The future of our NHS and the power of community: A relational approach

Summer 2015
Anna Betz

Lead practitioner in Camden & Islington Foundation Trust; Medical Herbalist; Co-director of School of Commoning.
Ever since I woke up to the Commons in my life, or the Commons woke up in me, I started to experience life in a renewed, more connected and purposeful way. Knowing in my heart that a different world is not only possible but already happening amongst us inspired me to find examples of projects that model important parts of our future in health and social care.The realisation that as isolated disconnected groups we will not be able to transform the system as a whole inspired me to create an online platform called HealthCommonsHub. It serves to connect projects like the ones mentioned in this article in a meaningful and coherent way. Collectively engaging with what matters to us deeply seems our best chance to develop a shared roadmap for the future in healthcare.


A new community impulse is awakening globally; a growing movement whose core is holism. Its many facets are already informing a larger perspective on health and social care. Chief among them are a concern with the whole person – body, mind and spirit, co-production of health, compassion in health- care, working with rather than against Nature and
the all-important need for health and healthcare to become sustainable.To support this awakening HealthCommonsHub has been created.

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Entrenched political and economic interests are standing in the way of change and inclusion of people and communities as equal partners in health creation. The change we need will naturally not come from those with invested interests in the way the system operates at the moment but from caring, capable and open minded individuals and networked communities that already model an important part of our future through their relational approach.