Six areas chosen for local health partnerships

Six areas in England have been chosen to join the first phase of a major grant-funding and development programme designed to improve the health and wellbeing of communities.

The Healthy Communities Together programme, which was established by The King's Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, will support partnership-working between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities, and will help them make the most of their combined capability to improve the health of their community.

The six areas selected to take part in the programme are: Coventry (Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire and partners); Croydon (One Croydon Alliance); Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire Enabling Active Communities); Leeds (Solidarity Network and Partners); Newham (Well Newham); and Plymouth (Plymouth Octopus Project and partners).

The areas were selected from more than 270 applications and will now benefit from leadership development support from The King’s Fund and up to £500,000 grant funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. Each area will also work to improve the links between health and care services and the communities they serve so that local needs can be better met.

Across England, health charities, NHS organisations and local authorities are working towards the same goal, in the same place, often supporting the same people. Better co-ordination of their collective efforts is seen as key to improving the health of local communities.

Richard Murray, chief executive of The King's Fund, said: “As shown throughout the past year, voluntary and community sector organisations play a pivotal role in improving the health of local communities – not only by providing the types of support public services struggle to offer, but also by acting as an important link between public bodies and the people they serve.  

“The Healthy communities together programme will provide these six areas with the much-needed financial headroom and development support to build long-lasting partnerships. Through this, they should be well-placed to tackle some of the engrained inequalities that often leave the most-deprived communities facing the worst health outcomes.”