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Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: about the programme

The strongest determinants of health and health inequalities are the social, economic, commercial and environmental conditions in which people live: the wider determinants of health.

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The LGA is working in partnership with The Health Foundation on this programme to support local government-led partnerships to tackle the wider determinants of health, and to share learning about effective ways of shaping places for healthier lives for all.

The wider determinants of health are multiple, diverse, and interrelated factors that shape the health of people in an area. Creating the conditions for better health in local places requires system-wide partnership action on these wider determinants.

This programme is funding five local government-led partnerships to make sustainable changes to local systems, which are consistent with improved population health, and designed to last beyond the lifetime of the programme.

What does the Shaping Places for Healthier Lives programme aim to achieve over the three years?

The objectives of this programme are to:

  • mobilise cross-sector action on the wider determinants of health through sustainable system change at a local level 
  • support local authorities to facilitate and enable local partnerships for system change on the wider determinants of health 
  • learn how to make changes that impact on the wider determinants of health.

Five local councils have been chosen to explore some major health factors

This programme does not expect to see a whole system change; this can take many years (decades even). We are looking at how (and whether) councils can be a key partner to lead system change.

The five local councils selected for this programme have developed their projects through a three-stage application process, during which they have built their partnerships, engaged and involved residents, and built an understanding of the systems of factors that influence their chosen topic. They will implement aligned approach across these systems, learning and adapting over the three-year period.

The local partnerships will address the diverse topics of food security, mental health, and fear of violence and crime in their communities.

Why are the systems that support our health so complex?

A system is many interdependent elements within a connected whole. Everything we do and how we live in our society is made up of systems.

These elements affect each other, and impact on each other throughout the system. System change in terms of health and health inequality means ‘coordinated cross sector action at multiple points’ across the system to shape it in ways that support and ‘promote health for the whole population in a place’.

We know that things need to change otherwise the health inequalities affecting our local communities will continue to get wider (gaps between poor and good health are growing).

Who will the learning be shared with?

Public health bodies, local partnerships, academics, council partners, health and housing organisations, care and health charities, the police and employment centres should all be interested in the learning this programme will generate.

Learning will be shared through the LGA’s website and our partner The Health Foundation. Please let us know if you would like to be kept informed of progress and learning from this programme.

Send your email now to [email protected] to stay updated on the programme.

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Highlighted pages

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: Doncaster Council

The long-term vision for Stainforth is a place that will support good mental health for generations to come by building a community where the wider determinants of mental health are enhanced to support local residents.

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: London Borough of Newham

Newham’s long-term vision is to understand and address food insecurity for children and young people so that all families can afford and benefit from a sufficient, nutritious diet.

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: Northumberland Council

The Heart of Blyth project will create the conditions for a safer and stronger community to flourish by means of improving how people relate to each other, how Blyth is seen by others and how Blyth looks in order to reduce fear of crime and improve the wellbeing and health of people living in Blyth.

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: Shropshire Council

Shropshire’s long term vision: statutory and voluntary services will work together with communities to ensure everyone in Shropshire has access to the help and support they need to prevent food insecurity.

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire local authorities are leading a vision to develop innovative, long-term system changes to improve food security and reduce health inequalities in some of their most disadvantaged communities.

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives - a glossary of terms