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The first Health Consortium workshop: market opportunities and key priorities

On Tuesday 6th February, Health Exchange, as part of the USE-IT project, hosted the first workshop in the development of a new health consortium. The aim of the workshop was to bring together potential members of the consortium to discuss market opportunities and key priorities. Graham Beaumont, CEO of Health Exchange and Chair of the Living Well Consortium attended as the guest speaker to share his expertise on developing consortia. The event was held at the Deaf Cultural Centre in Ladywood, one of the three wards (Soho, Ladywood and Smethwick) that will be covered by the consortium.

USE-IT (Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together) is a UIA project funded by the European regional development fund. The aim of the project is to address the reality of poverty and underemployment amongst indigenous and migrant populations leading to increased social, economic and environmental isolation. The project aims to do this by using existing social, cultural and educational micro and macro assets in the Ladywood, Soho and Smethwick wards of Birmingham.

One of the ways in which the project will address some of the issues in this area is through the development of a new health consortium. The aim of the consortium is to build on the capacity and knowledge base of third sector organisations to deliver a range of holistic health services at the point of need. These services will include mental health, carers support, social prescribing and primary care. By addressing some of the health inequalities within the target areas, it will be possible to support the movement to reduce poverty and unemployment.

The workshop was attended by representatives from a variety of small, medium and large health-focused organisations in the target wards. The event started with welcomes and introduction and was followed by a seminar by Graham Beaumont. Graham covered the importance of evidencing impact to demonstrate capability to commissioners and increase funding. He also discussed the benefits of working collaboratively to win bigger contracts and extend the reach of each organisation. He detailed how working as a consortia allows each organisation to use the strengths and resources of the other members to pursue a common goal that each organisation may struggle to achieve individually or allow access to new markets. He offered his experience of building and developing the Living Well Consortium to demonstrate the possibilities for achievement and support of local people.

Graham finished by discussing the existing upcoming market opportunities for each of the consortium’s focus areas. The workshop was also a great opportunity for each organisation to discover the potential role they could play in the consortium and how their mission would align with that of the consortium.

Full details of market opportunities are available exclusively to consortium members through the member’s area of the Health Consortium website which will be launching soon.

For more information or to join the consortium, email Michaela.Griffiths@healthexchange.org.uk

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