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health and homes playbook

Agilisys supports launch of UK’s first health and homes playbook

15 Nov 2018

Prevention is at the top of the agenda for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care but to achieve the ambitions for this, a radical re-think of the approach to housing and health is required.

A new report shows how leaders from the NHS and local authorities can work collaboratively to improve health outcomes in the home and make environments safer.

Entitled, “BBI Health and Social Care Programme 2018: HOMES (Healthy Outcomes Making Environments Safer)” the report demonstrates how issues like housing, traditionally thought of outside of the realm of healthcare, are key to the long-term sustainability of health and social care. The current national housing crisis has put pressure on Local Authorities to increase the supply of affordable social housing, but more also needs to be done to improve surrounding environments and the upkeep of existing homes. This report draws the link between the relationship between health and housing and how the NHS and local authorities can work together to ensure both are addressed through integrated strategy, engagement with residents, workforce development and service transformation.

Breaking Barriers Innovations (BBI), chaired by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, is an independent research programme that works alongside public sector leaders as they seek to improve services using locally driven, joined-up approaches. BBI’s Health and Social Care Programme has spent the last 6 months working with West Lancashire CCG and its partners in the Well Skelmersdale programme about how to improve the housing conditions in parts of Skelmersdale which is a former 1960s new town with a number of health problems known to be influenced by poor housing including respiratory diseases and mental health problems.

Nationally, there is a need for a systematic process that will support the full range of stakeholders to work collaboratively on improving health and housing. The BBI Playbook provides a practical and innovative way of helping local system leaders, partners and residents to create an action plan to address this. Additionally, The Playbook calls for attention to be paid to cross-sector workforce development in order to share knowledge and best practice to ensure people can stay healthy in their homes. According to a King’s Fund report, for every £1 invested in improving homes, there is a saving of £70 to be made by the NHS, which again demonstrates the huge returns on investment that public services stand to make by recognising that housing and health are inextricable issues.

In his speech to the International Association of National Public Health Institute on 5th November 2018, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP outlined the importance of making progress on prevention and drew attention to the need for high quality housing. He said: “A true focus on prevention means tackling the environmental factors that affect a person’s health…

he government is spending £20.5 billion more of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash over the next 5 years – the single, largest cash injection to the NHS ever – we must see the proportion of funding on primary and community care in the NHS rise. And that is exactly what will happen in the long-term plan.

Some of this money must go towards housing and health as part of the agenda for prevention.”

Co-author, Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, said: “Housing must be at the forefront of the priorities being set out in the NHS’s new 10 year plan. We must act now to tackle some of the long-term health issues created by poor housing that residents face every day. Housing and health are core components for prevention and taking action to address this will save significant amounts of money and lead to improved health outcomes.”

Giles Bassett, Director of Strategy at Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “Cross-sector collaboration is clearly required to design solutions to the challenges faced by the Public Sector. Sodexo is collaborating with Breaking Barriers Innovations and partners to explore the interrelationships between estates, the built environment and specialist support services to develop innovative solutions to enhance patient flow and improve the health environment.”

Dylan Champion, Head of Health and Social Care at Agilisys, said: “We are delighted to be an industry partner contributing to the UK’s first cross-sector playbook, which supports a place-based change approach, working with BBI and West Lancashire CCG. It offers practical advice and guidance for local leaders looking to co-design services and collaborate with community partners to deliver an integrated health and housing agenda for the communities they serve.

“With two decades of experience working with public sector organisations to transform services, we know times are challenging. However, by bringing together expertise from across the public, private and sectors to design services for the good of an area, we can all make a real difference to the quality of life and local environment, as well as the opportunity and welfare of residents.”

Peter Cox, Head of Strategic Health Partnerships at Morgan Sindall Investments said: “Supporting Breaking Barriers in developing this essential piece of research has extended our understanding of the importance of the interface between the NHS and Local Authorities. We have successfully delivered through our property partnerships with both sectors and have seen the impact Housing has on regenerating communities and building vibrant spaces which can transform the health and wellbeing of its residents.”

