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Healthy Communities Programme

Details of savings opportunity


The public health aspirations of the healthy communities and healthy environment  programmes are that Tower Hamlets has:

  • strong networks and partnerships connecting people, shaping services and supporting healthier lives
  • community assets that are fully utilised to support health and wellbeing
  • services that are integrated by a shared commitment and approach to improving health and wellbeing
  • easy access to affordable healthy food
  • housing that is health enhancing and free from health harms
  • community assets and services promoting community cohesion and addressing abuse, violence, discrimination and the impacts of crime.

Current investment

The priority within this set of investments is services and initiatives supporting promotion of health and wellbeing that are produced together with local communities that build on community assets, that tackle environmental determinants of health and that have reach to the most deprived groups.

  • Health Trainers - individual and group level  support for residents to adopt healthier lives targeting deprived communities in greatest health need  £1.1m
  • Can Do Community - support to local people and groups wishing to deliver community led solutions and create healthier local environments £93k
  • Food for Health – healthy food award scheme that helps improve the healthiness of the food offered by restaurants, cafes and shops  £72k
  • Buywell – programme aimed at improving the availability of good quality and affordable fruit and vegetables in convenience stores and markets in Tower Hamlets  £49k
  • Healthier fast food pilot £35k (non-recurrent - programme ending 16/17)
  • Private rented housing pilot - EHO scheme £35k (non-recurrent - programme ending 16/17)
  • Loneliness: neighbourhood perspectives £35k  (non-recurrent - programme ending 16/17)
  • Food growing network ( a network of allotments and community growing sites that public health supports to promote healthier lives) £8.3k

Proposed budget reductions 16/17 and 17/18

  • Health Trainers (£1.1m) reduced by £110k and further reduction £110k in 17/18
  • Can Do community development  (£93k) reduced by £46k and further £46k  in 17/18


From a base budget of £1,192,362 we are proposing a saving of £156,380 in 2016/17 and a full year saving of £312,760 in 2016-17.


The physical, social and economic environments in which we live and work are important for health. Public health will continue to invest in activity that helps to make Tower Hamlets a healthier place, for example working with food retailers to deliver healthy food and continuing to support the Health trainer organisations to engage with local people on how they can maintain good health or access the right type of support when they need it.

Health Trainers (£1.1m) reduced by £110k and further reduction of £110k in 17/18

Health Trainers help people to maintain good health - e.g. helping people to eat healthier diets and increase their level of physical activity - together with assessment and signposting to other appropriate services. The Health Trainers provide a service to local residents who want to adopt healthier lives but who have little contact with services. Reduction in the service will mean a reduction in the numbers of people that can be helped by the service.

The implications are that the reduction of Health Trainer funding will result in  the following reductions per year (full year effect):

  • 1600 fewer new contacts with people out of a target 8,000 per year who are then given health promotion information/signposted to appropriate services
  • 960 fewer people participating in healthy living group activities out of a target 4,400 in total
  • 320 less people supported with a 1-1 intervention out of a target 1,600 in total.

Health trainers currently significantly exceed the target numbers set out above so although there will be a reduction in the numbers engaged this should not have a damaging impact on the ability of residents to access the service. The service will continue to be monitored to ensure that it is targeted towards highest need groups within the population. Finally, synergies with the Health Outreach worker programme may also mitigate reductions in outputs.

Can Do community development reduced by £46k and further £46k  in 17/18

This programme aims to provide support to local people and groups wishing to deliver community led activities to help overcome the barriers to healthy eating, active lives, mental wellbeing and creating healthy environments.

The programme addresses these barriers through individual projects and also supports the development of local community leaders, as part of developing a social movement for better health in Tower Hamlets.

The Can Do programme is due to end in mid 2016 and as this is not the most effective use of public health funding when the overall budget is becoming more restricted it is not proposed at the moment to fund another programme, although the voluntary sector organisations that deliver the programme may seek alternative funding.

The implications are that the cessation of the Can Do programme will result in:

  • 9 fewer community led projects successfully delivered
  • estimated reduction of 300 beneficiaries each year so the number would be reduced to 150 in 2016-17 and to zero in 2017-18.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The reductions in the Health Trainer and Can Do budgets are expected to have a half year effect in 2016-17 and a full year effect in 2017-18.

You can review the healthy communities programme equalities screening.

The requested form is not currently available.