Following NICE 2008: a practical guide for health professionals on community engagement with local black and minority ethnic (BME) community groups

Community participation and engagement are now meant to be at the heart of health and social care services. In 2008, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) developed guidelines entitled Community Engagement to Improve Health (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2008). However, although these guidelines do recognise that many black and minority ethnic (BME) communities often have specific needs, they do not offer detailed advice on how to consult with these diverse communities. Therefore, while health organisations and providers are   increasingly recognising the value of community engagement, health practitioners often lack experience of this process and may not know how to start or progress it. This practical guide to community consultations with BME groups builds on the NICE 2008 guidelines on how to conduct community engagement. The recommendations have evolved as part of aniterative and critical learning process through the authors’ experiences of consulting with a range of BME community groups over many years. Although this guide is certainly not definitive, it is hoped that it will encourage the development of positive practice to ensure that the voices of BME community members and other under-represented communities are heard and integrated into the development, planning and delivery of health services, to help to create more inclusive and person-centred services.

Author(s): Pauline Lane, Rachel Tribe

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