Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Commercial & Residential / Public health

Building a healthy and health-creating society: Social enterprise and business

By Andrew Sansom 09 Oct 2020 0

Our fifth webinar in the series ‘Building a healthy and health-creating society’, organised in partnership with Lord Nigel Crisp, author of the new book, ‘Health is made at home, hospitals are for repairs’, attracted listeners from across the globe – all keen to gain knowledge about the role of social enterprises and commercial business in health and wellbeing, not only as employers but also through the services and goods they provide.


The webinar offered examples in vertical farming, care giving, and the making of clothes, drawing out some of the lessons for the future. Discussion explored a range of questions, including: what is the role of social businesses in creating health and wellbeing? What government support is needed to increase their impact? How important is it to be entrepreneurial? And what should the NHS be doing to work with local businesses of all sorts?

The webinar featured an illustrious panel of speakers, including co-founder of Baroness Martha Lane Fox, who, while making her name in the travel industry, is no stranger to influencing policy on health and wellbeing.

In 2015, she was asked by the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to lead a commission on exploring ways in which there can be more digital inclusion across the NHS. Her recommendations included: making sure those with the most health and social care needs, who are often the least likely to be online, are included first in any new digital tools being used across the NHS; building the basic digital skills of the NHS workforce to ensure that everyone has the digital skills needed to support people’s health needs; and proposing that at least 10 per cent of registered patients in each GP practice be using a digital service by 2017. This summer, she was chosen to chair the House of Lords’ Covid-19 Committee, to consider the long-term implications of the pandemic on the economic and societal wellbeing of the UK.

The full speaker panel for the webinar was:


Mark Britnell, Global head of healthcare, government and infrastructure, KPMG International


Vidhya Alakeson, CEO, Power to Change

Jamie Burrows, CEO, Vertical Future

Paula Gamester, CEO, The Sewing Rooms

Richard Howells, The Tribe Project

Baroness Martha Lane Fox, independent member of the House of Lords, business woman and philanthropist

Lord Nigel Crisp, independent crossbench member, House of Lords; former CEO of the NHS in England, 2000-2006

The webinar series follows on from the launch of Health is made at home, hospitals are for repairs, a new book authored by Lord Nigel Crisp, former chief executive of the NHS, in which he tells the stories of the ‘health creators’. These are the people all over the UK who are tackling the causes of today’s major health problems – loneliness, stress, obesity, poverty and addictions – in their homes, workplaces and communities.

Organisations involved