What are person and community centred health approaches?

Person and community centred health approaches are about embracing ‘people power’ and the assets and resources in communities to enable people to live healthier and more fulfilled lives. Wellbeing Enterprises was one of the first Community Interest Companies (CIC) to set about co-designing these approaches. We have a wealth of experience delivering award winning social prescribing, volunteering and community navigation initiatives.

The work of Marmot (2010) and others demonstrates that health is derived through the social conditions of peoples’ lives, and so health can be understood as a social construct as well as a biological one. For example, medicine is ineffective at tackling the root cause of a health complaint if it is being exacerbated by unemployment, fuel poverty or a lack of basic provisions. In these cases, the best ‘medicine’ is to actually address these social issues at their root cause working with the strengths and capabilities of citizens and the assets in the community. We believe that healthcare in the future will consist of a combination of clinical and social interventions to respond more holistically to peoples’ needs.

The integration of person and community centred health approaches with public sector provision enables professionals to respond more effectively to the social circumstances of people’s lives, which are often the key factor leading to presentations.