Briefing Report - Keeping People Healthy
- Meeting of Cabinet, Thursday, 12th April 2012 6.15 p.m. (Item 401.)
- View the background to item 401.
A report by the Director of Public Health reminded the Cabinet that within the Budget agreed at the Council, it had been stated that:
“The transfer of public health responsibilities to the Council and the establishment of our health and wellbeing board provide the opportunity to strengthen cross-sector working between the Council, the NHS and the voluntary sector to reduce inequalities, increase efficiency and improve health outcomes.
Members were advised that keeping people in good health means that we need to go beyond provision of separate services and single-issues, and look at providing an integrated response and model of support in our communities. The approach recommended was to assess what services we have currently supporting different parts of the borough, to assess how those services can work more closely together and to develop a model where we can ensure that people can get the support they need as easily and simply as possible. They are likely to include services for supporting people on healthy lifestyles, self-care and independent living, families and early years, work, learning and skills, health protection and personal safety, community development and leisure and welfare.
The Director of Public Health advised that this would enable those commissioning and providing services to offer a holistic and systematic offer of support to all those who could benefit from it. We will also identify areas of Wirral where we can implement this in the first instance so that we can evaluate the benefits before rolling out more widely. This work had been identified as a work stream for the Health & Wellbeing Board, and will initially be supported by place-based leadership funding from the National Leadership Council. “
The Cabinet was informed that there had been a call for a shift in public health emphasis from preventing illness to keeping people well and building on individual and community assets in recent years. ‘Living Well’ was a North West public health call to action to reduce inequalities through prioritising wellbeing. Wirral had been used as a case study in national reviews of this approach as a result of the work it had done in the Health Action Areas and Wirral’s Community Health Programme. The report provided a briefing on evidence for this approach, and highlighted the steps that would be taken in building on this early start to achieve the Council’s aspirations for improving public health outcomes for people living and working in Wirral.
The report identified that Wirral’s shadow Health and Wellbeing Board had identified this approach as its public health workstream, and with support from the National Leadership Council, had set up a workshop and invited colleagues from all sectors to explore the potential for developing a model which could be tested in Wirral. This workshop had taken place on 20 March 2012 and a report detailing the discussions, and the suggested actions would be presented to a future Health and Wellbeing Board. The key issues debated during the workshop were highlighted in the report.
That the contents of the report be noted, and it be agreed that the direction of travel for this project is, in principle, are in line with the aspirations of the Council in its role as a public health organisation.