Community is the best medicine: a community-centred approach to health and wellbeing

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This event brings together health and care professionals, community organisations and others to explore the role of communities in health and wellbeing. While the Covid-19 pandemic created significant pressure for existing health and care services, it also provided a springboard for organisations to work more closely with communities to deliver innovative new programmes and projects that had an impact on health and wellbeing outcomes.    

The event will run from 6–9 June 2022 and will showcase case studies from across the UK.

Event topics

  • How can communities best connect with health and care services – and vice versa – to have an impact on outcomes?  
  • How can communities build on existing assets to improve health and wellbeing for local people?  
  • What are some successful approaches to involving communities in the co-creation and co-design of services and activities?  
  • How can the health, wellbeing and social welfare of communities be improved through social prescribing and community referral?  
  • How can asset-based community development models create real change and impact?

Sponsorship and exhibition

If you’d like a conversation about your business goals, and how being involved in this event can help you, please email Danielle Roche at

Please click here for more information.






Professor Donna Hall

Chair of New Local and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Photo of Loreen Chikwira

Dr Loreen Chikwira

Research Assistant, The King’s Fund


Fatima Khan-Shah

Associate Director, Long Term Conditions and Personalisation, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership

Dr Mark Spencer

Dr Mark Spencer

GP Principal, Mount View Practice, Fleetwood

Photo Dana James-Edwards

Dana James-Edwards

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, The King’s Fund


Merron Simpson

Chief Executive, The Health Creation Alliance


Laura Lamming

Researcher, The King's Fund

Emma Dickinson

Commissioning Manager (Carers and Prevention), Sheffield City Council

Louise Williams

National Development Manager, Health and Wellbeing, EFL Trust

Abbi Thomas

National Development Manager, Health and Wellbeing, EFL Trust

Liz Burns

Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, University of Salford


Ethan Williams

Researcher, The King's Fund

Jessica Berry

Senior Commissioning Manager, Integration and Transformation, NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group


Dan Wellings

Senior Fellow, The King's Fund


Chris Naylor

Senior Fellow, The King’s Fund


Monday 30 May

Access the conference

We will send you an email on Monday 30 May with information on how to access the conference. Please log in and get familiar with the platform. Take this opportunity to meet other attendees and visit the exhibition. Please note, you will need to use an up-to-date web browser. We recommend using Google Chrome for the best experience.

Monday 6 June

9.30–10.30am (GMT) Session one: Building on the success of community-centred approaches to health and wellbeing

9.30amWelcome and introduction

Photo Dana James-Edwards

Dana James-Edwards, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, The King’s Fund 

9.35amHealthier Fleetwood: how do we make a difference for our communities?

  • Hear how to connect with the community by listening to community voices to understand need and co-create services 
  • Understand how to enable health creation and support residents to take control 

Dr Mark Spencer, GP Principal, Mount View Practice, Fleetwood 

9.55amIntroducing integrative community therapy to the UK

  • Hear about integrative community therapy, a method of large group (10–200 people) dialogue that promotes emotional literacy and emotional solidarity and combats loneliness and psychological suffering. 

  • Explore how this approach is used to resolve emotional challenges in a range of different populations. 

Kenneth S Thompson  
Medical Director, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council, 
Founder, Visible Hands Collaborative 

Alice F Thompson  
Resident in Psychiatry, University of Texas, Austin 
Founder, Visible Hands Collaborative 

10.15amQuestions and discussion

10.30amNetworking break and meet the exhibitors

11.00–12.00pm (GMT) Session two: Healthy Communities Together - what are we learning about how to build long-term partnerships?

11.00amWelcome and introduction

Alex Baylis, Assistant Director of Policy, The King’s Fund 

11.05amHealthy Communities Together

  • Hear about this unique four-year programme in which The King's Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund are working with five place-based partnerships. The programme aims to support effective and sustainable partnership working between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and empower communities.
  • Explore the journey of one site, based in Plymouth, and how the partnership is tackling social isolation by putting ‘citizen voice at the heart of the work’ and ‘connecting citizen voice to strategic decision-making’. 
  • Hear how the programme’s framework for reflective learning is being applied and the emerging insights around genuine cross-sector partnership working in local areas. 

