The leaders of the NHS in England today (Friday 31 March) have set out a refreshed five year view and delivery plan.
Welcoming the renewed impetus this brings, the Chair of New NHS Alliance (NNHSA), Heather Henry – an independent nurse and former director of primary care, commented:
“It is very welcome that NHS England recognises the importance of developing the concept of and collective action for ‘Health Creation’ through the STPs – this marks a turning point in the way we can keep people well and support and encourage healthy lives and wellness within local communities. The Alliance has articulated ideas, approaches and actions which are needed to develop a ‘Health Creating NHS’ over this last year and is leading the way in developing practice in health creation including through our innovative ‘Active Alliance’ professional social movement for wellness. Communities must be seen as a core part of the solution, not an add-on.
NNHSA Chief Executive, Merron Simpson, added:
“Working together and building on people’s and communities’ strengths, the NHS, local authorities, housing organisations and community-based groups can build a joined up health and social care system; it will look different in different places if it is truly meeting the needs and character of different communities and we know this will improve health and help tackle health inequalities. But the various parts of the NHS need to allow this to happen; it doesn’t need to do more, it needs to do things differently and in partnership with local organisations and communities that have so much to offer”.
New NHS Alliance has seen enough examples of truly health creating practice to be assured that all parts of the health system can play roles in creating conditions for health creation. So, GPs, community pharmacists and housing organisations can all ‘play host’ to community wellness, giving space for communities to find their own solutions whether that is through community-led walking groups, self help Facebook groups, gardening, ‘men’s shed’ type activities or other activities.
NNHSA Vice Chair, Dr Brian Fisher – a London GP, said:
We have reasons to be cautiously optimistic. It is good to see that the Delivery Plan has a particular focus on General Practice with more nurses, therapists and pharmacists to help provide the time and resources to implement the changes. However, it is difficult to square the optimism of the Plan with data showing that GP and nurse numbers are falling; that the resilience funding is not reaching the front line; that monies that might have supported a progressive preventative and health creating future being used to shore up Trust deficits. We urge government and staff to reorient their efforts, resources and funding towards prevention and health creation, so that the whole system is defined by ‘wellness’ with health outcomes being the principal measure of success.”
Notes to editors:
- For enquiries, interviews or further comment, please contact: Judy Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07717 691845
- New NHS Alliance mission is … ‘to infect the UK health system with wellness’. You can find more information here
- New NHS Alliance has a goal to make Health Creation and health creating practices a core part of the UK healthcare system alongside a greater focus on prevention. We believe that this is the best way to reduce health inequalities and deliver a sustainable health service. Click here for a short briefing paper on Health Creation.
- We define ‘Health Creation’ as …“the enhancement in health and wellbeing that occurs when individuals and communities achieve a sense of purpose, hope, mastery and control over their own lives & immediate environment”.
- You can find coverage of our Health Creation Action Summit here