Using NHS facilities differently for better health and community resilience

On Tuesday 19th October 2021, the Bromley by Bow Centre held a webinar on Using NHS facilities differently for better health and community resilience. With more than 350 registrations, the webinar was a great success – a testimony to the important of the topic. A recording, some key messages and some links and other examples of best practice are listed below.


Contact speakers via  

More webinars:  

Next webinar of the series on health facilities: Building integrated Health and Well-being Hubs on Wed, 26 Jan 2022 12:30 GMT. Sign up now:  

Expert speakers gathered to talk about their experiences, and discuss how to make better use of NHS Facilities: 

(Chair) Ben Collins, Director of System Development for the South East London Integrated Care System 

Laura Marshall-Andrews, Principal GP, Brighton Health & Wellbeing Centre 

Mark Harrod, Strategic Health & Care Estates Consultant, NHS Programme Director at Barking Riverside 

Will Nicholson, Independent Health and Wellbeing Consultant and Co-Founder of Thriving Stockwell 

Rhea Horlock, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, NHS Property Services Ltd 

Dan Hopewell, Director of Knowledge and Innovation, Bromley by Bow Centre  

Some of the key messages from the speakers: 

– Practitioners need agency and support to be brave and carry out their visions. Learning from the Bromley by Bow model as well as BHWC in Brighton and other practices. 

– How can we support new visionaries to challenge the current status quo? 

– The Virtual Bromley By Bow – highlighting the importance of focusing on the intangible ways of working (ie collaborative leadership, culture, shared vision and values, relationships, connections, networks, sharing of resources/time/energy etc) that need to go hand in hand with the physical use of space. But also the challenges of doing so in practice due to the many barriers including siloed working etc. 

– The need for collaborative leadership, courage, tenacity and a significant investment into the collective beyond each of our current roles/organisations.   

– When all the right people are in the room, and we’re all aiming for the same shared goal, then we’ve seen that using NHS space to create facilities for communities can work really well – but people need to be able to see how it can work and come with an open mind.  

– As a property provider, NHS Property Services are often quick to assume that you need to make significant investments over long timelines to have any impact, but if they think differently about space and how it’s used then sometimes just the small changes can be enough to start seeing a difference. 

Some links and examples from the webinar chat: 

Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre:  

Some pointers about translating the BBB model to each context: “Translation not Replication” at  

The Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Dulwich has set up a partnership with Dulwich picture gallery to create site-specific artwork by local artists. Watch a presentation video here:  

We have the fabulous Balsam Centre in Wincanton, a Healthy Living Centre and one of the few remaining Children Centres in Somerset. More information here:  

Health Creation Forum, Supporting cross-sector Health Creation and COVID-19 learning: A monthly one-hour Zoom during which people from across sectors can share, discuss and learn from others’ experience. Here: 

We have great success in getting GPs and pharmacists referring patients to our Better Days Pain Support programme. See at  

There are also examples of taking health services out into the community to consider.  For example, in Tower Hamlets the GPs run clinics from local youth centres so the young people can see a GP there rather than go to a GP practice which they may find daunting. 

Trojan Mice: Small changes for big impacts video: