Improving the health of people in Warwickshire

On the 21st February this year, we held a public debate on the topic of “improving the health of people in Warwickshire”.

Rather than looking at the changes to the NHS nationally, the debate focused on what could be done locally to help people lead healthy lives, and how the County Council could work better with GPs, the NHS, voluntary groups and other local councils to improve the health of residents.

Around 90 people attended the debate, including members of the public, elected councillors, GPs and other health professionals. And there was consensus from all present that promoting the health and wellbeing of residents should be central to everything the County Council does.

At the debate, we heard that the team responsible for promoting better public health in Warwickshire has moved across from the NHS to the County Council. This team works on a number of proactive campaigns – covering issues such as smoking, obesity, flu vaccinations and sexual health – with a view that “prevention is better than cure”.

Those present welcomed the move, recognising the opportunities for better working in a number of areas ranging from social care to school meals, and country parks to children’s centres. This also applies to the district and borough councils, where housing officers already work with the Public Health team when visiting properties.

Dr John Linnane, Director of Public Health for Warwickshire, highlighted that the average life expectancy across the county varies by up to 8 years depending on which council ward you live in*. Noting the significance of this problem, it was agreed that all health agencies in Warwickshire should work together to address it.

A full list of the agreed actions from the debate can be found here

*(Source – Joint Director of Public Health Annual Report 2011 http://www.warwickshire.nhs.uk/CmsDocuments/40b11b63-656b-4147-914b-f17890e9bdd9.pdf)

Further info

Warwickshire County Council news article

Health and Wellbeing services

About Martyn Harris
I work for Warwickshire County Council as a Democratic Services Officer. What's that? Minute taker, researcher, advisor, general policy-type person. Throw in a healthy does of Scrutiny work and an interest in corporate governance and there you go.

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