Why did we do this?
Social movements, behavioural insights and social networks are increasingly being recognised as approaches with the potential to improve health and care through and by people. NHS England’s 'Five Year Forward View' reflected this, highlighting the need to collectively "shift power to patients and citizens" and "strengthen communities". Local communities are filled with energy, skills and generosity, and we wanted to explore how these assets could be cultivated and supported to improve health and wellbeing.
What did we do?
Nesta and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) worked with the Cabinet Office to help three local areas to explore ways of mobilising people and communities to improve health and wellbeing. We aimed to scope out potentially untapped local needs and assets, help assemble a local coalition, identify innovative approaches, create an ambitious but achievable plan to build and embed social movements locally, develop a unique behavioral Insights framework and ensure that local work is as sustainable as possible.
The local sites for the programme were:
- Bromley by Bow Centre
The Bromley-by-Bow Health Partnership is exploring developing community-based resources to complement their move towards a new model of primary care. This broader programme, called the Well programme, aims to move from a transactional to a relational model of health. They aim to engage with existing community programmes and develop others to ensure that support is available at the most appropriate level.
- Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
The CCG has developed a strategy for supporting people with long term conditions to effectively self-manage their conditions in the community. As a complement to this strategy, Mobilising Communities helped the CCG to develop a programme of stakeholder engagement with a particular focus on the development of a wider network of peer support groups.
- Spice, Lancashire
Spice have collaborated successfully with Lancashire County Council to deliver their successful time credits programme in specific localities in Lancashire. Mobilising Communities supported them to roll out time credits throughout Lancashire, using the mechanism of the recently-commissioned Wellbeing Service. The Wellbeing Service is being delivered by a consortium of three voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations.
How did we do this?
The local sites aimed to focus on one or more of the following focus areas:
Creating clear routes for local citizens to help improve their local health and care services. This includes enabling people to volunteer in local services in ways that demonstrably add value. It also includes creating ways for communities to co-design and co-deliver services with health and care professionals.
Creating opportunities for people to support one another to improve health and wellbeing. This includes creating peer-to-peer networks that give emotional and practical support and which improve self-care. It also includes street and neighbourhood level community action that can, for example, enable citizens to support their older, isolated neighbours.
Enabling people to better manage their own health and wellbeing. This includes applying behavioural insights to enable people to achieve sustainable self-management and increasing the uptake of social prescribing interventions. It may also include working with the health and care workforce to improve their health and wellbeing.
The programme was funded by the Cabinet Office, which allowed Nesta and BIT to provide technical expertise to support each organisation for the duration of the programme.