Wellbeing Agencies in the High Street: The Rebirth of Primary Health Care?

Geoffrey Meads*
Health Sciences Research, Health and Wellbeing Research and Development Group, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK

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Creative Commons License
© Geoffrey Meads; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester. SO22 4NR. UK; Tel: 00 44 (0)1962 777721; E-mail:


The rapid increase in frontline service outlets offering Wellbeing services offers new opportunities to promote public health. However, driven by both economic and social policies closely linked to the needs for both new business development and cultural integration, the expansion in organisational practices also carries it with some risks to public health. In more market oriented health systems these include possible negative consequences for both the longitudinal care provided through general medical practices and the application of evidence based medicine.

In this context the scoping review draws on indicative findings from fieldwork in two international exemplar sites in the UK and Australia, where the concept of Wellbeing is being embedded, to identify priorities for future health policy and management research. The analysis is framed by the WHO’s enduring core principles for Primary Health Care, with the data capture employing an ethnographic approach that includes key informant interviews in Melbourne over a six months period in 2015/16. The findings include an unexpected emphasis on the need for knowledge in respect of the communities of interest and practice forming around novel therapies and interventions that assert public health values.

Keywords: Diversity, High street, Primary health care, Social organization, Wellbeing, Wellness.