Securing systems leadership by local government through health and wellbeing strategies

Alyson M. Learmonth, Emily J. Henderson, David J. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to strengthen Health and Wellbeing Strategies (HWSs) by identifying potential areas for system leadership across local authorities in relation to specific aspects of health/illness, wider determinants of health and transformational change management.

The work involved a document analysis of strengths of the first 12 HWSs produced in the North East of England applying principles of appreciative inquiry (AI), followed by a knowledge-to-action group approach with stakeholders. A summative event resulted in Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) members identifying potential areas for collaboration.

The study identified diverse examples of good practice, and considerable consensus in terms of key priorities, both wider determinants such as employment, transport and housing, and subject areas such as lifestyle issues and children having the best start in life. There was agreement in principle to work across local authority boundaries, with academic partners. Consideration of HWSs as part of a complex adaptive system was welcomed by HWB Members.

Collaborative working across HWBs could strengthen the effectiveness of HWSs in relation to inequalities in health, place-shaping and wider determinants of wellbeing. The co-production of identified areas to work toward health improvement was successful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number3
Early online date11 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


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