Wilson Health and Wellbeing Campus
The Wilson Hospital site in Mitcham is being redeveloped into a new health and wellbeing facility for the local community in the east of the borough – where there are higher health and social inequalities and people are more likely to experience lower life expectancy and higher levels of deprivation.
This work is being undertaken by Merton CCG in partnership with Merton Council, Community Health Partnerships, NHS Property Services and Merton CVS. These partners are helped and supported by the involvement of the local community and stakeholders in key aspects of the campus' development including the initial design brief, the look and feel of the site when people arrive at the site, helping decide what clinical and wellbeing services could be provided from the site and final touches such as the interior design.
Engagement activity - Gathering feedback on the initial design brief
Testing of the design brief was undertaken between April and September 2018 – aiming to seek feedback as well as raise awareness and interest in the project. Through this period of engagement, we attended 11 different events from focus groups to fun days and spoke to more than 400 people.
Our engagement activities targeted groups and communities that had not previously been reached, to ensure our work was reflecting the diversity of Mitcham - working more closely with BME communities, women, deprived communities and faith communities.
This phase of engagement activity focused on asking people what would enhance their experience of using the site. Those we spoke to were asked three questions: what do you want your first impressions of the space to be? How do you want to feel when you visit the space? Are there things about the look, feel and design of the space that would make your life easier?
Key feedback themes included ensuring there was welcoming and bright decor, a signposting function, issues with public transport and access, signage within the building, physical accessibility of the building, supporting the development of community spaces including cafes and outdoor space as well as a strong desire to keep the frontage on the building.
Making sure patient and public involvement is at the heart of the project
To ensure the local community influences all aspects of the campus, we have established a Wilson Community Reference Group (WCRG) – comprising individuals and community and voluntary groups interested and invested in the development. It will also reflect the groups highlighted within the Equalities Analysis, currently being undertaken. This group reports into the Wilson Programme Board – demonstrating our commitment to ensuring patient and public engagement influences the project at every level.
The WCRG met for the first time in November 2018 and has helped us to develop our communications and engagement plans and input to the development of our Equalities Analysis. Key feedback included making sure we reach out to local communities and continue to communicate progress about the development.
Equalities Impact Assessments (EIA) look at the potential impact of implementing new services or making changes to existing ones – it is a way of systematically taking equal opportunities into consideration when making decisions.
The Wilson Health and Wellbeing Campus Equalities and Health Inequalities Analysis gives us valuable insight into the groups and communities who will be most sensitive to the introduction of the campus and helps us understand the potential impact on the local community. As the programme progresses, the Equalities Impact Assessment will need to be updated to reflect any changes to the programme.