Our Community Insight System


Healthwatch Waltham Forest is working collaboratively with NHS North East London and the seven other local Healthwatch (Newham, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Hackney, City of London, Havering and Barking & Dagenham) to understand local experience and improve services across North East London.

All local Healthwatch and key relevant partners are using the Community Insights System to gather, aggregate and code together large volumes of data from a wide variety of sources.

The repository is a single, simple to use, community managed database system that:

  • Enables the processing of vast quantities of information, qualitative and quantitative, resulting in a large, robust evidence base of user and resident views.
  • Features a coding matrix based on the care pathway, enabling identification of service and support gaps. This allows us to identify more effectively the points in the care pathway where patients or users are experiencing problems.
  • Produces automated trends analysis reports on date, source, origin, service name or type, condition, commissioner, locality, demography, keywords, or any combination of criteria. Runs ‘league table’ style reports to identify best practice.
  • Monitors dignity, equality and safety/risk and flags potential safeguarding incidents;
  • Helps to build a repository of reports, websites and other intelligence resources through a simple tagging system ensuring that we learn from and build upon existing intelligence;

In addition to this, the Community Insights System is also used as a CRM for stakeholder/ member mapping, signposting logs and more. To find out more about it, check out:  https://localvoice.org.uk/our-community-insights-system/ 

Currently, the Healthwatch Community Insight Repository gathers intelligence:

  • Face to face, through outreach in hospitals and primary care settings; regular dedicated ‘Your Voice Counts’ locality events; stalls at Idea Stores, community events, supermarkets, street markets and partner events.
  • Enter and View visits to health and social care providers such as hospital wards, GP Practices, homeless hostels, dental practices or daycare centres.
  • Focus groups and workshops on key themes e.g. young people and mental health or play facilities in Tower Hamlets.
  • Healthwatch priority project activity – care at home, maternity, cancer, and young people’s needs.
  • Online from NHS, Patient Opinion, and the Healthwatch Waltham Forest website; as well as through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and local networks such as Mumsnet and Next Door.
  • From strategic partners. PALS and Complaints Data from Barts Health NHS Trust, Maternity Voices feedback from Social Action for Health, community intelligence from Public Health in the Council.

We are very keen to receive user feedback from any of our partners including the voluntary and community sector.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like further information about how you could use the repository.

The bulk of this intelligence is gathered, entered into the intelligence database and coded by trained Healthwatch staff and volunteers.

Data Coding

Service user comments are coded using a coding matrix, which applies issue, care pathway location, and (positive, neutral or negative) sentiment. Care Pathway locations cover all aspects of health and social care:

  • Transport (ability to get to-and-from services).
  • Reception (reception services including back-office).
  • Diagnosis/Testing (diagnosis of condition, including testing and scans).
  • Clinical Treatment (treatment received by trained clinicians).
  • Clinical Nursing (care received by trained nurses).
  • Discharge (discharge from a service).
  • Follow On (supplementary services following discharge, including care packages).
  • Community (community-based services, such as social care, district nursing, community and mental health).

Data analysis, reporting  and cross-borough integration

Working together in this framework has allowed local Healthwatch to combine their knowledge of their local areas, the experiences that people share with them and the different barriers face. We produce reports at borough level and North East London level, allowing us to identify trends, variations and differences in health and care – helping to tackle and reduce inequalities.

The Community Intelligence Repository underpins all of our reports and our representation functions.  You can read any of our reports here on this website.

Working collaboratively across North East London, we have been able to give our Integrated Care System an indication of:

  • Differences between boroughs/providers, across the full range of services.
  • Views regarding different services, from people with different conditions.
  • Differences based on demographics and wider determinants.
  • User satisfaction over time regarding access, communication, attitudes etc.

We produced quarterly reports and dashboard summaries by region, sub-region, borough; primary/secondary care services; as well as rapid responses to specific service queries (e.g. redesigns, virtual appointments, digital inclusion, inequalities).

As a result, the NHS North East London has been able to improve hospital communication systems, create more equal GP access, and design new models of care.