taking the bevan principles beyond health-care


Recently I spent the day with these legends of men at an event for the Bevan Commission.

Now you might think this post is just an excuse to share the photograph! But it really isn’t.

Rugby icon Gareth Edwards and the one-and-only Max Boyce were putting their ‘legendaryness’ (new word?) behind The Prudent Approach – specifically in terms of health care.

They were helping us focus on the four Bevan Principles of:

1. Achieving health and well-being with the public, patients and professionals as equal partners through co-production.

2. Caring for those with the greatest need first, making the most effective use of skills and resources.

3. Doing only what is needed and doing no harm – no more, no less.

4. Reducing inappropriate variation using evidence-based practices consistently and transparently.

Now. I think these principles – in essence – can apply across all our public services, and not just health.

together in wrexham

One of the key themes behind these principles is the idea of enabling people and communities to be more self-reliant. In our own small way, we’re already doing this in Wrexham.

Last year I wrote about something called Together in Wrexham – a drive to encourage more individuals, communities and groups to come together to make a difference.

We’re helping residents willing to volunteer some time, knowledge or resources link-up with like-minded people to make things happen.

We’re also offering financial help through grants and loans.

Recent examples include The Gwerin y Coed Forest Group.

The group used a grant of £5,000 to expand its team of volunteers, who run weekly outdoor sessions for families of children with ADHD or autism.

The drug and alcohol support agency CAIS was also given a grant of £5,000 to support clean-up days.

Volunteers work with community councils to identify areas that need a bit of ‘TLC’, carrying out litter-picks, weeding, painting and other work.

And the Vic Studios – a social enterprise which provides recording and rehearsal space for young performers – was also given £4,995 to help it grow.

Did it make a difference?

Mike Corcoran, a volunteer at the studio, says: “At the point of applying for Together in Wrexham funding, Vic Studios was just opening its doors as a newly formed, independent social enterprise.

“The funds were essential to support our organisational development, growth and the re-launch of the studios, having previously been operated as a local authority service until 2015.

“Since then, we’ve seen our young beneficiaries perform to huge crowds in Wrexham town centre as part of the Focus Wales music festival, provided specialist support to over 130 individuals with a variety of complex needs, and welcomed almost 1,000 people back into Vic Studios to record, rehearse and get creative.”

Yes. I think it did.

We have lots of other examples of Together in Wrexham helping people and communities become more self-reliant.

We’re not changing the world, but we’re putting some of the Bevan Principles into practice – across many walks of life.

It feels like we’re starting to help people and communities take ownership of the things they want to own.

That’s a good thing.

To find out more, visit the Together in Wrexham website.