Improving health is everyone's business

Telford & Wrekin Council is looking at a fresh approach to improving health in the borough

Improving health is everyone's business

The Council’s Director of Public Health will present her annual report to cabinet on 8 January.

The report suggests that the Public Health Team should work with the Development, Business and Employment Team to develop specific policies which support the creation of healthy environments, for example, controlling the number of new fast food outlets within local centres and near schools, in the Shaping Places Development Strategy.

This approach to improving health, which combines developing programmes to encourage individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles with working with a wide cross-section of teams across the council and partners such as schools, planning and employers,  to consider their contribution to making Telford a healthy town.

Improving Public Health has only recently become the responsibility of local councils and the annual report reflects the opportunity this allows to combine resources and to address the issues that can make the biggest difference to tackling health inequalities.

The annual report makes a number of recommendations for cabinet to consider, including:

• Working with schools to improve emotional health and wellbeing and give children the best possible start in life.
• Future consideration should be given to the number of new fast food outlets in local centres and close to schools.
• The important role employers can play in ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees. 
• Recognition of the valuable contribution volunteering can make to volunteers themselves and to others and to increase the number of volunteering opportunities in the borough.
• The importance of our mental health and illustrates how even small changes can have a positive impact on our self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing.

The Director of Public Health in Telford & Wrekin, Liz Noakes, said: “This year’s Annual Public Health Report is focussed on some of the causes of poor health and makes recommendations for how to tackle these.

“The approach we have taken in Telford and Wrekin is to make improving health an issue for everyone. In this way we can help to support the future success of the borough.”

Councillor Richard Overton, cabinet member for Public Health, said: “This report demonstrates how as a Cooperative Council we can all work together to ensure that the health of the borough is a priority and that our local policies are as joined up as possible.

“I will be urging that the cabinet accepts the recommendations in the report to ensure a healthier outlook for Telford and Wrekin.”