For further information on the work of Public Health Wales in North Wales go to
Asset Based Approaches to Health in Wales
This year BCUHB’s Executive Director of Public Health, Andrew Jones’s annual report focuses on Resilient and resourceful adults -An asset based approach. The report recommends that public health services are re-designed so that they become focused on people who use them. It also outlines opportunities for taking an asset-based approach to health and advocates using the skills and knowledge of individuals and the connections and resources within their communities and organisations, rather than focusing on problems and deficits.
The full report can be found on - http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/page/40903
This year’s Annual Report takes an approach that recognises the assets available to support adults of working age to have good health. This is a different, positive way of thinking about health and wellbeing which reminds us to look at ‘what is/can keep people well’ and not just those things that ‘make us sick.
The report looks at assets from three aspects:
- the individual,
- the family and community,
- resources for living: financial, natural and built environments.
We know that one of the most important assets for any individual or community is to be part of strong social networks. This can help individuals to ‘bounce back’ from adversity, provide a buffer against particular risks of poor health, and help people to find work or manage economic or other difficulties. Being an active member of a community increases the level of control people have over their lives, which in itself has the potential to improve health and wellbeing.
A series of films detailing the findings of the report can be viewed here.
The key messages in this annual report are:
• We all have a duty to take responsibility for our own health, and that of our family
• Belonging to a social network is important for health and wellbeing – ‘be a part, not apart’
• Our environments matter: all organisations that provide services should support and strengthen individual and community assets.
The ideas below are both for individuals and communities and are based on emerging evidence. We hope that they will be a stimulus for discussion for partner organisations in the public, third and private sectors as well as for members of the public.
What can individuals do?
- Take responsibility for their own health, and that of their family
- Keep active, eat well, drink alcohol responsibly and not smoke
- Work together with health and social care professionals; share in the decisions that affect their health
- Include the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ in everyday life: Connect, Be Active, Take notice, Keep learning, Give, Belong to a social network – be a part, not apart
- Seek advice on how they / their family can get enough financial and other resources to participate in society
- Find the best work that they can, paid or unpaid, that provides a meaningful role
- Look after and enjoy the environment around them, and help others to do so
What can services do?
- Start with the strengths and assets that individual adults have
- ‘First do no harm’: do not undermine people’s resilience
- Start early: support parents to give their children the resilience for adult life
- Support ‘whole person approaches’ which address health and other needs in the context of people’s lives
- Work with individuals in partnership and reciprocity
- Support self efficacy and health literacy skills
- Provide easy access to information and ‘social prescribing’
- Encourage and enable self help
- Increase access to social networks through community empowerment interventions
- Assess the potential for service delivery, policies or interventions to enhance wellbeing
- Provide support to ensure people have the financial and other resources to participate in society
- Sustain the recent gains in neighbourhood conditions from regeneration and neighbourhood renewal activities
- Respond to the need for affordable, good quality housing
- Achieve Platinum level in the Corporate Health Standard (if more than 50 employees), or Gold in the Small Workplace Health Award (if less than 50 employees)
The full report can be viewed in the Publications section.
A series of films have been produced coincide with the publication of the films detailing the case studies outlined
A 2 minute film on CAIS
A 40 second film on CAIS
A 2 minute film on Groundwork
A 40 second film on peer mentor schemes
18 second clip on peer schemes
A short film on NERS