Building Healthier Communities

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What is Building Healthier Communities?

Health and social care services in Newham are working together with representatives of Newham communities in the Building Healthier Communities (BHC) initiative. This is Newham’s flagship programme for redesigning community services. We want to develop:

  • neighbourhood-based services where people’s health and social care needs are met as close to home as possible
  • person-centred care, using true integrated team working, where different team members share responsibility and accountability to meet people’s needs
  • a culture of empowerment and support to help people manage their own health and wellbeing using community resources.

Which areas is BHC looking at?

In order to achieve our goals, we have set up the following groups:

Adult Continence

Health and social care services work together to ensure that people with continence problems are identified, assessed and get the treatment they need. This group is working to provide people with more timely, effective and efficient support, reducing waste and offering earlier interventions.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is a broad term used to describe any item, object, device or system that enables people to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increase the ease and safety by which certain tasks can be performed. This can support people to remain safe, secure and independent in and around their home.

This group is looking to:

  • co-design an Assistive Technology web facility on the Care in Newham website
  • train Health and Social Care professionals to better understand the benefit of Assistive Technology in supporting people
  • develop the relationship between Newham Network and Rapid Response, GP Out-of-Hours Service, Falls Clinic and the Community Geriatrician
  • explore the connection between the use of Newham Network, our Telecare provider (24/7 availability), and the use of Telehealth during out-of-hours
  • explore how Assistive Technology can better support people as an intervention, as opposed to just a monitoring device.

Cardio and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation are supervised exercise, health education and lifestyle programmes designed to improve the health of people who have experienced a heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty or heart surgery, or who have certain lung conditions such as COPD or other respiratory ailments. Among other things this group will develop a model of neighbourhood-based partnership working where care is delivered as close to people’s homes as possible.

Care Coordination

This group has a number of different sub-groups looking at how we can better integrate working between services and how we can put people at the centre of their care. This includes looking at how health specialists interact with primary care, and also at how and who is coordinating care, in order to meet complex needs most effectively.

Complex Wound and Lymphoedema care

Lymphoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs.

This group will develop an integrated approach to wound and lymphoedema care, introduce programmes of prevention and supported self-management, and work on delivering more care locally to help reduce inequalities in access to treatment across the borough.

End of Life

Good care at the end of someone’s life needs to be timely and personalised, with a focus on the quality of life remaining. The work this group is doing aims to make people’s last months, weeks and days of life better through improved training, better communication between organisations, and by embedding choice for patients and their families at the heart of how care is delivered. 


Frailty is a state of health related to the ageing process, where bodily systems gradually lose their in-built reserves. Half of people aged 85 years and over are classed as frail, however younger people can also be described in this way. This group looks at improving how people classed as frail are identified and engaged with, at spreading awareness, at reducing avoidable unplanned care, and at reviewing how technology can assist patients with frailty issues.

Rehabilitation, Integrated Therapies and Enablement

Rehabilitation aims to ensure people return to the community from hospital in a timely manner, with the correct support in place. It supports people who are at risk of hospital admission or who have been in hospital following an acute illness or fall, or following a surgical procedure.

Integrated Therapy teams include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians. The aim of the service is to offer advice and techniques to enable you to manage your condition; to help prevent unnecessary hospital admission and to support an early and safe discharge from hospital.

After you’ve had an accident or a bad illness or been in hospital, or because of a long-term disability or health condition, it can be harder for you to manage in your own home. Re-enablement works on everyday living skills like:

  • washing and dressing
  • toileting
  • preparing meals.

This group aims to optimise the use of these services to ensure that people are treated locally whenever possible.

BHC Newsletters

To find out more about what we are doing please go to the BHC newsletter.

BHC Partners

The BHC programme is being delivered by:

  • NHS Newham CCG
  • London Borough of Newham
  • East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • St. Joseph’s Hospice
  • West Ham United Foundation
  • Mildmay Mission Hospital
  • Accelerate CIC
  • Newham Health Collaborative.

How can I find out more?

If you would like to find out more about Building Healthier Communities then please use the Contact Us section of the website, remembering to mention BHC in your message.