Communities are key to health and wellbeing, new report shows
The guide, written by Jane South, Professor of Healthy Communities within Leeds Beckett University’s Institute for Health and Wellbeing, has identified how local government and the NHS have important roles in building confident communities to improve health and reduce inequalities. Professor South has been working with PHE in the role of expert advisor on community approaches.
It states that the move to a new health system, including the transfer of public health to local government, has created opportunities for public health and healthcare to become more person- and community-centred.
The report and briefing, prepared by Professor South, is the culmination of a joint project between PHE and NHS England aiming to draw together and disseminate evidence on community-centred health programmes. A team at the Institute for Health and Wellbeing also contributed to the background research.
Professor South commented: “When it comes to health and wellbeing, communities matter. That's why the guide calls on local health partners to consider how community-centred approaches can be used to improve health and tackle health inequalities. These cover strengthening communities, increasing volunteering, involving citizens in local planning and improving access to community resources. The guide describes a wide range of UK models and signposts to sources of evidence. It's been great to have had the opportunity to work with PHE and NHS England to develop this guide, which I hope will now be used as a resource for public health planning and practice.”
Professor Ieuan Ellis, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and Pro Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett, added: “'Authoring of this key national report from Public Health England and NHS England is further recognition of the major contribution and national impact of the research of Leeds Beckett's Professor Jane South. Jane provides inspirational research-informed thought leadership which is informing policy and transforming best practice through valuing the effective engagement of individuals and communities for health improvement.”
Professor South has led a number of national studies on peer and volunteering interventions in health. She is part of a team of academics who deliver real-world research focused on community health and inequalities.
The Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Leeds Beckett University has a strong track record of research, evaluation and public engagement on community engagement and volunteer roles in health, working with partners across local and national government, the NHS and third sector to build the evidence base and support effective practice. Our innovative Community-Campus partnership is a flagship initiative which aims to identify ways to bring academic and community knowledge together to improve health and wellbeing in local communities. http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/community/
To read the full report, please see http://bit.ly/PHEreport.