With the nation facing public health challenges of epidemic proportions, councils across England are taking a design-led approach to address issues faced at both a local and national level. Design Council's Design in Public Sector programme is delivered in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA).

Delivered over a 16-week period, the intensive programme enables public health professionals to use design to improve health outcomes working collaboratively with partners and the local community, with the health of the nation at the core of their agenda.

“We recognise that there is a growing movement of design thinking and innovation in public services and the LGA is keen to equip more councils with the necessary tools and knowledge” said Cllr Paul Bettison, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board. “Public health is an area within local government being asked to deliver prevention strategies and improve the health of our communities and we are pleased to be working with councils to support them in learning design tools and techniques to help achieve this.”

Seven councils across the north of England have already joined this year’s cohort, with each aiming to affect positive change across their respective regions. The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council is one of the seven local authorities from the northern cohort and aims to create a healthy, vibrant district by bringing together health and care services with the built environment. By contrast, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council is seeking to lower teenage pregnancy rates to ensure improved health and wellbeing outcomes for young men and women, while Stockport Council aims to reduce social isolation by working closely with multiple stakeholders to commission new approaches based on prevention.

“Design Council is delighted to be delivering the Design in Public Sector programme in partnership with the Local Government Association again this year,” said Ellie Runcie, Director of Growth and Innovation for Design Council. “The breadth of public health challenges being addressed in the north of England demonstrates the need for local authorities to explore new approaches to shape models based on prevention, and the appetite to do this working collaboratively with a broad range of public health stakeholders and the local community. We look forward to the launch of the programme in the north of England in Leeds this week.”

Applications for the north of England are now closed. The call for applications from councils in the south of England is now open. However, with the deadline of 29 November 2017 fast approaching, councils are encouraged to apply now. For more information on how to apply please visit our Design in the Public Sector page.

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