Putting communities at the heart of public service
Locality Matters works with organisations that want to build stronger, more resilient, healthier communities, communities that ultimately place less pressure on public services. Our belief is that many of the challenges faced by our public services can in part be addressed through empowering communities. Giving local people and local organisations far greater involvement in the design, commissioning and delivery of services. Much of our work has historically been with Local Government, local councils have traditionally taken a lead in community development even though, for the most part, the benefits of building stronger more resilient communities accrue to other areas of the public sector, in particular the health system.
Recent changes in the way that health services are organised has been reflected in our work which now mostly supports health and care systems. The creation of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and Place Based Partnerships is fundamentally changing the way that the public sector supports community development. Significant players in the health system such as Acute and Community Trusts must now play a major role as “anchor organisations” in their local communities. Until the creation of ICSs in July 2022 this was not the case, the provider / commissioner split, almost by design, excluded the providers (NHS Trusts) from getting involved in building healthier communities. That has changed. At a system level, partners, across the statutory and voluntary sector, are working together to help tackle health inequalities and support delivering improved health outcomes for people living in some of our most “deprived” communities. We believe that for this work to be effective it must build on the strengths of local places and work at a locality level.