This document outlines examples of how health and social care are collaborating.
The full document can be downloaded here.Local Leadership, new approaches
The job of improving the population’s wellbeing and preventing premature mortality starts locally. It starts in people’s neighbourhoods and communities. It is done by local leaders working together, across health and local government, delivering a better deal for their residents. Too often we equate better health with more healthcare: with hospitals, clinicians and health services. But if our ambition is for people to live as well as possible for as long as possible, it will be neither effective nor feasible to ramp up our spending on healthcare. We need to find new ways of working that reflect the fact that ill-health is rarely a single, isolated problem but is often tied up with where and how we live, with our jobs, our families, our incomes. People’s lives aren’t compartmentalised. A crisis in someone’s life – perhaps spiralling debt or the shock of unemployment – is likely to spill over into other areas. It may have knock-on effects on housing, on families, and on a person’s mental and physical health. A visit to the GP can help with the latter, but it cannot, by itself, address the wider set of problems. When people are dealing with the messy reality of multiple challenges, they need support from local services that are joined-up, timely and convenient. Local councillors and local health professionals are used to working together for the health of their communities. But we have to make it even easier for them to join forces, especially in tackling longterm diseases – a burden that we know falls heaviest on those who are most deprived and most vulnerable. We have an opportunity, with the changes to our health and public health landscape, to foster collaboration across sectors. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to pass up. We will learn faster and more effectively if we share the experiences of those who have created joint programmes, and can see the real difference this is making to the wellbeing of local residents. This report contributes to this collective understanding and I am delighted to endorse it and the case studies it highlights. They offer valuable insights to all of us concerned with maximising the impact we hope to have on improving population health and reducing inequalities.