“This is part of a wider systemic approach that we need to take to improve our nation’s health, which involves so much more than just the NHS and care system. There’s a massive cultural piece and it’s very important to have the NHS workforce engaged with this wider debate about what is it that keeps us healthy. We actually have a chronic disease epidemic, and that’s to a huge extent driven by our lifestyle, social circumstances and the wider determinants of health.
“I think what’s interesting is that Chris Whitty now has a far broader remit across government, which I think is a really, really interesting signal that health absolutely has to infuse the whole government thinking. I think everything is interestingly coming full circle in terms of understanding that humans sit in a wider ecosystem where all the agencies that look after us in our civic life have to come together. The relationship between health and the ability to work and provide for your children and climb out of socio-economic limitations on your life is very important, but often misunderstood or not acknowledged.
“There’s a lot of good work out there and we need to learn from it. The APPG is keen to support the next generation and the clusters of innovation that are getting things right at the local level.
“It’s about leadership, it’s about mobilisation, it’s about really, really getting your hands dirty in terms of getting embedded into communities. The role of social enterprise is vital, they know their communities best, and social capital and social investment are also important elements.
“It’s about working with local partners to come up with the right solutions at a local level.”