A healthy ageing innovation centre in Barking has appointed its first CEO.
From 11 October, John Craig will lead Care City, a research and education site which opened in January 2016 in Maritime House on Linton Road.
Craig will work on delivering on the centre’s two priority programmes: the healthy new town at Barking Riverside and the NHS innovation test bed.
Earlier this year, the Barking Riverside development, where 10,000 homes are planned, was selected as one of the sites for NHS England’s “healthy new towns” project – a scheme which aims to improve the health, wellbeing and independence of residents.
The project includes banning fast-food outlets near schools and encouraging walking by designing green spaces and building “dementia friendly streets”.
Among Craig’s priorities will also be working on the £1.7 million fund granted to Care City by the government in February as an innovation test bed.
The new CEO, who is a senior associate of Innovation Unit and has been working with FutureGov, the cabinet office’s policy lab, Shelter and Stonewall, will seek to secure further investment in the centre and work on social regeneration.
He said he was “excited” about the possibilities for Care City’s future.
Jointly founded by North East London NHS Foundation Trust and Barking and Dagenham Council, the centre aims to bring together social care organisations and the technology sector to explore solutions to problems associated with old age.
“Care City’s programme of work spans four domains: innovation, research, education and community,” Craig explained.
It is hoped that the centre’s activity will bring investment and opportunity to the area, facilitate social inclusion and boost employment.
Anne Bristow, strategic director of service development and integration at Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “One focus we have discussed with John is how to link the 11.3% unemployment we have in Barking and Dagenham with the staff vacancies across our health and care system.
"I am confident that his proven ability to create strategic clarity and drive social improvements will deliver great results and opportunities for our local community.”
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