• NHS England

Working with People and Communities to Improve Health Outcomes

Learn how to engage with different people and communities to reduce inequalities and ensure inclusive access to healthcare.

2,533 enrolled on this course

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Working with People and Communities to Improve Health Outcomes

2,533 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Help the people you work with access healthcare services

Understanding how to work effectively with diverse groups can help you better meet the needs of the different people you work with. This two-week course from NHS England will show you how simple changes can create big improvements to people’s lives and transform their access to healthcare services.

You’ll take a strengths-based approach to understand how you can work with people and not systems. With this knowledge, you’ll learn how your work can have a bigger impact.

Understand how people have different experiences in their access to healthcare

You’ll unpack how different communities can have very different experiences of healthcare as you identify who faces bigger barriers.

With this knowledge, you’ll learn how to consider different perspectives in the design and delivery of healthcare services.

Explore inclusive engagement activities

To help ensure better care and efficient use of resources, you’ll delve into the inclusive engagement practices you can use in your context. With this understanding, you’ll learn the importance of making people feel heard when you engage with them.

You’ll also learn how to look at a diverse population and ensure equitable representation rather than equal representation.

Develop an awareness of implicit bias and underrepresentation

To further ensure the inclusivity of your engagement practices, you’ll explore implicit bias and how you can navigate this to break down barriers to healthcare access.

You’ll also discover the underrepresented groups in England and the strategies you can implement to ensure wider groups of the public are represented in healthcare.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the practical tools and knowledge to understand how to successfully involve people and communities in your work.


  • Week 1

    What and why

    • Welcome to Working with People and Communities

      A welcome from the Public Participation team and a bit about what you'll learn during the course.

    • Being heard

      Explore the difference between being 'engaged with' as a tick box exercise and being meaningfully involved. We'll start to consider that what 'good' looks like will change across different communities.

    • Valuing communities

      Why it's important to take the time to understand a community's needs and look at what is already working.

    • How Indigo works with with their community

      We look at a specific example of Indigo, a gender health service based in Manchester.

    • Reflecting on the what and the why

      Opportunity to consider what you've learned during this week.

  • Week 2

    Who and when

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Welcome to the second week of our course on working in partnership with people and communities to improve health outcomes.

    • Who should we be involving?

      Exploring who needs to be included when we’re working with people and communities, including gauging community and population needs and looking at the importance of good data relating to people and communities.

    • How do we find out what populations need?

      In this activity we'll explore what's available that will help you learn what the people and communities you're working with need.

    • Planning your engagement activities

      Who can help me work in partnership with people and communities, and when and how should I start? What are some of the barriers I might come up against along the way?

    • Wrap up

      What have we explored this week, and what have you learned?

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe what we mean by working with people and communities
  • Investigate the different experiences of people in accessing healthcare
  • Improve how you involve people and communities in your own work
  • Identify who is included and who is absent when we’re working with people and communities, and who faces bigger barriers
  • Assess how best to recognise and measure success

Who is the course for?

This course is primarily designed for those working in the NHS and wider health and care systems in the UK. This includes clinical and non-clinical roles.

You’ll gain the confidence and knowledge to create a more compassionate service to match with your own values of patient-centred care. You don’t need to have any background knowledge or experience to take part.

People who work for NHS organisations are eligible for a fully-funded upgrade on this course.

A partnership between the NHS and FutureLearn means that NHS or social care staff and students can receive a fully-funded upgrade of this course. Check the eligibility criteria.

To upgrade, please register via the NHS Leadership Academy Verify platform. If you have already registered on FutureLearn, please make sure you use the same email address when you use the Verify platform above.

Who will you learn with?

I work for NHS England in building communities, participation and engagement. My main interest is how we work with communities to improve health outcomes for everyone.

I work for the Public Participation Team at NHS England. Prior to this I have worked in community collaboration and engagement at Imperial College London and a range of NHS organisations.

I work in the Public Participation team and have particular interests in neurodiversity and how systems can work better with young people and trans and nonbinary people.

Hi, I work in the Public Participation team at NHS England. Passionate about Communications and Digital Engagement and engaging with people and communities and bringing their voice to the forefront.

Who developed the course?


The Workforce, Training and Education (WT&E) directorate of NHS England (NHSE) ensures the NHS in England has a sufficient and inclusive workforce with the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours to deliver compassionate high-quality health and care to the people it serves.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 1 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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