The only national cross-sector movement addressing health inequalities through Health Creation
Our mission is to increase the number of years people live in good health in every community
People living in the UK’s most deprived areas experience higher death rates, higher disease and disability rates and earlier onset of long term conditions compared with those living in the most affluent areas. COVID-19 has further revealed these deep inequalities in our society and has raised many questions about the adequacy of the current model of health and care. Health inequalities represent a continuing social injustice, make demands on health and public services and they limit people’s capacity to contribute positively to society and the economy.
To improve population health and wellbeing, tackle health inequalities and deliver sustainable change, creating health must sit alongside prevention of ill health and treating illnesses. This requires widespread adoption of new ways of thinking and working, underpinned by cross- sector collaboration, place-based working and community connecting and strengthening. And, it starts with listening and responding to the voice of people with lived-experience of poor health outcomes.
Health Creation is a proven approach to creating the conditions for people and places to thrive. The NHS and social care systems can’t meet all the needs of their communities. The pandemic showed that when people and communities self-organise around an issue that is important to them they can make a real difference to their and their communities health and wellbeing.
Health Creation works best when local people and professionals work together as equal partners and focus on what matters to people and their communities.
Health Creation is everyone’s job. It requires a commitment to truth-telling, to identifying and building people’s and communities’ strengths, to creating energy through connecting people and to sharing power.
Health Creation is not new, and while there are pockets of good health creating practice, a range of language is used to describe it including ‘person and community-focused’, ‘community-led’, ‘asset-based’, ‘relationship-based’. Particular community-based roles to build community action and infrastructure include community organising and community development.
How we raise the profile and status of health creating activity
We give voice to the high value knowledge held by people with lived experience and those engaged in creating health. We provide opportunities for these voices to be heard, to help others make sense of why Health Creation works and what else needs to happen to reduce health inequalities.
Connecting to Transform
We draw on our members and our extensive connections to bring together movements and enable collaborations that energise and empower professionals and local residents to take action to address health inequalities through Health Creation.
Communities of Learning
We support a broad range of sectors and communities to learn from each other on how best to go further in adopting and embedding health creating practices in their place to reduce health inequalities.