Government uses Wigan scheme The Deal as a health role model

Even Prince Harry was captured on film backing Wigans Deal
Even Prince Harry was captured on film backing Wigans Deal

Wigan Council’s much-lauded initiative The Deal has been used as a case study in a Government consultation looking at the future of healthcare.

A paper named Advancing Our Health: Prevention In The 2020s has been presented to Parliament looking at how care is provided in the next decade.

It looks at “proactive, predictive, and personalised prevention”, with targeted support, tailored care and the use of technology.

The report says local authorities will play a “key role” for several reasons, which includes having responsibility for prevention such as drug and alcohol services and managing assets used for good health, like parks and cycle paths. The Deal is identified as a case study in the report.

It states: “Wigan has worked to improve the health and well-being of local people through an ‘asset-based approach’. This aims to understand the existing strengths that communities have and make best use of them.

“Wigan Council, the local NHS, charities and community groups have taken a new common approach to working with people, families and communities. This has included prioritising well-being, prevention and early intervention.

“Significant effort has been put into communicating this to staff and local people, so that everyone has a common vision of what to expect.

“This has led to The Deal for Health and Well-being in which local services and organisations make commitments to local people.”

The report explains how the council pledges to do certain things, with residents then asked to play their part, for example by keeping active or quitting smoke.

This has led to improvements in health expectancy for people living in Wigan, according to the document.

Since 2011, the council has saved more than £140m by handing over some services it traditionally provided to charities, volunteers and community organisations.

It is not the first time The Deal has been recognised, with it also being recently included in an independent report from the King’s

Fund.

That gives an insight into the authority’s approach to transformation which, it argues, could be applied to national NHS organisations.

Council deputy leader Keith Cunliffe said: “By encouraging and giving staff the permission to have different conversations with residents, we are able to support people to fulfil their ambitions and give them the confidence to access services tailored to their needs.”