Health Creation is the process through which individuals and communities gain a sense of purpose, hope, mastery and control over their own lives and immediate environment; when this happens their health and wellbeing is enhanced.

What People Need to be Well?

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The 3Cs of Health Creation

Control, Contact, Confidence

Building meaningful and constructive Contact between people and within communities increases our Confidence which leads to greater Control over our lives and the determinants of our health. People also need an adequate income, a suitable home, engaging occupation and a meaningful future.

 Having Control over our lives and environments is proven to enhance health and wellbeing and to help people cope well with health conditions, disability and ageing.

How do you Achieve This?

The 6 features of health creating practices

At the front-line, health creating practices are characterised by one or more of six features. Embedding the six features of health creating practices into professional practice helps to create the conditions for people to increase their levels of the 3Cs so that day-to-day work with people becomes more health creating. Learn more about the six features below:

Effective, genuine listening to the reality of people’s and communities’ lives is essential. As is acting differently upon what is heard, and not just reverting to the established systems. Listening can also help to build trust that enables truth-telling if people feel safe to open up about matters they might be hiding, even from themselves. Being listened to can also be therapeutic in itself.
When people and practitioners identify and acknowledge what holds them back from creating health, rather than treating illness, they can start to get to the root causes of problems and solutions. This can be a challenge to the system because it is not set up to create health through a social process
Health creation happens when attention is paid to what people can do for themselves or others. Making people aware of their strengths and finding opportunities for them to employ them unlocks their potential and builds confidence for creating health.
Helping people to connect meaningfully with others makes it possible for them to find solutions and take actions together. They are more likely to find purpose in their lives and this drives wellness. Over time, people become less reliant on health and care services.

Health creating relationships go two ways. People are proud and don’t want to have something for nothing. They do, however, want to be acknowledged for their contributions to community health and wellbeing and for services to respond to them.

A health creating environment is nurtured when people can both get what they need and have the opportunity to give back in ways that suit them. Reciprocity builds respectful relationships, where communities and services are mutually responsive and play complementary roles.

Lasting health creation happens when the health creating features above result in a power shift from practitioners to people and communities. When people’s expertise and strengths are recognised and valued, they can make good decisions, take action and have an influence over things that affect them and their environment. Services can then adapt and respond accordingly.

Health Creation is Embedded Through…

  1. …people: valuing people-assets and the relationships between people
  3. …practices: embracing the 3Cs and the 5 features of health creating practices
  5. …places: influencing and creating healthy environments; homes, neighbourhoods, work place and schools
  7. …policies: influencing government policies to support Health Creation
  9. …power-sharing: a place where people without much agency can take control

The challenge for Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) is to get all four relationship dynamics right:


  1. Between community members – this supports collective agency and community strengthening which is health creating
  3. Between NHS and communities – this enables a different conversation and the possibility for communities to play significant roles in creating health, in partnership with the NHS
  5. Between other local partners and communities – this can provide routes into listening to communities that are mis-trustful of the NHS due to past bad experiences via trusted partners
  7. Between NHS and other local partners – this offers the possibility of better access to services that influence the wider determinants of health such as housing

Health Creation Alliance represents the avant-garde of modern medicine. We must go beyond pills and procedures if we are going to make a real impact on the health of our patients and communities. Creating health is about the long-term survival of our health services and society itself. 
Dr Michael Dixon OBE, GP, Co-Chair National Clinical Social Prescribing Champion for NHS England, Chair College of Medicine.

The roots of Health Creation

Learn more about the roots of Health Creation.

To find out more about the Manifesto for Health Creation please click here.

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