Community health

NHS & Local Trust partner to boost community health in deprived areas

Community health collaboration is set for a boost thanks to a new partnership between the NHS Confederation and Local Trust.

Local Trust delivers the ground-breaking Big Local initiative in 150 communities, which has seen local leaders given at least £1m to do with as they see fit.

The partnership will help promote and test community-led approaches to healthcare across England’s most deprived areas.

The new Integrated Neighbourhood Working Programme will:

  • Establish partnerships that focus on community leadership in healthcare at a hyperlocal level
  • Build a network of local leaders that share learning and drive change
  • Influence changes to health and care at both a national and system level

“We want this to be really practical.”

The two organisations are looking for a research partner to help further engage with leaders in the sector and gain a better understanding of the health and care system’s current position in regard to community-led approaches.

“We want this to be really practical,” said Matthew Taylor, the NHS Confederation’s chief executive. “It’s fundamentally about creating tools that enable our partners in health and our partners in the community to work together more effectively.”

The goal is to bridge the gap between what community organisations offer and what the NHS can deliver, “particularly in terms of how we empower people to feel more confident and more able to exercise agency”.

The partnership will help the NHS enable community leadership to tackle health inequalities, according to Local Trust’s chief executive, Matt Leach.

He added: “Twelve years of the Big Local programme have shown that when communities take the lead in identifying pressing local needs and finding ways to meet them, health and wellbeing come top of the agenda.”

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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