Mark Doughty, Senior Consultant in Leadership and Organisational Development, The King’s Fund 
Jo Maybin, Policy Fellow and Coach, The King’s Fund 
Matt Bell, Chief Executive, Plymouth Octopus 

11.35amQuestions and discussion

Tuesday 7 June

9.30–10.30am (GMT) Session three: Next steps for social prescribing and community referral

9.30amWelcome and introduction

Laura Lamming, Researcher, Policy, The King’s Fund

9.35amPeople keeping well: social prescribing for young people and adults

  • Hear about how Sheffield City Council is working on its social prescribing model (community wellbeing) in partnership with longstanding community anchors and neighbourhood forums. 
  • Explore how the team is using funding to support people through asset-based approaches in a ‘one place’ approach tailored for its community. 

Emma Dickinson, Commissioning Manager, Carers and Prevention, Sheffield City Council 
May Connolly, Community Team Manager, Heeley Trust

9.55amQuestions and discussion

10.00amThe transformative impact of youth social prescribing: key learnings from a two-year pilot

  • Hear how young people, parents are co-producing social prescribing models across different pilot sites. 
  • Discover the transformative impact these models are having on young people’s wellbeing and sense of loneliness. 

Dawn Mitchell, Social Prescribing Youth Network (SPYN) Lead, StreetGames

10.20amQuestions and discussion

10.30amNetworking break and meet the exhibitors

11.00am–12.00pm (GMT) Session four: Building a community-powered NHS in practice

11.00amWelcome and introduction

Jessica Studdert, Deputy Chief Executive, New Local 

11.05amPanel discussion

The NHS desperately needs to shift from acute response to prevention if it is to be capable of addressing population-level health outcomes and reducing inequalities. Integration is an opportunity to shift power in the system out to communities, where good health and wellbeing can be supported in the context of wider determinants. This session will feature insights from people at the forefront of involving communities in their own health outcomes.  

In this session you will learn about: 

  • What would a community-powered approach to health care look like in practice? 
  • What are the barriers to realising this approach and how can we overcome them? 
  • What does success look like? 

Professor Donna Hall, Chair of New Local and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust 
Fatima Khan-Shah, Associate Director, Long Term Conditions and Personalisation, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership 
Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive of Calderdale Council and Accountable Officer of Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group 
Grace Pollard, Senior Policy Researcher, New Local
Darren Knight, Chief Executive, George House

11.35amQuestions and discussion

Wednesday 8 June

9.30–10.30am (GMT): Session five: Working with local assets to create lasting change and impact 

9.30amWelcome and introduction

Ethan Williams, Researcher, Policy, The King’s Fund

9.35amBuilding stronger, healthier, and more active communities through football: EFL Trust FIT FANS Programme

  • Hear how a football club charity and local health system are building links with public health teams and primary care networks to create social prescribing models. 

  • Understand how partnership working with local housing associations can help identify individuals who might benefit from joining a programme that supports men and women to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle.  

Louise Williams, National Development Manager, Health and Wellbeing, English Football League Trust 
Abbi Thomas, National Development Manager, Health and Wellbeing, English Football League Trust 

10.50amGreater Manchester’s alcohol health champions

  • Hear how an assets-based approach is being used to train alcohol health champions in the local community. 
  • Learn how alcohol health champions are supporting local people by modelling healthy behaviour and helping to reduce alcohol harm. 
  • Find out about the strengths and challenges in setting up and establishing Communities in Charge of Alcohol (CICA). 

Liz Burns, Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, University of Salford
Cathy Ure, Lecturer in Public Health, University of Salford

11.05amQuestions and discussion

10.30amNetworking break and meet the exhibitors

11.00am-12.00pm (GMT) Session six: Communities, relationships and health creation

11.00amWelcome and introduction

Merron Simpson, Chief Executive, The Health Creation Alliance 

11.05amPanel discussion

  • Examine the connections and relationships that enable communities to improve health and wellbeing that need to be strengthened if health services are to contribute effectively to building healthier communities health creation. 
  • Explore the dynamics and nuances of building good relationships, and what doesn’t work. 

Alex McCraw, Community Partnerships Director, The Health Creation Alliance  
Sarah Baines, Development Lead, Lancaster Integrated Care Community 
Kirit Mistry, Chair and Founder of South Asian Health Action and Health Inequalities Lead 
Sagal Osman, Facilitator, Good Efforts for Health and Wellbeing, Hammersmith and Fulham 

11.40amQuestions and discussion

Thursday 9 June

9.30am-10.30am (GMT) Session seven: Tackling health inequalities by working with communities

9.30amWelcome and introduction

Photo of Loreen Chikwira

Dr Loreen Chikwira, Research Assistant, The King’s Fund  

9.35amUsing an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to reduce health inequalities in South West London

  • Hear about the development of community-led health clinics in south-west London and learn how the clinics have helped to reduce the incidence of long-term conditions and health inequalities in ethnic minority groups and under-represented groups across the most deprived areas. 

