“Wellbeing is managing the quality of my life. It’s the things I do and have that make me happy and make my life better.”
The partnership realises the vital role that people and communities play in health and wellbeing, so local provision and the people of Walsall are at the centre of planning and decision-making.
Walsall Together aims to better support people and the communities they live in, so they can manage their own health and wellbeing needs, prevent ill health and live happier lives.
The Walsall Wellbeing Outcomes Framework (WWOF) is owned by Walsall Together and its partners. It is a tool to support strategic leads across Walsall, ensuring wellbeing is at the heart of all decision making.
It provides the infrastructure for the partnership to plan, report, and account for its activity. It presents wellbeing as a shared priority, albeit with some individual accountability for its delivery (organisations with responsibilities in relation to their statutory duties or funding streams).
Our intention is to use the WWOF as a mechanism for analysing progress towards improved population wellbeing whilst simultaneously integrating it into all partnership activity.
The WWOF will be iterative, reviewed and improved on an annual basis.
Each year we will review thematic content on the fundamentals of wellbeing and their outcomes using the quantitative and qualitative indicators to provide an insight. There will be some subjective reporting from partners and the citizens of Walsall, adding value and providing a broader picture of local performance.
Health: Being healthy in body and mind
Meaningful connections: Having mutual and fulfilling bonds/relationships
Access to transport: Getting to the people we want to see and the places we want to go
Money: Being able to pay for our basic needs and fund the lifestyle we want
Meaningful activity: Engaging in activity we find stimulating and enjoyable
Co-creation: Having the freedom to shape our locality, so it positively influences our lives
Education and training: Developing the knowledge, skills and abilities we need and want
Where we live: Being satisfied with the building and/or the area we live in
Digital: Being able to use technological devices and access the internet
The WWOF is strengths based and positively framed. It defines wellbeing and identifies that personal (individual) wellbeing (the green circle) is bespoke to each individual but is influenced by nine fundamentals that impact on the way we think, act, feel and behave. It presents corresponding aspirational outcomes that can be monitored at a population level via strategic indicators. The model is surrounded by four core factors. There is clear interconnectedness between the factors, the fundamentals and developing, maintaining, or increasing wellbeing.
We are seeing a growing population, changing/more complex and long-term needs, there is a cost-of-living crisis, and more demand on services. All this is at a time when resources are scarce and whilst we are dealing with the aftermath of a pandemic. In Walsall there is added complexity, with 56% of the population being in the most deprived 20% in the UK. We know that wellbeing is negatively affected by deprivation, and this holds true even after allowing for personal attributes and situations. The WWOF is a significant milestone in our journey towards a comprehensive and inclusive approach to equity.
Drawing upon extensive research, strategies, policies, data, stakeholder insights, and the wisdom of Walsall’s residents, the WWOF was co-produced, by a partnership team of circa 25 stakeholders, over a period of 10 months. The consensus was that using multiple angles, to check and challenge, was positive in putting people at the heart of the design. Preference was given to Walsall residents responses when shaping the definition and identifying the fundamentals of wellbeing that matter to them the most.
The WWOF proposes an infrastructure for delivering priorities, it does not articulate how or what should be done. It is clearly based on human needs and rights. ‘I statements’ are aligned to pertinent quantitative exisiting indicators at the lowest level available. Subjective (qualitative) strategic indicators and operational/service user measures will be established in the future. The WWOF applies to primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention so it is less applicable to responding to short-term crisis. It is aimed at what we can influence at ‘place’ and not regional, national or global triggers of poor wellbeing.
From the research we were able to identify what ‘drives’ wellbeing. This was crucial for framing our approach to identifying the eighty plus strategic indicators that sit under the WWOF. We selected one or more indicators relevant to each driver. We looked for them at the lowest level of geographic granularity. The indicators were already available in the public domain and were recently and frequently updated. In some cases, data wasn’t sufficiently relevant to the driver of wellbeing to justify inclusion, so local indicators will be developed to longitudinally monitor progress, but without the capability of out-of-area benchmarking.
The WWOF can be used to explore how we achieve equity, whilst also analysing the impact existing assets have on quality of life. It will shift attention from mapping an area’s vulnerability to understanding the capacity and capability of people helping themselves. It will foster dialogue, encourage the exchange of knowledge, and facilitate the co-creation of solutions as well as reducing duplication of effort, resources, and funding. It will require ongoing collaboration, but by committing to this WT will be taking a more inclusive approach to leadership, evidencing success, commissioning and their approach to strengthening communities.
The WWOF will be applied and implemented by leaders across all sectors, for the benefit of residents. It does not have a specific focus on children and young people (CYP) due to their age specific requirements and social standing, which inevitably will lead to a set of bespoke outcomes. However, by improving quality of life of their significant others and strengthening the community, CYP will experience new opportunities and the freedom to grow.