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Paper 77: Organisational roles and responsibilities for health: interviews with representatives from the statutory and non-statutory sectors

Sarah MacDonald, Emily Harrop, Heather Rothwell, Simon Murphy

The idea of organisations taking responsibilities for health has both theoretical and political relevance. However, there is a need to develop a clearer understanding of how organisations conceptualise and respond to such policy initiatives across a range of sectors. Research was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government to explore perceptions of responsibility at different levels including individual, organisational and state roles and responsibilities for health improvement amongst the general public and key stake holders. This report focuses on the in-depth interviews with representatives across the health, local government, education, voluntary and community, business and media sectors in Wales.

This study provided further insights into who is acting to improve health and well-being, why these actions are being taken, how health improvement is being enacted and who organisations are working with to achieve this. Although overall, responsibility for improving health is largely taken and enacted by the statutory sector, there is a spectrum of more and less active organisations within all of the sectors. This study has highlighted a number of good examples of work undertaken within different spheres of influence but there are policy implications for the way in which the more active organisations could be better supported. Also, developing an evidence base on what works in terms of health improvement could quickly be put into motion across different sectors and the effectiveness of this would be optimised by building in an element of good practice sharing and peer support between local level organisations.

In terms of ongoing research priorities there is still a need to understand more fully the drivers behind the actions of more active organisations, understand the nature of corporate responsibility in the less active organisations and unpack influences on management perspectives.

Paper 77: Organisational roles and responsibilities for health: interviews with representatives from the statutory and non-statutory sectors, Series Working Paper Series, (2006), ISBN 1-904815-43-X