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ASPH already plays a vital community role when local people are unwell or have had an accident.

Alongside our role in responding to the health needs of the local community, the Trust now wants to play a role in tackling the wider determinants of health and wellbeing and health inequalities to prevent and reduce illness, disease and suffering. Not only will this reduce demand on hospital services, it will improve sustainability and support wider local economic growth and wellbeing.

Becoming an ‘anchor organisation’ is recognition of the big impact ASPH has on local communities and the opportunity to have an even more positive impact.

With almost 4,000 employees and volunteers, ASPH is one of the area’s biggest employers. As custodians of two main hospital sites and large areas of outdoor space, how we maintain and look after them can make a positive - or negative-impact on the local environment.

To make the right decisions about our future as a local anchor organisation, we want to understand more about the impact we have and what the community needs and wants. To do this we have engaged an organisation called Well North Enterprises, which has worked in a number of other locations on similar projects. Lord Andrew Mawson, who chairs Well North Enterprises, co-founded the renowned Bromley-by-Bow centre in east London, which was an early exemplar of an integrated model of healthcare, and was involved in regeneration of Lee Valley as part of the 2012 London Olympics.

In the coming months colleagues from Well North will be talking to patients, local people, businesses and other organisations such as schools and colleges. Well North has already started this work. It spoke to local people at the Community Open day on 6 July, which Lord Mawson attended, and to members at the 16 July Annual Member’s Meeting. Well North is also canvassing the views of staff.

Tom Smerdon, Director of Strategy and Sustainability at ASPH, said: “ASPH has a strong track record as a successful organisation, which gives us a good foundation to thrive in the future as an anchor organisation. As a founder member of the North West Surrey Integrated Care Partnership, and with exciting plans for the transformation of our buildings and services, we have a once in a generation opportunity. Well North Enterprises bring an impressive track record of experience and credentials to support us in making the most of that opportunity for the benefit of our communities.”