Priority Four: Social Capital and Building Communities

This priority involves improving health and wellbeing by developing social capital, including neighbourliness, family support and personal responsibility.  Social capital can be defined as the “glue” that holds communities together and is a combination of civic engagement, neighbourliness (reciprocity and trust in neighbours), social networks (friends and relatives), social support (preventing loneliness) and perceptions of the local area (Office for National Statistics 2008).

The priorities reflect some areas and population groups requiring particular attention and where progress may have been slower, in other areas the Board do not yet have the complete picture so need to undertake more detailed health needs assessments for example, veterans and mental health.

Evidence available relating to this priority includes:

Our focus for Priority Four is to:

  • Build on the strengths in our communities and promote social cohesion and support for vulnerable groups and individuals
  • Carry out a Health Needs Assessment for mental health to better understand future commissioning needs
  • Target the most vulnerable individuals for fuel poverty and housing interventions
  • Take effective action to address homelessness and improve the quality of the housing stock across Devon
  • Ensure the health needs of offenders in institutional settings and the community remain a priority

Further information of these areas of focus are available in the sub-sections below.