Mike Maguire, Chief Executive Officer at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “We would like to thank Breaking Barriers Innovations and their sponsors for their excellent support over the last 6 months. We are now looking forward to using the new playbook with our partners, to make a practical difference to the lives of people in Skelmersdale.”

The report and its executive summary are available at


Report Authors:

Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE

Lord Patel, a social worker by background, initially worked in inner city Bradford and then established a number of Third Sector agencies working with those misusing drugs and those with mental health problems; later moving to academia working with a number of universities.

He entered the House of Lords in 2006 as an independent peer and was later appointed Minister in the Governments Whip’s Office in the House of Lords. 

Lord Patel has held a number of high-profile public appointments on national boards and committees, including, the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work, the Home Office’s Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs, the Healthcare Commission, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse and the Care Quality Commission. He was also Chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2018, Lord Patel of Bradford was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care as the Chair of Social Work England. Social Work England will be the new regulator for all child, family and adult social workers in England.

Lord Patel has contributed to a variety of Government policies including being the architect of the Government’s five year action plan for delivering race equality in mental health care. In 2007 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to act as a Ministerial Adviser to the Secretary of State (DCLG) in respect of the government’s PREVENT agenda (Preventing Violent Extremism). He was also Chairman of a National Taskforce looking at the effectiveness of prison drug treatment culminating in the publication of the influential Patel Report.

Lord Patel is currently Senior Independent Director of the England Wales Cricket Board (ECB); Vice President of the British Board of Film Classification, and President of the Royal Society for Public Health and the Institute of Healthcare Management. He is Patron/Chairman of a number of not for profit organisations working in the health, education, social care and criminal justice sectors.

Dr. Jon Bashford

Dr Bashford is an experienced senior manager, researcher and teacher with over 30 years’ experience working in health, social care and education in the public and voluntary sectors. Coming from a practitioner background as a Registered Mental Nurse he has been able to successfully bridge the gap between research, innovation and practice. Dr Bashford has been a Director at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust where he had the lead responsibility for the development of the Communities, Rights and Inclusion programme known as CORIIN. Prior to working in Leicestershire, Jon was Associate Head at the International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion (University of Central Lancashire) where he managed a wide range of research projects, learning and teaching programmes and commercial consultancies at regional, national and international levels.

Dr Bashford is particularly known for his work on mental health, drug and alcohol use, offender health, veterans and equality, human rights and organisational change. Dr Bashford leads the Research programme at BBI and is also a senior partner with Community Innovations Enterprise (CIE).


Report Partners:


Agilisys is a leading cloud and digital transformation specialist working with organisations to discover new opportunities and make change happen. An established partner to both the public and private sectors for nearly two decades, they have earned a strong reputation and hold deep domain expertise delivering change and innovation. Through breaking through organisational barriers, Agilisys forges close partnerships to expand digital thinking and embed a dynamic approach to culture, in order to accelerate transformation. Agilisys’ two decades of experience shows that numerous small, positive changes – each one delivered broadly and consistently under a single bold vision – combine to impact larger social goals. It is these incremental improvements, which lead to extraordinary transformation, providing lasting benefits to communities.


Sodexo employs around 34,000 people in the UK & Ireland, and delivers services that improve the quality of life to clients at some 1,850 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, justice and defence sectors. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over 50 years of experience: from foodservices, reception, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business and financial model and its ability to continuously develop and to engage the commitment of its 425,000 employees throughout the world.

Morgan Sindall Investments

Morgan Sindall Investments Limited provides sustainable development and funding solutions in partnership with both the private and public sector which improves the long-term prospects and well-being of local communities. It is part of Morgan Sindall Group plc, a leading UK construction and regeneration group with revenue of c£2.8 billion and which operates through six divisions of Construction & Infrastructure, Fit Out, Property Services, Partnership Housing, Urban Regeneration and Investments.