• Run by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Will work with communities facing multiple disadvantages across Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.
  • A team of researchers will co-develop an anchor framework for the trust, working with the community, staff and other partners, and focusing on engaging with individuals and communities across the Fylde Coast.
  • Will run from January to September 2022.

Coastal communities have different challenges to urban communities and many existing frameworks on how anchor organisations can improve their social value do not necessarily apply to coastal areas.

Communities living on the Fylde Coast, which comprises Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, experience wide inequalities in health and wealth. Blackpool is the most deprived local authority in England and eight of England’s 10 most deprived small areas are in Blackpool. Being a coastal area adds additional dimensions to high levels of deprivation, due to longstanding challenges in the economy and employment.

The links between employment and health are well evidenced, and the role of anchor institutions in this context is therefore important. This project led by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTH) aims to develop a framework to allow BTH to use its economic power as an employer of 7,500 staff with turnover of £552 million to contribute to the economic, environmental and social fabric of the Fylde Coast and reduce health inequalities.

The project will involve recruiting five community researchers to work with BTH’s research team and co-develop an anchor framework for coastal communities. The researchers will speak to members of the community, including those who are seldom heard from in typical consultations, BTH staff and stakeholders in the Fylde Coast. They will look at the key challenges and opportunities that BTH faces in increasing its social value as an anchor institution.

The research team will also look at evidence of what works and seek agreement on a framework, which will be shared within the Fylde Coast and with Health Anchors Learning Network (HALN) participants.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Heather Catt, Consultant in Public Health, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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