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Local government and the NHS have important roles in building confident and connected communities as part of efforts to improve health and reduce inequalities. The project ‘Working with communities: empowerment evidence and learning’ was initiated jointly by PHE and NHS England to draw together and disseminate research and learning on community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing. This report presents the work undertaken in phase 1 of the project and provides a guide to the case for change, the concepts, the varieties of approach that have been tried and tested and sources of evidence.
The report investigates the threats and opportunities for the country from climate change, focusing on the risks to infrastructure, business and public health. It also provides an update on previous analysis on flooding, and considers the current capacity in the emergency response system to handle climate extremes.
The findings from a national summit exploring how organisations can start to positively use the new arrangements for public health and commissioning are now available. Discussions at the colloquium, bringing together leaders in environmental health, NHS, public health, social services, and general practice, focused on the neccessary components of a new co-production model for public health, addressing the questions: • How to exploit the opportunities created by the integration of public health and local government? • How to maximise the new structures, approaches and democratic accountabilities to deliver public health outcomes and a reduction in inequalities?
The transition of public health into local government has seen one of the most significant changes for councils in recent years. It has created huge opportunities for local authorities to make a stronger impact on improving the health of local communities. In 2013 the Local Government Association (LGA) launched ‘Rewiring Public Services', its vision for local government. A key part of this vision is councils taking a leading role in health issues.
Resilience is a term increasingly used in reference to an ability to withstand stress and serious challenge. It is commonly discussed in relation to how best to prepare for major upheavals and challenges such as extreme weather, terrorism or other disruptions to day-to-day life. However, for resilience to have relevance to public health it must provide a framework which enables individuals and communities to withstand challenges such as poverty, inequality, worklessness and other factors that endanger health and wellbeing. This report provides supporting information to the accompanying Concepts Series 12 Briefing Paper, Resilience for public health; supporting transformation in people and communities, exploring the concept of resilience and its application within the field of public health. The exploration took the form of a review of literature looking at existing research around what promotes resilient outcomes for individuals and communities. The theme of transformation comes through strongly; of individuals and communities being able to adapt in the face of change. For people to flourish in the face of change, support is needed from their communities and those who make decisions about their communities. The report investigates ways in which the spheres of culture, the economy, governance and infrastructure can support the transformational capacity of individuals and communities.
Health and wellbeing boards are an important feature of the reforms introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. All upper-tier local authorities set up shadow boards in April 2012, which became fully operational on 1 April 2013. The boards are intended to bring together bodies from the NHS, public health and local government, including Healthwatch as the patient's voice, jointly to plan how best to meet local health and care needs, and to commission services accordingly. In our previous report on health and wellbeing boards, published shortly after the shadow boards were established, we concluded that the single biggest test would be whether they could offer strong, credible and shared leadership across local organisational boundaries. One year on, expectations of what the boards should deliver have never been higher. This report examines how the boards have used their shadow year, what they have achieved, and whether they are providing effective leadership across local systems of care.
What Makes Us Healthy? will inspire and support those who want to look again at what they are doing to improve health and wellbeing and to tackle health inequalities. It contains specially commissioned articles on the evidence for the beneficial effects of assets such as social relationships and networks on health and wellbeing; many examples and ideas about how to put asset principles into practice; and support with the tricky issue of evaluation and how to assess whether the new ways of working are having an impact. It is the follow up to the popular and influential 'A Glass Half Full' (Foot & Hopkins 2010). Asset based working is not an alternative to properly funded public services. It challenges how those services are designed and delivered and requires a recasting of the relationship between commissioners, providers, service users and communities. It puts a positive value on social relationships and networks, on self confidence and efficacy and the ability to take control of your life circumstances. It highlights the impact of such assets on people’s wellbeing and resilience and thus on their capacity to cope with adversity including poor health and illness. These are things that need nurturing and supporting more than ever.