Good Practices Overview | Basque Country | Czech Republic | Norrbotten | Puglia | Scotland

Building Healthier and Happier Communities (BHHC)

Part 1: General Information

  • Publication on EIP on AHA Portal: Yes
  • Copyright: Yes
  • Verification of the Good Practice: Yes
  • Evaluation of the Good Practice: No
  • Type of the Good Practice: Promising practice

Summary of the good practice:
Building Healthier and Happier Communities (BHHC) is a fresh approach to improving the health and quality of life of people and communities across Scotland. It is a national programme that is delivered locally. BHHC evidences the proposition that greater investment in the third sector’s capacity can significantly enhance the quality of life for people living in their own communities. Charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations of all shapes and sizes already make significant impacts in areas like early intervention, prevention and care, and support for people with complex and multiple conditions.


  • Geographical scope: Local level
  • Region / Country involved: Scotland, UK
  • Type of practice: Promising practice
  • Population covered in the good practice: 1,000 – 9,999

Challenge addressed by the good practice
Our challenge was to highlight where collaboration within the third sector, between the third sector and statutory agencies (particularly the NHS) could work better, and to explore how health care could be better integrated with social care to help address social isolation in East Dunbartonshire. Joining up the dots will help provide a holistic approach to our health and our happiness, especially as the Scottish health and social care integration agenda gets underway.
The project was launched as the statutory infrastructure for health and social care was evolving. The immediate pressure on the project was to identify the key role that the third sector could play in the delivery of integrated public health and social care services, and ensure credible representation was secured to enable genuine partnership.
The relationships between the third sector and the statutory service providers were, in the main, enabled through short-term contracts and service level agreements. These relationships were often maintained without a more strategic overview of the opportunities for more equitable cooperation and co-production build on trust, partnership building embracing a genuine understanding of the benefits to both service delivery and community wellbeing.

Key innovative elements of the good practice
BHHC has:

  • enabled greater awareness and understanding of the role of the third sector in public service provision;
  • secured greater connectivity and collaboration around the delivery of community based care; and
  • promoted wider knowledge of how community assets can be better used to co-produce the national health and wellbeing outcomes.

The process of jointly exploring collaborative work has left a legacy of measures and partnerships that has built a movement of people from all sectors committed to ongoing development of services aimed at measurable improvement in the health and happiness of individuals and the wider community.
Learning from the BHHC approach can provide a partnership option to integration authorities as they consider how best to deliver community based approaches to care and to third sector organisation as to how they might contribute to national health and wellbeing outcomes.

Transferability of the good practice

  • Resources required for deployment
    The project was jointly facilitated by staff from SCVO (Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations) and EDVA (Voluntary Action Scotland) along with active participation and support from statutory service providers, notably East Dunbartonshire council, ED Community Health Partnership and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The pilot was funded by the Scottish Government to the tune of £510,000 which covered staffing and development work, delivery (including events) and evaluation. Having undertaken this pilot project rollout costs in other localities would be significantly less.
  • Total budget: €100.00 – €499,999
  • Source of funding: Regional Funding
  • Implementation of the good practice
    Preliminary consultation was facilitated between the third and statutory sectors. One of the criteria for selecting East Dunbartonshire was the established relationships between the key players so this introductory stage was relatively straight forward. The detailed project was delivered through a series of overlapping and inter-related actions, including logic Model workshops, networking events, a meet the funder event, evaluation surgeries and shared learning events. We also provided direct funding to nine local organisations to act as case studies on practice and opportunities for enhanced community care.
    A number of issues were identified during the implementation of the good practice, any of which centered amainly around the perceived cultural differences between the third and statutory sector. In particular issues for the third sector were:

    • Lack of awareness of the range of activities and services provided by the sector (and by other organisations across the sector)
    • Limited communication and networking between service sector service providers (and between communities across the locality)
    • Difficulty in securing funding and subsequently meeting reporting requirements
    • The need to develop and strengthen key skills
    • Other practical difficulties such as accessibility, travel costs and differential venue availability.

Sustainability of the good practice
The published evaluation report on the pilot project has clearly evidenced the short and long term benefit of the BHHC approach. The practice report can be viewed at .


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