Community Committee: an update on the topics of discussion so far - a blog by Teagan Allen, HRA Senior Engagement Officer

Last updated on 22 Feb 2024

Following a ‘getting to know you’ meeting in October 2023, our first official Community Committee meeting took place in December 2023.

You can read more about our Community Committee, and how it will help us make better decisions.

We want to share information about the Committee’s work, and this blog provides a summary of the topics of discussion so far.

A photo of Teagan Allen

Ways of working together

The Committee brings together lots of people with different experience and expertise. This means that it is particularly important to agree how we can work together, so everyone can take part.

We have agreed some principles to help us do this, which are:

To take regular breaks

We all find it challenging to concentrate for long periods of time, and that can be even more challenging for people with health conditions. We have agreed to take a ten-minute break every 50 minutes and stick to these to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged, and everyone benefits.

To provide flexibility in how you can take part

Because we are ambitious and want to cover lots of ground, but also know that it is a lot to expect everyone to take an active part in a long meeting, we will make breakout sessions optional. We will offer alternative ways for you to feedback to us if you prefer to take a longer break whilst the optional sessions are running.

To create a ‘You said, we did’ action log tracker

This will ensure that we keep track of all actions arising from the meetings and are clear where we have taken a different approach and why.

Agreeing how the Committee will work

In a break with our normal ways of working, we have established the Committee without an agreed Terms of Reference. This is so we can work with new members to shape how it will work in practice to advise the HRA Board. So, as a result, one of the first jobs on our to do list was to develop and agree our Terms of Reference.

At our first formal meeting in December, the Committee had a good discussion about its membership; the terms of office of its members; how it interacts with and informs the HRA Board; a proposal to introduce a co-chair; and, tightly defining what falls within the Committee’s scope.

We are now developing the Terms of Reference to reflect what we heard, with the aim to approve these in the Spring.

Helping us to do a better job

We asked Committee members for their views on two pieces of work we are developing:

  • our two-yearly survey of Community members and their experiences working with us
  • a Ways of Working resource intended for all our Community members to be able to find information and support in their work with us

They helped us to think through our approach, content, and language.

The survey – developed with their input – launched in February 2024.

If you are part of our Community, please do use this to tell us about your experience of us. The Committee will also be helping us to analyse and act on the results.

Strategic Performance Reporting

Each quarter, the HRA Board receives several reports, showing how well the HRA is performing.

In future, the Community Committee will also review these reports, providing their comments and advice to help inform the HRA Board.

At our first meeting we invited HRA staff to present the reports to the Committee, providing more detail around what they show, and answering any questions about them.

The Committee had lots of suggestions for additional information it would be helpful to see in the reports that will help us improve our reporting.

Teagan Allen, Senior Engagement Officer

The Committee’s next meeting will be on 1 March, and we will be sharing more information about this soon.

Please stay tuned for further developments!

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