Head, hands and heart: Asset-based approaches in health care

A review of the conceptual evidence and case studies of asset-based approaches in health, care and wellbeing

April 2015

Trevor Hopkins
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Key points

  • The report has the following recommendations for researchers, practitioners and policy makers with an interest in asset-based working and the promotion of positive health outcomes in the UK.
    • Further develop and disseminate the working model for health assets.
    • Continue to tackle health inequalities.
    • Plan to incorporate asset-based approaches into mainstream public health activity.
    • Plan to integrate health assets and interventions that promote assets into health and wellbeing strategies.
    • Champion asset-based approaches at local, regional and national levels.
    • Prioritise NHS and local authority investment into asset-based community development for health and wellbeing.
    • Develop workforces and build community capacity to incorporate skills and knowledge on health assets and asset-based approaches.
    • Create ‘place-based outcomes’.

This report summarises the theory and evidence behind asset-based approaches in health care and wellbeing and gives details of six case studies, describing these approaches in action.

There are both opportunities and challenges in adopting asset-based approaches for improving health and wellbeing. This report explores some of the key principles for developing health assets and the evidence and mechanisms of impact on health outcomes of asset-based projects in the UK. The report also identifies areas for further investigation.

The aim of the report is to engage people in health care that are looking to introduce asset-based working into mainstream health and care sectors while also challenging current practitioners in community development to look at the dimensions and benefits of developing assets for improving community health and wellbeing.

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