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Lessons from the Wigan Deal

Why we did this project

The role of communities in improving health is receiving increasing attention from policy makers and NHS leaders. An important part of this involves using ‘strength-based’ or ‘asset-based’ approaches, which nurture the strengths of individuals and communities to build independence and improve health.

Since 2011, Wigan Council has embarked on a major process of change involving moving towards asset-based working at scale, empowering communities through a ‘citizen-led’ approach to public health and creating a culture which permits staff to redesign how they work in response to the needs of individuals and communities. At the heart of this is an attempt to strike a new relationship between public services and local people that has become known as the ‘Wigan Deal’.

Project content

  • Three people having a conversation with a game in front of them

    A citizen-led approach to health and care: Lessons from the Wigan Deal

    In 2011, Wigan Council had to make unprecedented savings after significant cuts in funding from central government. Drastic measures were needed, including a radical reshaping of the rel...

  • Rekindling hope in public services

    Ahead of the publication of our report on the Wigan Deal, Chris Naylor explores how devolving power to frontline staff and service users can create the positive culture needed for improv...

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What we did

To understand the approach Wigan Council and its partners have taken we interviewed a wide range of people over the course of seven days. We visited a number of key sites across Wigan, speaking to frontline staff, users of services, the voluntary sector and citizens of Wigan as well as leaders in the system. This fieldwork formed the basis of a report examining how and why the Wigan Deal was developed, how it has been put into practice, and what others might learn from it.

Project leads