The purpose of this report is to provide an update to the Board on key Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) indicators.
The Director of Public Health introduced the report which presented, at Appendix 1 to the report, an update on the indicators which related to the five themes of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS). It was noted that the JHWS had been refreshed in 2018, following consideration by the Board. The Director of Public Health drew the Board’s attention to a number of key achievements under each theme, as set out at section 3 of the report.
Members raised a number of points and questions, including:
Links to the JHWS - A Member commended the achievements obtained thus far and in relation to examples of initiatives in his ward, such as a project to improve accessibility of high street shops and a proposal to host a community café within the local Adult Education Centre, asked the Director of Public Health how Councillors could connect with the workstreams underpinning the JHWS. The Director of Public Health emphasised the value of work undertaken within the community and he recognised the importance of capturing this. He explained that the Public Health Team, working with the Medway NHS CCG, were creating a Directory of Services which would be utilised to assist Care Navigators and others in social prescribing, he recognised that valuable links could be made in this regard. He also explained that support could be provided to assist the initiatives set out by the Member and he agreed to discuss this further with the Member outside the meeting.
Initiatives to reduce obesity - A Member outlined an initiative within his ward, in which a local supermarket had invited children and young people to take part in an event to pick and prepare fresh food. The Director of Public Health welcomed further engagement with supermarkets on projects such as this and undertook to liaise with the Member outside of the Meeting. He added that there was a healthy weight network within Medway which held an annual conference.
Smoking prevention (including vaping) - In response to a concern expressed in relation to a lack of emphasis on smoking prevention, the Board was assured that smoking prevention was being addressed. The Director of Public Health explained that much work had been undertaken in conjunction with the Council’s Licencing and Enforcement Team’s to minimise the availability of illegal and counterfeit tobacco products. In addition, it was explained that the Public Health Team had engaged with Medway’s schools and 84% of them (89 schools in total) had undertaken the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme which addresses smoking prevention. The Chairman of the Board also provided examples of initiatives in Medway concerning reducing smoking prevalence, such as work with Medway Foundation Trust (MFT) to reduce smoking at time of delivery (SATOD). The Chairman asked the Chief Executive of MFT to express his thanks to maternity staff for their help in this regard.
Health inequalities in Medway - Asked whether there were any areas of deprivation within Medway causing concern and of which were not outlined in the report presented to the Board, the Director of Public Health advised the Board that the Public Health Team had recently completed work on health inequalities for the NHS Medway CCG which he would share with the Board. The Clinical Chair, NHS Medway CCG stressed the importance further exploring health inequalities in Medway. He noted that the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived was getting wider and that people living in areas in the most deprived decile of deprivation are particularly disadvantaged and experiencing poorer outcomes. He drew the Board attention to the example of diabetes. There was a clear inequality in relation to hospital admissions for diabetes complications. This needed to be better understood given that metrics of diabetic care in primary care didn’t show the same level of variation. The Clinical Chair suggested that this was a complex matter that should be reviewed in detail. A Member requested that health inequality (deprivation) be added to the Board’s Work Programme. It was suggested that to enable a fuller discussion that it be added to agenda of the Board’s development session, scheduled for later in the year.
In summarising the discussion, the Chairman stressed the importance of partnership working and highlighted a number of upcoming initiatives including a breastfeeding friendly campaign.
The Health and Wellbeing Board:
a) noted the indicator updates set out in Appendix 1 to the report; and
b) agreed to add consideration of health inequalities (deprivation) to the agenda for the development session.