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Alongside my ELC work, I contribute to The New NHS Alliance Executive – a group of like minded people seeking to support the NHS to create health. The Alliance has just published its manifesto and it offers some new thinking on how we support the NHS to create health rather than treat disease. It’s all about the 3Cs of health creation: building confidence, control and contact amongst both those who deliver and benefit from NHS care.

I am the work and health creation lead and earlier this year, we held a workshop with a really diverse group of interested people to consider what needs to happen to create health through work. We produced a report. The Infographic above sets out a shared vision of a community or place where work creates health.

Three key areas for improvement focus emerged from discussions. They were that we need to:

  1. Escalate commissioning skills around work and health: How do we support commissioners to commission for good employment and health outcomes and build on community assets; embed peer support and volunteering; develop skills and social entrepreneurship and support ‘ultra-local’ service mapping as part of a place based approach?
  2. Redefine peoples’ mindset about what it means to be ‘fit for work’: we think there is a need to explore best practice around changing culture, raising expectations and supporting people to change their mindset towards what it means to be ‘fit for work’.
  3. Support the NHS to become a health creating employer: as the biggest employer in the United Kingdom, there is a lot that the NHS can do to create health through work. We know that the NHS workforce – particularly in primary care – is stressed and burnt out. We would like to explore how the NHS can apply health creating employment practices that keep its staff well and in employment – especially those living with mental health and musculoskeletal health issues.

We will be taking forward work around these key improvements. If that resonates with you and you would like to help, please get in touch.

If you would like a copy of the full workshop report, please let us know.

If you agree with its values and would like to join The New NHS Alliance (membership is free), you can do so here.