Thomas Herweijer, Project Manager, Long -Term Conditions, NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group 
Viknesh Akilan, Long-Term Conditions Project Coordinator, Croydon BME Forum  
Geetha Maheshwaran, Director for Religious Education, Culture and Community Activities and Volunteer Community Health Coach at the Shree Ghanapathy Temple 

9.55amQuestions and discussion

10.00amBuilding healthier communities

  • Hear about the shared learning from Southampton, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and how the team has developed community-centred approaches.  
  • Understand how the team improved wellbeing in areas where there are poorer health outcomes and changed its reputation from that of an area of deprivation to an area of opportunity. 

Jessica Berry, Senior Commissioning Manager, Integration and Transformation, NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group 

10.20amQuestions and discussion

10.30amNetworking break and meet the exhibitors

11.00am-12.00pm (GMT) Session eight: Integrated care systems – an opportunity to work with communities in a different way?

11.00amWelcome and introduction


Chris Naylor, Senior Fellow, The King's Fund

11.05amPanel discussion: Integrated care systems (ICSs) – understanding what system change means for the future of community-based approaches to health and wellbeing 

  • How can integrated care systems (ICSs) listen to and learn from communities? 
  • Making community empowerment central to ICSs’ mission to promote health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.
  • What will the changes mean for how the voluntary and community sector engages with ICSs? 

Dan Wellings, Senior Fellow, The King’s Fund  
Merron Simpson, Chief Executive, The Health Creation Alliance
Dr Andy Knox, Associate Medical Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB leading on population health and health inequalities 

11.35amQuestions and discussion

Sunday 26 June

Catch up and complete

You will have until Sunday 26 June to catch up on demand. Throughout the conference, we will share PDFs of the presentation slides, links and documents in the resources section and various materials in the exhibition. Once the platform closes at the end of the year, you will no longer have access to any of these so please ensure you have downloaded all of the materials you'd like to keep before this time.


Format and time 
High-quality, up-to-date content is delivered to you via an online platform that is open for four weeks. During the first week, you will have the opportunity to log in, test your connection and become familiar with the setup. The live sessions will take place over four half-days in the second week, giving you the option to catch up on demand until the end of week four. 

Virtual conferences mean you can digest content at your own pace and work around a busy schedule. You can pause and rewind presentations and put your questions to our expert speakers. There is an activity feed for public conversations and the option of one-to-one networking. Virtual exhibition stands enable you to interact with a range of organisations that will share expertise and information – all at a time that suits you.Shape 

If you choose to opt-in to networking, you will appear on the attendee list, where other delegates will be able to click on your profile and see whether you are online or offline.  

If you discover someone that you would like to talk to, you can send them a message or invite them to have a one-to-one video conversation during the week that sessions take place. If you are interacting with others like this, be assured that the messages and calls are encrypted and entirely private. If you are offline and another delegate sends you a private message, you will receive an email notification so you will never miss out.  

You are in control, so you can choose whether to accept or decline invitations and you can change your settings at any point in the four weeks, either to opt-in or opt-out of networking. On your profile, you can share as much or as little information about yourself as you’d like, including your contact details, photo and biography, social media profiles or any websites you would like others to see. If you prefer not to share this information and only list your name, that is fine. Your profile is accessible throughout the event and you can update this at any time. 

During sessions, there are separate tabs on the righthand side of the video, including a place to post questions for the speakers, make notes, take part in polls and a session chat where you can interact with other delegates. 

If you prefer group/public conversations and would like to interact outside the session times, there is the activity feed. Here, delegates can post images and links and reply to one another in conversation threads (like a social media wall).  

Taking notes 
If you use the note-taking functionality during the sessions, you can access these later by clicking on your profile image (top righthand side of the screen) and selecting My notes. Here, you can update your notes and add images. These notes will be saved in the platform until the conference closes (at the end of week four). To email yourself a copy of your notes, just click on the small envelope icon.  

Virtual exhibition stands enable you to interact with a range of organisations that will share expertise and information – all at a time that suits you.  

Games and competitions 
Throughout the first two weeks, there will be an opportunity to take part in some fun interactive challenges. Delegates who take part will boost their scores on a leaderboard and be in with the chance of winning one of three prizes. 

