Anchor institutions are large, typically non-profit, public sector organisations whose long-term sustainability is tied to the wellbeing of the populations they serve. They also have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of their local communities.

Health and care organisations act as anchor institutions and are often some of the largest local employers and procurers of local services. This puts them in a position where their resources and spending can influence socio-economic outcomes considerably. Wealth, social circumstances and health are inherently linked. Therefore, if health and care’s decisions relating to resource allocation and configuration could also be informed by greater knowledge of this wider socio-economic impact, the benefits derived from each public sector pound could be significantly increased, way beyond simply providing health and care.

<p>Description automatically generated

To explore this for their system, Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP commissioned the Strategy Unit, using funding provided by the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network.   

We initially conducted a baseline assessment to understand the current impact of the STP on socio-economic and environmental factors. This analysed:

  • Total expenditure in H&W by relevant organisations
  • Gross value added resulting from that expenditure
  • Employment
  • Value of informal care
  • Impact of current outpatient models of care on the environment
  • Economic impact of ill health re: CVD, COPD, and anxiety and depression

For the second phase of this work, we analysed two potential initiatives, agreed with the project steering group, that could enhance the STP’s wider socio economic impact. The selected initiatives were:

  • Reducing the adverse impacts of attending face to face hospital outpatient appointments
  • Realising the benefits of providing increased support to informal carers.

The results and findings from both phases can be found in the documents below.

Following the completion of this work, the STP highlighted:

‘We are really getting some traction around this report. It is getting air time and use, and it has been used heavily to inform our refreshed ICS vision.’

If you would like to hear more about this work, or are interested in working with us, please contact:

James de Lacy

David Frith