A new strategy to help guide the council’s public health work for the next four years has been adopted.
The new Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2021 outlines the approach that will be taken by the council and other organisations, which make up the South Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board, to improving the health of everyone living and working in the area.
The Strategy sets out four key areas where the Board feel they can make most impact by working together:
- Improve educational attainment of children and young people, and promote their wellbeing and aspirations
- Promote and enable positive mental health and wellbeing for all
- Promote and enable good nutrition, physical activity and a healthy weight for all
- Maximise the potential of our built and natural environment to enable healthy lifestyles and prevent disease.
The Health and Wellbeing Board is chaired by South Gloucestershire Council Leader, Councillor Matthew Riddle and brings together local organisations with an interest in health: Healthwatch South Gloucestershire, NHS South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, South Gloucestershire Council, The Care Forum, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Office, North Bristol NHS Trust, Sirona care and health, and the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.
The final Strategy is the product of joint working in the drafting, followed by public consultation last year, which highlighted public agreement with the key priorities.
After consultation, it was clear that the public particularly endorsed the focus on tackling the issues that can lead to poor health, as well as on treating the symptoms of illness. Early interventions, such as raising understanding of, and aspiration to, good health in education was supported, as was the prioritisation of steps to protect and improve mental wellbeing.
Respondents agreed that tackling inequalities should be a priority for the Strategy. In particular the effect of poverty or deprivation on education, nutrition and living conditions. It was also highlighted that providing access to information as well as services and information for different groups is essential.
Councillor Riddle said: “I am pleased that we now have an updated Strategy, which is not only agreed by the other members of the Board, but also has public endorsement. By working together, we can and will make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people who live and work in South Gloucestershire.
“It is important that we focus on areas where our input can make a real difference and I know that all members of the Board are committed to working in our areas of expertise to make a collective contribution to everyone’s health and wellbeing.”
The strategy has been developed from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, which provides local authorities with a comprehensive picture of the current and projected future health and wellbeing of the population. More information about the Strategy is available online at: http://edocs.southglos.gov.uk/healthandwellbeingstrategy