At the Heart of Health: Realising the value of people and communities

'At the Heart of Health: Realising the value of people and communities' is a recently-published report by NESTA and the Health Foundation which strengthens the case for people taking an active role in their own health and care.

This report, available to download from the Nesta website, explores the value of people and communities at the heart of health, in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View vision to develop a new relationship with people and communities.

Key findings

Person- and community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing have significant potential to improve outcomes for individuals, support the development of strong and resilient communities and, over time, help reduce demand on formal health and social care services. There is evidence from both research and practice to demonstrate the benefits of person- and community-centred approaches, across three dimensions of value:

  • Mental and physical health and wellbeing:
    Person- and community-centred approaches have been shown to increase people’s self-efficacy and confidence to manage their health and care, improve health outcomes and experience, to reduce social isolation and loneliness, and build community capacity and resilience, among other outcomes.
  • NHS sustainability:
    These approaches can impact how people use health and care services and can lead to reduced demand on services, such as emergency admissions and A&E visits.
  • Wider social outcomes:
    Person- and community-centred approaches can lead to a wide range of social outcomes, from improving employment prospects and school attendance to increasing volunteering. They also can potentially contribute to reducing health inequalities for individuals and communities.