Agenda item

Public Health Annual Report 2019 – Creative Communities


The Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing introduced the Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) 2019, an independent annual report of the Director of Public Health and a statutory requirement.


It was reported that engaging with cultural activities was good for everyone; it helped people to recover from illness, both physical and mental and protected against it; preventing illness and keeping people well no matter how young or old they were.


The 2019 Report, Creative Communities, explored the role of culture as a means of improving health and wellbeing, presented local examples of those bene?ts and called for everyone in Wirral to be part of a Borough of Culture legacy that left people happier and healthier.


The Cabinet noted that the PHAR was an important vehicle to identify key issues, flag up problems, report progress and inform local inter agency action. The purpose of the PHAR was to draw attention to local issues of importance which had an impact on population health. Since the Council took back responsibility for Public Health in 2013 it had published five reports on:


·  Social isolation

·  Healthy schools and children

·  Domestic violence

·  The roles of the Council and NHS in promoting health and wellbeing

·  Problem gambling


The Cabinet was informed that these reports had led to action in the reduction of people smoking in the Borough to levels below the national average; increased support for people who were feeling socially isolated plus significant activity across a range of partners to highlight and reduce the damage caused to local communities from alcohol abuse and gambling.


The 2019 Report sought to influence the developing narrative around social prescribing and how the Council engaged and worked with local people to support them to live healthier lives.


This matter was not a key decision but did affect all the Wards within the Borough.


Councillor Chris Jones thanked the Interim Director for Health and Wellbeing and her staff for the hard work they had put into the report.  She informed that the Council wanted to see a legacy from the Borough of Culture which would impact on health and wellbeing going forward.  The case studies in the report had showed the impact the cultural activities had.  The Borough of Culture had been fantastic and had brought a number of people together.


Councillor Jones informed that one thousand residents participated in the sofa session talking about culture and creativity and their own health and wellbeing.  The report would hopefully inspire and energise individuals and encourage increased collaboration between different disciplines and organisations.  The third sector had had a fantastic impact on this work.


Councillor Chris Spriggs emphasised the importance of the health and wellbeing aspects of the work that had been done.  Arts and creativity had provided a positive impact on individuals and on communities for a whole range of reasons. People were much more knowledgeable now and there were many ways creativity was used to help people with their mental health and with social isolation connecting better and celebrating community pride.  Councillor Spriggs reported that economically the quality jobs of the future were going to be in the creative and digital sector.


Councillor Spriggs also reported on the first ever Wirral Food and Drink Festival that had been held in Birkenhead Park in September 2019.  Over 30,000 people had attended this Festival and the feedback from it had been incredible.  People had come together, out in the fresh air to enjoy the food and drink and to listen to music.




That the recommendations of the Public Health Annual Report 2019 be endorsed and its publication be supported.

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