Trust teams up with Chelsea Foundation and Imperial Health Charity to improve community health

Chelsea Foundation and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will collaborate on community projects that aim to reduce health inequalities, improve access to healthcare and community resources, and strengthen links between sports and the NHS.

Chelsea Foundation brings expertise in improving health and wellbeing among marginalised and often-excluded groups, using sport as a tool for community building, while the Trust brings clinical expertise and access to patients and local populations in north west London.

To kick-off this new partnership, Imperial Health Charity has awarded a grant to fund a joint post between the Foundation and the Trust, which will be responsible for developing new health and wellbeing initiatives for patients, staff and local communities.

Dr Bob Klaber, director of strategy, research and innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the devastating effect of health inequalities in the community.

"As a Trust serving some of the poorest communities in London, we understand the role we have to play in addressing some of the most pressing issues that affect people’s health, outside of our hospitals.

"By working closely with Chelsea Foundation, we will leverage the natural relationship between sport, health and wellbeing and the NHS, and our combined connections into the community, to design and deliver projects with the greatest impact."

Simon Taylor, head of the Chelsea Foundation added: "This exciting project will see both organisations working together to engage communities in innovative and ground-breaking programmes.

"Sport and in particularly football has a unique ability to engage people in a range of health and educational programmes and we are looking forward to working with one of the leading NHS trusts in the country to develop initiatives to increase health and wellbeing in our communities."

Ian Lush, chief executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: "Sport crosses cultural boundaries and brings people closer together. Through this exciting initiative, we hope to strengthen the link between sport, health and wellbeing, and drive forward a series of initiatives that will tackle complex and deep-rooted health problems in north west London.

"By reaching out beyond our hospitals to work in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare and the Chelsea FC Foundation, we will be able to have an even greater impact on improving population health and reducing inequalities."