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Connecting with communities: Our approach to regional engagement

A huge part of our work to build the first specialist children's hospital for the East of England is listening and learning from the people who know best.

From the start, we have continually engaged with children, young people and families. Most of them have had experience of being in hospital or using mental health services. Through their insight, we are able to understand what went well, what didn't, and what could make for a better experience at Cambridge Children's Hospital.

The East of England is a big region, with diverse communities whose experiences of healthcare may differ hugely. We need to reach out widely to give as many people as possible the chance to have their say.

We have an ambitious regional engagement plan to help us do this. But we won't presume that we know best. Instead we will join forces with local people who have trusted relationships in their communities.

This powerful model of engagement proved hugely successful for our recent work in Luton.

Read about how we approached engagement in Luton (opens in a new tab)

a group of people smiling for the camera
We ran a mental health workshop at Luton Sixth Form College to better understand perceptions of mental health in different communities and across generations