Improving health and wellbeing needs to be everybody’s business

A report to Telford and Wrekin Council’s Health & Wellbeing Board and Cabinet recognises the collective effort of partner organisations and communities who have together worked with the Council to help residents live happier, heathier, longer lives.

Improving health and wellbeing needs to be everybody’s business

Coming six years after Public Health teams transferred to local council’s from the NHS in 2013, the Public Health Annual Report reflects on the progress made to health and wellbeing in Telford and Wrekin since.

Liz Noakes, Statutory Director of Public Health and report author, said: “Our physical and mental health and wellbeing throughout life are deeply rooted in the circumstances we live.

“It is estimated that 80% of the causes of poor health lie outside the NHS, so improving health and wellbeing needs to be everybody’s business.

“We cannot make progress on health and wellbeing without the commitment of our partners and residents themselves. This report is about the actions we have taken with partners to make a difference locally, often working alongside different members of our communities to improve health and wellbeing.”

The report summarises the changes to health and wellbeing in Telford & Wrekin’s population in the past six years. Key indicators in the report show that in Telford & Wrekin:
• Overall, residents are living for longer with more years in good health
• There are fewer people smoking in Telford & Wrekin
• The number of people successfully completing treatment for alcohol addiction has increased.
• Teenage conceptions have fallen
• Physical activity rates in adults has increased

The report identifies that inequalities in health are increasing in Telford and Wrekin.

Health inequalities are the health differences that happen between people because of their socio-economic circumstances.

The gap in life expectancy between the poorest and most affluent communities has widened over this period – as the health of the poorest communities has either worsened or not improved. This is the same as the picture across the country.

Liz Noakes added: “Inequalities in health is an issue for the entire country, not just in Telford and Wrekin as austerity has hit the poorest and most vulnerable most. Addressing this will be a key challenge in the future”

“I am a firm believer that ‘improving health’ is everybody’s business as we say in the report title. Tackling health inequalities needs to be at the heart of our plans going forward and we will do all that we can to work with partners and residents to do this.”

The Public Health Annual Report is set to be endorsed by Health & Wellbeing Board on the 27th September and Cabinet on 10th October September.

Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Improving health and wellbeing needs to be everybody’s business.

“National austerity policies are having an adverse impact and are hitting the health of our poorest residents most.

“We need central government to take this issue seriously and take action.”

“As a council we are facilitating many programmes and initiatives that support people lead happier, healthier, longer lives but national policy is having an impact.

“Our Let’s Get Telford Active Fund has given grants to local communities to encourage physical activity, our community-based health champion volunteers are promoting health and wellbeing in their local communities, and we are ensuring drug & alcohol services are available for our residents to aid their recovery.

“We are creating a better borough that promotes wellbeing, by working together with partner organisations and communities to build new sustainable housing developments, improving access to green spaces and increasing the network of support from community health and wellbeing services for residents who need it most.

“This report recognises the improvements to health and wellbeing in Telford & Wrekin we have collectively achieved since 2013 and sets the direction for future public health action.”

View the Public Health Annual Report.

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