The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and The New Economics Foundation launch ‘Theory into Practice’ the final report of the Health as a Social Movement programme, in partnership with NHS England.
In the report, they call for ‘social movements for health’ to achieve care based on what matters to communities. They argue that practitioners should move away from a “factory” model of care to build services which are more personalised to individuals and communities.
During the programme they worked with six projects across England where people have joined together to create better care. Highlights include The Royal Free London’s work to shift its health improvement offer to better reflect the needs of its lowest paid staff and the Alzheimer’s Society’s role in changing the culture in care homes.
While there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for working with communities, they found that there are common principles that can be applied:
- Act early: connect and mobilise citizens to develop a shared purpose and take collective action.
- Shift control: enable people to have more access to, and more control over, the resources in their community that impact on health and wellbeing.
- Collaborate widely: join forces with local anchor institutions, local CVS organisations and other public services.
- Share power: form partnerships between citizens and professionals, pooling different kinds of knowledge and experience.
- Change culture: work to change culture and practice within state and civil society organisations.
- Growing from local: make sure decisions and actions are rooted in local experience and build on the assets and experiences of the community.
- Building momentum: learn as you go and use every opportunity to spread good practice
- Bringing people together: Connect and mobilise citizens to build knowledge, help each other, develop a shared purpose and then take collective action in their communities to help each other stay well
Download the report – Health as a Social Movement: Theory into Practice (PDF, 1.7MB)