Our work

The Ideas Alliance team brings years of varied experience in coproduction, commissioning, collaboration, campaigning and communications. Here are some examples of our work

Story-telling in Dudley

Client: Dudley Health & Wellbeing Board

This project was commissioned by Dudley’s Health and Wellbeing Board. They understand that to manage the rising demand for public services and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for those experiencing the greatest inequalities, they need to seek new solutions to the way they work. One of the new solutions is the development of three alliances for service coordination and delivery.

We were asked to engage with a wide range of people using a story-telling approach to:

  • identify the key priorities for the new Adults Alliance over the next 5 years
  • begin to define a new relationship/nature of engagement between organisations and communities

This period of engagement took place over a six month period and included conversations with over 150 local residents and 75 practitioners from statutory, voluntary and community sector groups.

We employed an appreciative approach throughout and used a mixture of interactive methods to reach people, including structured events, focus groups and ideas stations. In order to hear the stories of local residents we went to trusted places where people were already gathered and had conversations with individuals and groups from all walks of life and levels of service and community involvement. Over the six months, we had the privilege to listen to people in their living rooms, cafés, streets, local gyms and community spaces.

We also trained two cohorts of local practitioners and residents in active listening skills. This gave them the confidence to go out and gather stories from people they knew, neighbours, friends and family and as a consequence, extended our reach into the community.

All the conversations and stories were framed around what matters to people and what they value in their lives and their local area. The information gathered was then thematically analysed. The results were a clear set of outcomes, guiding principles and recommendations which are detailed in this report.

We ended the project by curating a celebration and showcase of all the people we had met and the stories we had had the privilege to hear. The event was attended by over 70 people and participants were invited to listen to the story-tellers and share their own experiences with them and others.

Asset based practice and a social prescribing team

Client: Dudley CVS

We met the Dudley Integrated Plus team while ‘story-telling in Dudley’ as they took part in one of our discovery events. This service provides social prescribing across the borough and the team manager was very keen to train and support them in asset based working.

We designed and facilitated a training programme which supported the Integrated Plus team as they examined their role in using asset based working and established practical ways in which they could develop and deepen their practice.

The training was attended by the whole team and provoked some innovative thinking and light bulb moments. As a consequence, the service will be considering a shift in their model of delivery to further accommodate asset based working and a more personalised approach.


Public and Patient Involvement Evaluation (PPI)

Client: Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Tower Hamlets CCG has a strong commitment to ensuring that patients and their voices are at the heart of everything they do. As they were developing a new PPI strategy, they asked for help to understand whether their current strategy (2015-18) and approach had been effective in creating meaningful patient involvement and engagement.

We structured the review on a CIPP framework to help us understand the context, resources, activities and overall impact of the work. During four months, we spent time with over 100 different people in Tower Hamlets, hearing about what has worked well and why, as well as ideas for improvements and developments that could support and drive the CCG’s ambitions. We spoke to commissioners, practitioners, GPs and engagement experts; we drank coffee with community commissioners and enjoyed curry with patient leaders; we also held stalls at Roman Street and Chrisp Street markets and walked and talked with residents to build the local picture.

Our findings were pulled together in a final report which concluded with a set of strategic and operational recommendations; we also highlighted some of the great examples of PPI that were happening across the borough and suggested key objectives to frame their next strategy.



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