Health is made at home: a conversation with Lord Nigel Crisp

In this Connected Places Podcast episode Professor Greg Clark speaks to Lord Nigel Crisp, former Chief Executive of the NHS and an independent crossbench peer in the House of Lords, about innovation for healthy homes.

We’ll be exploring the question of living a healthy life, not just in terms of avoiding sickness and disease, but creating health where we live, far away from the hospital ward. Where are the opportunities for innovation in how we imagine and create healthier homes and communities? What’s the role of government, public health institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals? What can the UK learn from health systems around the world?

Lord Crisp is the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, as well as a global campaign on nursing called Nursing Now. Before entering the House of Lords he was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Health and he was also the Chief Executive of the National Health Service, one of the largest health organisations in the world employing 1.5 million people. He is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Medicine.

Lord Crisp now works and writes extensively on global health issues with a strong focus on health and wellbeing practice in several African countries. His recent book, ‘Health is made at home, hospital is for repairs’ encourages us to think far more creatively about how we live and how we think about health.

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

Show notes

Conversation topics/themes:

  • How we need to be more innovative about creating health in homes, workplaces and communities, particularly given how the COVID pandemic has brought about a real step change in how we think about health.
  • Health at the city level and what the ‘healthy city’ looks like – how we can improve human interaction with the built environment in cities and create more active local communities, for better health outcomes.
  • Creating better partnerships between government, business and communities for better health and wellbeing outcomes.
  • Where the most exciting opportunities for innovation in healthy living lie, and some of the key the barriers to innovation that need to be tackled by both government and the private sector.
  • Regulating the built environment and Lord Crisp’s work on a Healthy Homes Bill, which would require all new homes and neighbourhoods to be of decent quality. The Bill would aim to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and encourage human flourishing in Britain’s communities.
  • What Britain’s local leaders and place-makers can be learning from abroad, including countries in the global south and other emerging markets that are important to Britain.   

To read the article mentioned in the episode ‘How neuroscience could shape a more empathetic built environment’ by Catapult Board Member and Chair of Commonplace Digital, Pam Alexander OBE, click here.

Are you an SME with a product or solution that helps older residents reduce the risks around trips, slips or falls in the residential housing sector? Would you like to know more about how you can apply to showcase your product at an Industry Day on 10th March? The deadline for the open call is Wednesday 17th February, so you need to be quick! Click here to find out how to apply, and to read more about how the Catapult is collaborating with Places for People (PfP) as part of their Forever Living Homes programme.

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