Clients and Partners

The Best Medicine Campaign

As part of their Best Medicine Campaign, Relate commissioned NPC to research the effect of good relationships on health and well-being.

The challenge

We were commissioned by the charity Relate to research the role of relationships in good health and well-being. Relate wanted our findings to feed into their policy recommendations, and its wider The Best Medicine campaign, on the importance of the links between relationships and long term health conditions.

Our approach

We conducted a literature review of existing research around relationships and health; interviewed government, charities, service providers and academics; facilitated a roundtable discussion with experts to review findings and develop recommendations; and contributed insights from our work on how to support and strengthen the health system. Relate—experts in relationship practice and policy—led the policy review and formulation of the final recommendations.

The result

Our research demonstrates why policymakers should look seriously at relationships and their impact on health. As well as outlining the positive affect of support networks on patient recovery—that those of us with strong relationships are 50% more likely to survive life-threatening illness than people with weaker ones. It also revealed that good relationships can help prevent illness from occurring.

The final report was launched at a panel event which included Dr Martin McShane, NHS England Director for Patients with Long Term Conditions and the findings received extensive media coverage, including 16 national pieces. Relate reports that the research has resulted in meetings with the Department of Health, Royal College of Nursing and NHS England to discuss the issue further.

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