Trust hosts London Anchor Strategy and Change Network for the first time

Network partners from across London NHS trusts, academic partners and local community organisations were hosted by Westminster City Council and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on Tuesday 2 August for the latest London Anchor Strategy and Change Network meeting.

This was the first time the Trust has hosted the meeting since they began in 2021. The network – which is delivered in partnership between UCLPartners and NHS England London Region – aims to support health leaders who are making changes within public services so that they can more effectively serve our local communities. Recognising the challenges local managers face in developing, leading and delivering institutional, borough and system-wide change, the anchor network provides a space to meet, share and problem solve with peers, helping to create the necessary culture in which positive change and a shift towards improved population health and health equity is possible.

The latest meeting was co-hosted by Dr Dominique Allwood, director of population health at Imperial College Healthcare and the network co-chair, Dr Bob Klaber, director of strategy, research and innovation, who leads on health equity work at the Trust, and Bernie Flaherty, Deputy Chief Executive, Westminster City Council, and Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Health in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council. The meetings are held out in the local community rather than within the host trust itself, to help demonstrate the anchor principle of ‘place’, and Tuesday’s meeting was held in a flexible retail space owned by the council on Church Street, close to St Mary’s Hospital.

Attendees were introduced to the Trust’s population health and equity framework, including our role as an ‘anchor institution’, working with partners to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of those who live around our hospital sites. 

The session also focused on the #2035 collaborative, a local partnership between Imperial College Healthcare, Westminster City Council and community partners. The initiative aims to improve health and halve the 14-year gap in life expectancy between those with the highest and lowest life expectancies in Westminster by 2035. It aims to do this by addressing the wider determinants of health such as housing, employment and the environment, and has been informed by working directly with the community in north Westminster on what matters to them. Keeping their interests at the forefront and continually involving the community in the discussions remains key to the approach.

The anchor network sessions are also designed to immerse network members in the local community, and Dr Allwood and Dr Klaber were joined by attendees on a walking tour of the local area around St Mary’s Hospital to discuss some of the challenges faced in the local community and the Trust’s regeneration and life sciences plans.

Speaking at the session, Dr Bob Klaber director of strategy, research and innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Trust and relationships built between staff working in Westminster City Council and St Mary’s, other local agencies and our residents and patients from the local community is what makes this work exciting and meaningful. We are building a common understanding of our local population’s insights and needs so we can work better together for the benefit of the communities we both serve.”

Bernie Flaherty, Deputy Chief Executive, Westminster City Council, and Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Health in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council said “The #2035 collaboration will add value through listening, connecting, accelerating and amplifying. The real and powerful stories coming out of the work will help us to understand together the issues directly from our residents, helping to create a common purpose.”

To find out more about the Anchor Strategy and Change Network please email dominique.allwood@uclpartners.com

To find out more about the #2035 collaborative and Imperial College Healthcare involvement please email Hannah.franklin8@nhs.net