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

Building Healthier and Happier Communities (BHHC)

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. With the right support, there is scope for them to make even more of a difference.
BHHC sought to improve understanding of how a strategic investment in the capacity of the third sector can manage demand for statutory services and improve the quality of life for people in their own communities.
A pathfinder (pilot) for the national programme took place in East Dunbartonshire between October 2013 and March 2015. Its aim was to understand how a change in community capacity can enable prevention at the locality and primary care levels.
The learning and experience of the pathfinder is documented in reports, all of which present compelling evidence to demonstrate that the objective was achieved, and as such will now inform future developments.

Challenge addressed by the good practice

Mental health, disability, fitness, creative approaches to therapy and recovery – are some of the areas where third sector health groups are providing specialist support and pioneering ideas.
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.

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.

Full Scirocco information on the good practice

SciroccoGP-Scotland-1-BHHC-Building-Healthier-and-Happier-Communities.pdf [PDF]

Publications and reports on 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 .

Contact point: Ian Mathieson;

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