20 December 2016

New NHS Alliance Calls for Adoption of Health Creating Practices in Health and Care

The new permission to front-load the Council Tax precept to 3% per year for the first two years will raise totally inadequate levels of funds for social care in the face of budget cuts and the growing demand for social care, says New NHS Alliance. Not only that, but it will exacerbate already large inequalities because it will raise the least funds in those areas with the greatest need and least ability to pay. This would frustrate efforts by the Secretary of State and other health bodies to ‘have regard to the need to reduce health inequalities’ (Health and Social Care Act 2012).

The withdrawal of funding for social care at the rate we have seen over the last few years is damaging and is putting pressure on the health sector, but this shouldn’t obscure the real need for an entirely different approach to addressing the health and care needs of our nation, including older people.

New NHS Alliance joins many other leading social care voices in calling for a reset of our approach to both health and care. We need to focus much more on wellness, rather than illness, and put more effort into adopting social models of health and care that build on what people and communities can do for themselves and each other. Our main focus now is on ‘Health Creation’ and on the adoption of health creating practices across the health and care system.

On 1 December, New NHS Alliance held its annual Action Summit. We brought together a wide range of people and organisations – spanning the NHS, housing, social care, public health, fire service and the third sector – to explore the nature and practice of Health Creation, which we define as “the enhancement in health and wellbeing that occurs when individuals and communities achieve a sense of purpose, hope, mastery and control over their own lives & immediate environment”.

We saw how health creating approaches are being crafted, how they work at a local level and how we might promote them at national level. We heard from residents, NHS England, Realising the Value programme and several organisations practicing health creating approaches and we found immense support and validation for our framing of Health Creation in terms of the 3 Cs:

When people acquire sufficient levels of the 3Cs, their mental and physical health improves as they gain the ‘freedom to lead a life they value’ (Aymarta Sen, The Health Gap). The 3Cs are:

  • Control over the circumstances of our own lives
  • Contact with other people that is meaningful and constructive
  • Confidence to see ourselves as an asset, to be in a position to take actions and responsibility and to have a positive impact on those around us.

And a poll taken at Summit revealed that over 95% of voting delegates believe that … ‘If we adopt health creating practices, there will be a positive impact on cross-sector working’, which is highly significant since several attempts to integrate health and care have had very limited success.

Heather Henry, New NHS Alliance co-chair said: “We’ve seen with our own eyes what communities are capable of. We know that they have the compassion, strength and capabilities to support each other to a much greater extent and that doing this can actually increase their levels of the 3Cs and help to make them well”.

Peter Hay, New NHS Alliance lead on social care said: “It’s clear that we need a new approach to health and care, one that helps to reduce inequalities rather than risk increasing them. Apart from personal care, many care needs of both older and younger people can be met through relationships with others in community settings – and this is what we should be focusing on strengthening”.

Merron Simpson, New NHS Alliance chief executive said: “While government capacity for top-down reforms seems to be decreasing, our Summit found plenty of reasons to be optimistic that ‘bottom-up’ solutions can be a significant part of the answer. The evidence base that asset-based, relationship-based approaches work is growing; the reasons to resist this new approach are diminishing”.

New NHS Alliance is calling for health creating approaches to be adopted across the health and social care sectors, by New Models of Care and in Sustainability and Transformation Plans.


  • For enquiries, please contact: Judy Harris at judyharris15@aol.co.uk  or on 07717 691845
  • New NHS Alliance mission is … ‘to infect the UK health system with wellness’. You can find more information here
  • New NHS Alliance has a goal to make Health Creation and health creating practices a core part of the UK healthcare system alongside a greater focus on prevention. We believe that this is the best way to reduce health inequalities and deliver a sustainable health service. Click here for a short briefing paper on Health Creation.
  • You can find coverage of our Health Creation Action Summit here
  • We intend to publish a ‘Manifesto for the adoption of health creating practices’ in the spring of 2017