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Economies for Healthier Lives

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented demands on the health service. Organisations and teams are having to rapidly adopt new ways of working and adapt to constant change. It is also clear that communities and people that were the least affluent and most vulnerable to economic shock have suffered greater impacts of Covid-19. Although the pandemic has amplified these challenges, they are not, fundamentally, new.

A wide variety of economic development interventions are available to local and regional bodies that can in turn support better health outcomes for local people. We examined these in detail through a piece of work supported by the Health Foundation and published in autumn 2020.

This work led to the Health Foundation investing in an Economies for Healthier Lives programme to support the creation of innovation hubs – centres of expertise and support a collaboration of key stakeholders in a region to help them become better adopters of innovations that join up economic development and health activities. It will also offer opportunities for peer learning with other organisations. 

The RSA are excited to be working with the Health Foundation and these hubs as a learning partner. Our role is to collaborate with each hub to understand their challenges and develop a support model with a focus on adopting innovations and sharing emerging practice. We will use this webpage to share information and updates as our work with the areas continues over coming years.

Economies for Healthier Lives is seeking to understand how economic development can best improve health and tackle health inequalities by supporting partnerships in local areas. We’re delighted to be partnering with the RSA who will provide tailored support to our four innovative projects in Glasgow, Havant, Leeds and Liverpool, across a range of settings including major cities and coastal communities. The RSA will help us to develop the most effective ways to increase capacity and understanding at local authority level in order to achieve long-term systems change.

Policy Manager, The Health Foundation Sharlene McGee

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