Community Research and Support Programme

We are committed to hearing and acting upon the voice of the local community and to ensuring that there is equitable access for all of our diverse Islington population. We recognise that certain communities face specific barriers to accessing traditional health services and will often seek support through their local community first.

Over the last five years we have delivered the Community Research and Support Programme with local community organisations.

Research and programme reports

The national target set for the 2020/21 Flu Vaccination Programme was the most ambitious one ever set requiring a take up of 75% across all eligible patient cohorts. This level of take up has never been achieved in previous years and London has always had the lowest figures. This year alongside the setting of this ambitious target, the programme had to be delivered during a pandemic with all the additional challenges this presented.

The team realised early on that this was going to require an even more creative approach than in previous years. It was particularly important that those communities that had been disproportionality affected by coronavirus took up the opportunity to have their flu vaccine. Protection against flu was particularly important with COVID-19 in circulation because people vulnerable to COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.

The creative approach meant being creative operationally in how the vaccine was delivered and innovative in how we communicated and engaged with north central London residents and the diverse communities within the five boroughs. Each one having different populations. The comprehensive engagement work allowed us to feedback concerns and issues to the operational team and then adjustments could be made, where appropriate, to how the programme was delivered to increase take up.

An exciting step forward this year was the development of the HealtheIntent Dashboard by the Health Analytics Team. This tool enabled the sharing of detailed data on take up across the various patient cohorts. It could be broken down by borough, by Primary Care Network and by practice. It also broke down the data by ethnicity, religion, language spoken and level of deprivation. This tool was invaluable in informing where there was lower take up and where we needed to more effectively target our engagement activity. The data showed us that take up was lower in BAME communities and in areas of the boroughs experiencing higher deprivation. In addition, there were certain eligible patient cohorts where we needed to concentrate our efforts, such as pregnant women, under 65s with long-term health conditions and children.

The approach this year was also a partnership one working closely with our colleagues in the local authorities and across acute, primary care and community providers. A comprehensive communications and engagement plan was developed to deliver through shared channels and networks.

Read the full report.

Health Exchange is a forum for community organisations that work with residents in Islington.

It’s a place where the CCG and Islington Council can hear feedback from community organisations around the issues that are most pertinent to the residents that they work with. The CCG shares its plans to help organisations have a better understanding of our key priorities, foster open communication and highlight opportunities for working together.          

Health Exchange is hosted by Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, an established local charity and voluntary sector service provider. Health Exchange is delivered in partnership with the CCG, and is commissioned by London Borough of Islington. It represents our integrated approach to improving the health and wellbeing of Islington residents.

Collectively, we aim to:

  • improve understanding of the health and wellbeing across Islington
  • enable creative solutions to delivering wellbeing
  • identify service areas for future development
  • facilitate and highlight opportunities for joint working

Health Exchange aims to involve and integrate statutory and voluntary sector organisations in finding solutions and approaches to health priorities and agendas. We recognise that to do so involves enabling meaningful engagement and conversations between commissioners and the voluntary and community sector, as well as representation and understanding of community voices and needs. 

Health Exchange facilitates speakers from Islington CCG and Islington Council, and delivers workshops to explore and progress current agendas and work areas. It also offers an online portal, hosted by Knowledge Hub, to assist in connecting organisations, sharing information to enable collaboration.

Please register your interest in Health Exchange by contacting You will then receive an invitation to join the online portal. 

The aim of this programme is to act on the CCG’s commitment to engage with different communities in Islington, in particular those that face barriers to accessing statutory services.

We want to understand people’s experiences of services, and gather their views on what impacts their health and wellbeing so that we can feed these views into our service design, commissioning programmes and strategic planning.

As part of this programme we also aim to enable local community organisations to better support and signpost their clients to ensure they get the right support and help that they need, when they need it.

The CCG recognises that a crucial part of reaching our diverse communities are through the relationships that have been built with the community and voluntary sector. 

 This work has meant we have been able to:

  • Capture the views of our community
  • Share information on accessing services with some of the groups who experience the most barriers to access
  • Identify vulnerable members of the Islington community (who we would not otherwise have been able to reach) who have more complex needs and require additional support to access health services
  • Support community organisations to become more informed on NHS and other support services available, and to be able to more effectively signpost those who need them. They have also been able to offer more intensive support to those in their communities that need it.

For 2020 we commissioned three projects.

Help on Your Doorstep (HOYD) and Claremont worked in partnership and built on the previous years work around Social Prescribing and Navigation.

Healthwatch Islington led the Diverse Communities and worked with migrant communities in Islington to understand barriers to accessing mental health support and services.

The Peel built on the previous year’s worked and continued to explore barriers to mental health support and services in Islington’s Somali community, working with mental health professionals, faith leaders and residents.

For previous years projects please visit our archived Islington CCG website:

[ARCHIVED CONTENT] UK Government Web Archive – The National Archives

For more information about any of these projects please contact