As well as the video content, we will share pdfs of the slides and other materials in the resources section. The exhibition will also contain links, videos and documents from the various exhibitors.

  • Before the event, tell your colleagues that you are taking part and block out the time in your diary.  
  • Make sure you are using an up-to-date web browser on a laptop or desktop. We recommend the latest Google Chrome for the best delegate experience. 
  • Make the most of the online community by taking part in the live Q&A sessions and opting into networking.  
  • In week one, introduce yourself on the activity feed. This is an easy way of ‘getting your voice in the room’, starting conversations and establishing new relationships with colleagues in health and care.  
  • Avoid as many distractions as possible so you can immerse yourself in the sessions as you would at a physical conference. Treat each session as a meeting, put your phone on silent and close down your emails. 
  • If you know you won’t be able to watch certain sessions live, you can submit your questions in advance and put aside time in the third or fourth week to catch up on demand. 
  • Each session is approximately one hour long and there is always at least a half-an-hour break between sessions so you can take a screen break or catch up on emails. 
  • Make sure you secure time in your diary at some point over the four weeks to visit the exhibition stands, where you will find free resources and can have conversations with experts from across the health and care system.  

When the event is taking place, we will be on hand to offer technical support, but it is worth using the extra time before the first session to log in and test your connection, just in case. 

Throughout the conference, we will share pdfs of the slides. You will find these at the bottom of each session page and we will post links to related resources in the chat and on the activity feed. 

The portal is open for four weeks when you will have the opportunity to either watch, save or download these materials. 

Once the platform closes, you will no longer have access to these resources so please ensure you save everything you need beforehand, including any slides, materials in the exhibition and notes you have made. 

Please note, you will not be able to download the video presentations.  

The King's Fund is an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England. Our events are a key source of income, and this income enables us to continue with our charitable objectives.  

The cost of running a virtual conference is similar to that of a physical event. Although a virtual conference has fewer room hire and catering costs, in order to produce a high-quality event, we still need to pay the costs for the technical supplier, support and developing the platform. With some sessions taking place in our building, we do have to cover some venue costs. We also have a team of dedicated events professionals, content experts, digital, marketing and finance support that work on these events.   

Any profit that is made from these events goes directly towards achieving our strategic priorities. You can find out more about how we are funded.  

We offer a limited number of bursary places for people with lived experience to ensure a balance of voices in the room.. To apply for a bursary place please email us a short paragraph explaining why you wish to attend.  

Yes. Please select your tickets and once you're through to the registration form on Eventbrite, you can amend the 'payment method' from credit card to 'pay by invoice' .   

Please note, there is a £20 + VAT surcharge to cover the cost of processing invoices. This is an addition to the ticket price and will be added to your invoice. There is no charge for paying by debit or credit card. 

Cancellations confirmed in writing more than 14 days before the first session will be refunded in full. We regret that no refund can be made after that date. However, you can transfer your ticket to another event in the following six months. Please email us at with confirmation of your original booking to cancel or transfer your ticket. On completion of the confirmed booking the delegate and their supporting organisation are liable for the fees for the training (regardless of whether payment has been made).

We offer a discount for group booking booked under the same order and organisation for more than 3 delegates. Please email us at to get the discount.

  • 3-4 delegates (10 per cent discount)
  • 5-6 delegates (15 per cent discount)
  • 7+ delegates (20 per cent discount)

If you have other accessibility requirements you would like to discuss, please email us at We will also ask you for this information during the registration process. ​

Contact details

Booking enquiries

If you’d like to make a booking enquiry, please email Anna Viralainen at

Programme enquiries

If you have any queries relating to this event programme please email us at

Sponsorship and exhibition enquiries

Please email Danielle Roche at

Ticket prices

Please note, there is a £20+VAT surcharge to cover the cost of processing invoices. This is in addition to the ticket price and will be added to your invoice. There is one invoice fee per order, not per ticket. There is no charge for paying by debit or credit card.

  • Public sector, charity or university
  • Small-medium sized enterprise 
  • Commercial/profit-making organisation

Student tickets

If you are a student in full-time education, please email us for a promotional code, with a photograph of your valid student ID. Student tickets are £60+VAT.

Bursary tickets

We offer a number of free bursary places for patients and carers. These places are limited to maintain a balance of voices in the room between patients, service users, carers, and health and care professionals. To apply for a bursary place please email us a short paragraph explaining why you wish to attend.