Supporting health and wellbeing using a community led approach

There has always been an immense power within our communities when it comes to supporting physical and mental wellbeing and this has been particularly evident during COVID-19.

In March, our People-led Care Portfolio team delivered a webinar to highlight the power of community and invited three inspirational speakers, including Professor Donna Hall (CBE), Chair of the New Local Government Network and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to share their insights and experiences of working in health and social care settings across the UK.

Our 'Wellbeing: The Power in our Communities' flash report summaries the webinar and encourages health and social care leaders to take bold steps to reshape their local health and social care systems.

Examples of driving change to achieve results
A community led approach drives change in the culture and practice of community health and social care delivery. It empowers healthcare staff to work in true partnership with local people to achieve outcomes that matter to everyone.

This is a key theme identified within the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland which states that:

"the role communities play in supporting adults to remain active in their community simply cannot be overstated" and that "community supports should not be regarded as an optional add on."

Across Scotland there are a number of examples of community-led approaches to health and social care.

We've gathered seven examples, including the one given by Professor Hall, to provide a deeper understanding of how to achieve a greater balance between professional expertise and lived experience. 

Community health and wellbeing during COVID-19
We recently collaborated with the People Powered Results team at Nesta and the charity, Outside the Box to understand what enabled community organisations to sustain community health and wellbeing during COVID-19.

Our Community Health and Wellbeing report brings together insights from more than 100 organisations in Scotland, highlighting the factors which enabled a positive community response to COVID-19 and what needs to happen to sustain these positives shifts.

We note that a key finding in this report was the role that community organisations played in detecting early signs of poor mental health.

It was the trusting relationships between community organisations and community members that helped people to feel comfortable to talk about important and personal issues that were impacting their mental health.

Do you want to be a catalyst for change, involving your local community more in the work you do?

If so, download our Community Health and Wellbeing report and be inspired by our work across Scotland.