Building on the agenda set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, Health as a Social Movement was a three year programme to support social movements in health and care.

Working initially with six new care model ‘vanguards’ across England, NHS England and partners developed, tested and spread effective ways of mobilising people in social movements that improve health and care outcomes and show a positive return on investment.

Working towards a more enabling environment for personalised healthcare in empowered communities was the aim of the HASM programme. Over the programme’s duration, we have learned that the hands-on work it takes to facilitate this energy for change mirrors the complexity of health system – taking time and requiring a significant culture shift towards asset-based and community-centred approaches. We identify eight key principles which we hope to inform the practice of people working in healthcare, and crucially, support commissioners to understand the value of social models of health, whose interventions accrue better value for health care systems over time.

The 8 key principles are:

  • Act early connect and mobilise citizens to develop a shared purpose and take collective action.
  • Shift control:  enable people to have more access to, and more control over, the resources in their community that impact on health and wellbeing.
  • Collaborate widely: join forces with local anchor institutions, local CVS organisations and other public services.
  • Share power: form partnerships between citizens and professionals, pooling different kinds of knowledge and experience.
  • Change culture: work to change culture and practice within state and civil society organisations.
  • Growing from local: make sure decisions and actions are rooted in local experience and build on the assets and experiences of the community.
  • Building momentum: learn as you go and use every opportunity to spread good practice.
  • Bringing people together: Connect and mobilise citizens to build knowledge, help each other, develop a shared purpose and then take collective action in their communities to help each other stay well

Download the report: Health as a social movement: theory into practice

Download the prospectus: Releasing energy for change in our communities: social movements in health

Read the Nesta report The Power of People in Movements

Find out more about Health as a Social Movement

And What makes a Social Movement successful? 


To learn more, please visit: Health as a Social Movement


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