Health business case and impact assessment

In the current economic climate it is essential that councils maximise the resources they have available as they are increasingly being asked to deliver more and better with less.

We have developed two programmes of work that will help build our fundamental understanding of the effectiveness of the work of local government to improve the health and wellbeing of communities. Measuring Impact will focus on evaluating the external impact that health improvement activities have on individuals and communities; and developing a Business Case for Health will focus on the impact these have internally on local authorities and their partners and will identify the opportunities for efficiency savings through health improvement activity.

Developing a Business Case for Health

There is a strong moral argument for improving health, but are there any other benefits for local government? We will investigate how preventative measures can save money and promote efficiency as well as helping people live happier and healthier lives. We will work with local authorities and their partners to pilot different approaches, helping them to create their own local business cases as well helping them to identify and capture both the financial and non-financial benefits of health improvement activity.

Valuing Health is a document which summarising the evidence that already exists on the financial and non-financial impacts of health improvement activity on local authorities. The review shows that while there is a need for much more research on this topic, there are a number of areas where councils could expect to make efficiency savings - including older people's health and independence, workforce health and climate change.

We will be developing tools which can be used locally to help councils create their own business case, measuring the financial impact of their decisions and the efficiencies that can be generated through their actions.

Measuring Impact Programme

We have also designed a Measuring Impact programme to equip individuals with the skills they need to evaluate what difference has been made as a result of local health improvement work. We are supporting a number of individuals as they work through their own evaluation projects through action learning sets. The learning from this will be used to create web based tools to help the sector. This will help equip local councils with the skills they need to critically evaluate the impact of their work on this issue.

Contact

Tess.Gool@local.gov.uk

5 February 2011

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