Focus on tackling inequalities to improve people's health

The latest Telford and Wrekin Annual Public Health Report has outlined that tackling inequalities will be central to improving people's health and wellbeing in the borough.

Focus on tackling inequalities to improve people's health

This Annual Public Health Report provides an overview of people's health and wellbeing in Telford and Wrekin and outlines recommendations on how local organisations can improve it. 

The key theme of the report is the need for organisations to work together to focus on tackling inequalities to improve people's health.

Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin's Director of Public Health and report author, said: 

"Our physical and mental health and wellbeing throughout life are deeply rooted in the circumstances in which we live.

"Men and women living in the borough's poorest areas live on average 7.3 and 4.1 years less compared to the most affluent areas. 

"This life expectancy gap remains unacceptable and unfair.

"The gap existed before the Coronavirus pandemic and may widen due to its long-term impacts and cost of living crisis.

"Inequalities is an issue for the entire country, not just in Telford and Wrekin - addressing this will be a key challenge in the future when improving health and wellbeing.

"Crucial to tackling inequalities is helping people have the best start in life, quality education, good housing and jobs, and opportunities for all, especially for the most vulnerable and excluded people. 

"No team or organisation can tackle inequalities alone, but by collaborating across organisations, we can make progress."

Cllr Kelly Middleton, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Public Health and Well-Being, Equalities and Partnerships, said: 

"The Coronavirus pandemic and the cost of living crisis are affecting the health and wellbeing of our poorest residents most.

"As a council, we are facilitating many programmes and initiatives so people can lead happier, healthier, longer lives - but national policy is having an impact.

"Locally, we have several innovative projects and programmes in Telford and Wrekin to tackle inequalities.

"The Early Years and Childcare Team works with over 200 nurseries and childcare providers, particularly to support children with additional needs, to ensure everyone is school ready.

"Through our Happy Healthy Active Holidays scheme, we've worked with local organisations to put on over 400 holiday clubs in the past year for the most disadvantaged children in the borough.

"We offer free support to young people to find new education, training or employment opportunities via the Telford Youth Hub. 

"Our Healthy Lifestyle Advisors have supported over 2,000 people to improve their lifestyles in the last year, with 60% of clients living in the poorest communities.

"We have worked with Telford Mind to develop a series of calm cafes for adults struggling with their mental health to meet others in a similar position.

"Health and social care partners, including learning disability specialists, continue to work together to promote good physical health for people with a learning disability. 

"We are also part of a collaborative project with the local NHS and Shropshire Council to promote physical and mental wellbeing annual health checks for people with a learning disability.

"These examples show how we work to give people the best start in life, target inequalities at our most vulnerable residents, and deliver innovative schemes by working with partners.

"We will build upon this work to drive down inequalities and to care for and protect our residents."

Read the Public Health Annual Report.