Working with Communities, Developing Communities, published by the RCGP Centre for Commissioning, says the health of local populations can be improved, and money can be saved, by using local people to enhance services such as housing, policing and education, as wealth as health.
It encourages CCGs to take part in ‘community development’, where individuals, communities and public service organisations pool their skills, knowledge and abilities to create opportunities and solve problems.
It says there is ‘substantial’ evidence that community development projects can improve health, and it suggests that GP practices could act as hubs for these projects.
The guidance features two case studies, in Devon and Hartlepool, where community involvement has both improved health outcomes and saved money.
Professor Clare Gerada, RCGP chairwoman, said: ‘The people within the community should have their say in what they think will make their society, their lives, better, be it health or education or housing.They should have a lasting role in making these things happen.
‘We must trust our communities to work pro-actively with us for the greater good of society, inclusive of healthcare as well as other essential services.’
- Inside Commissioning blog: CCGs aren't privatising the NHS and why GPs should be involved