Health as a Social Movement

A new report by the RSA and the New Economics Foundation calls for a more localised, community-driven approach to health, drawing on a wider range of partners to turn the NHS into a “social movement”.

It reflects on a range of approaches being taken by different health providers to empower communities and commit to preventative approaches to health and wellbeing. The report, ‘From Principles to Practice’ and accompanying animation outlines eight principles for health and care system reform. These are:

  • Act early: connect and mobilise citizens to develop a shared purpose and take collective action.
  • Shift control: enable people to have more access to, and more control over, the resources in their community that impact on health and wellbeing.
  • Collaborate widely: join forces with local anchor institutions, local CVS organisations and other public services.
  • Share power: form partnerships between citizens and professionals, pooling different kinds of knowledge and experience.
  • Change culture: work to change culture and practice within state and civil society organisations.
  • Growing from local: make sure decisions and actions are rooted in local experience and build on the assets and experiences of the community.
  • Building momentum: learn as you go and use every opportunity to spread good practice
  • Bringing people together: Connect and mobilise citizens to build knowledge, help each other, develop a shared purpose and then take collective action in their communities to help each other stay well