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Being an anchor institution

King’s has an important role to play beyond the direct delivery of health and care. We employ more than 15,000 people, spend around £1.6bn each year and have a responsibility to contribute to the success of our diverse local communities. We are embedded in our local communities and want to play a full role as an ‘anchor institution’.

What is an anchor institution?

‘An anchor institution is one that, alongside its main function, plays a significant and recognised role in a locality by making a strategic contribution to the local economy.’

Health Foundation – read more about The NHS as an anchor institution

Having a positive impact as an anchor institution is key to our five-year strategy, as reflected through the title ‘Strong Roots, Global Reach’. From ward to Board, our people are engaged with our strategy, and committed to driving forward initiatives that improve population health.

Our strategy sets out our BOLD vision for the future. As a priority action under our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, we have stated our commitment to be an effective anchor institution.

King’s anchor programme mission

Our mission is to support our local community to be healthy and to thrive. Just as an anchor keeps a boat steady in the water, our Trust should provide support and stability in the local community, making the neighbourhood healthier and stronger. By investing locally, developing the local community through employment and training, addressing climate issues, and working more closely with communities, we can help make the community better for everyone.

The four strategic objectives

1. Widening participation

We’re aiming to reach our goal of 260 apprenticeships each year across the Trust. We’re also teaming up with nearby schools to create a work experience program for students. Read more about our apprenticeships.

2. Community engagement

We are exploring how we can better work with community organisations, partners and representatives to ensure we are responsive to local needs, issues and opportunities. We are developing our plans through listening and collaborating with a variety of groups.

3. Supporting a 100% clean local economy

We are making the Trust’s environmental footprint smaller by cutting down on the amount of carbon dioxide, waste and pollution we produce. We’re also working to boost the amount of materials we recycle, use less disposable plastic and minimise the effects of our travel. Read more about our Green Plan.

4. Securing local value from our procurement processes

When we buy things or use services, we don’t just think about the price or quality. We also consider how these choices can make a positive impact on the people in our community and the area itself.

Look what our Brilliant People are doing

Widening participation

  • We partner with Project SEARCH to provide internships for young people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
  • We partner with local councils, schools and colleges to set up visits and joint employer days to encourage young people to consider a career in healthcare.
  • Through the SC1 London Life Sciences Innovation District we partner with local healthcare Trusts, King’s College London and our local boroughs to provide jobs which develop new cutting-edge innovations to improve patient care.

Community engagement

  • The Trust provides facilities and space to the charity The Listening Place to provide services for patients at risk of suicide.
  • We are focusing our capital estates projects and investment in the most deprived parts of our boroughs to support local economic growth. In 2021 we leased space in the newly redeveloped Loughborough Junction and Camberwell High Street.
  • We have been working closely with the charity Redthread for more than 10 years to deliver our Youth Violence Intervention Programme. This helps young people break out of the cycle of violence they sometimes find themselves in.

We are very ambitious about what we can achieve with our local communities and partners through this approach. We look forward to working together and providing updates on the progress we are making. If you are interested in hearing more about this work, please email [email protected]. If you would like to read more about this work, please see How anchor institutions improve population health: A Q&A with Roxanne Smith of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.