redesign health services, especially screening and prevention services, to meet the specific needs of those communities.
CHERIE (Community Health Education, scReenIng and prEvention) aims to establish outreach clinics delivered by organisations that are embedded within communities, to provide health education, screen people for risk factors of cardiometabolic diseases, and diagnose and manage them.
Delivering outreach via community organisations has many benefits. They are trusted by local communities; hold events and outreach activities within highly accessibly venues at the heart of communities; employ and facilitate the volunteering of staff who understand the needs of the local communities (including cultural needs and local challenges); are able to offer extended time during events to discuss people’s worries and concerns (unlike the 10 minutes offered to most patients attending GP appointments); and understand the local systems and are able to signpost and support people to access the services offered locally.
This model will address most of the barriers that are preventing people from accessing health screening, diagnostics and treatments.
We have been working with Caafi Health, a community organisation in Bristol to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of pilot CHERIE clinics in the most deprived areas in Bristol. The Catalyst award will help us enhance and refine the CHERIE model to increase people’s access to health services. We will produce the blueprint of this model and a toolkit for social enterprises that are aiming to bid for funding to deliver services within the community.