The NHS represents a substantial part of the economic activity in most areas by being a large employer and providing a source of local economic activity. This is what's known as an ‘anchor institution’.
NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSEI) is exploring how providers can act more actively as anchors, using their economic power to reduce socioeconomic and health inequalities. There is little evidence on how providers can achieve these aims and further work is needed to identify mechanisms, facilitators and barriers for wider adoption across the NHS.
Using data from all NHS Trusts across England, this project aims to identify activities by which providers can boost their local economy and reduce health inequalities, particularly around employment opportunities they provide for local people. Researchers will do this by:
- Analysing the relationships between how much a provider spends and social, economic and health outcomes of the areas where they are located.
- Identifying local NHS areas with different trends in economic performance and different current practices for 3-4 in-depth case studies. These case studies will explore the underlying mechanisms by which providers can support local economies and identify barriers and facilitators.
- Creating a predictive model of how providers can intervene to positively affect their local economy, presented as an interactive dashboard (a ‘model anchor-hospital’).
The work is led by University of Manchester and NIHR ARC Greater Manchester.