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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Realising the Value: Four months on

Last November, the Realising the Value programme published its final reports. Now is a good time to look back on the work we have done.

Realising the Value aimed to enable people to take an active role in their own health and care, in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View vision to develop a new relationship with people and communities. This was an 18-month programme funded by NHS England and led by Nesta and The Health Foundation, working with Voluntary Voices (made up of National Voices, NAVCA, Regional Voices and Volunteering Matters), the Behavioural Insights Team, PPL and Newcastle University.

Over 18 months we strengthened the case for change and identified evidence-based approaches that engage people in their own health and care. We have:

We also worked with five local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations that are exemplars in the field - Positively UK, Penny Brohn UK, Big Life Group and Being Well Salford, Creative Minds, and Unlimited Potential with Inspiring Communities Together. The understanding brought by our local partner sites has informed all aspects of the Realising the Value programme.

Now is a good time to look back on the work we have done. There are some great numbers:

  • Over 18 months we engaged more than 600 people directly through a series of programme events at key points, including our two final launch events in London and Manchester.

  • We’ve had a lot of interest in our reports and publications. To date there have been more than 15,000 unique downloads of our reports.

  • The online reach of our outputs has been significant. The Twitter hashtag #realisingthevalue had more than 4,000 mentions reaching over three million people. There have also been 26,000 views of more than 30 Realising the Value blogs.

Behind these high level statistics there are some wonderful stories that have informed the way we think about what good health and care looks like.

Like Mark, who has lived with poor mental health over nearly 40 years and, through getting involved in a local football team, is now driven by an intense drive to make life better, for himself and others.

And Alex, a 41-year-old father of three, for whom a local project to promote the importance of fathers’ wellbeing and the impact it has on their kids has brought clarity to his life.

We want these stories, and our work, to continue to inform and shape debate and action. And we are already seeing early signs that the tools developed through the programme are being picked up and used on the ground. We have spoken to a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) who are using the economic tool to inform their business planning, as well as voluntary organisations using it to inform their conversations with commissioners. And there have been more than 5,000 downloads of the two behavioural insight guides to date.

And we are seeing signs of Realising the Value informing broader policy-making. For example, the Director of Patient and Public Involvement and Insight at NHS England, Anu Singh, said:

“Realising the Value has formed the blueprint for NHS England’s new Supported Self Care programme”.

Dr Alf Collins, clinical lead, person-centred care, NHS England, said:

“Thanks to the work of the Realising the Value programme, we can now see a structured approach to supported self-care that is based on evidence and practical examples. Given this evidence, NHS England is committed to providing leadership for the NHS to engineer Realising the Value principles and practice into the way it works. In short, putting in place Realising the Value will go a long way towards delivering the vision of Chapter 2 of the Five Year Forward View.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer at the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, said that he has: “taken learning from the programme directly into the development of our Population Health Plan and our work on integration of health and care services.”

A huge amount of work has gone into the programme, and it’s fantastic to see the impact the work is already having across the system. We hope this provides a solid foundation on which we all can build. We are now in a much better place to understand what should be done and how people need to work differently to put people and communities at the heart of health and wellbeing.


Annie Finnis

Annie Finnis

Annie Finnis

Director of Operations and Impact, Health Lab

Annie was Director of Operations and Impact in the Health Lab at Nesta.

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