This report asks the members of the Health and Wellbeing Board to consider how they and the organisations they represent can encourage and support the system to improve health and wellbeing with respect to the future state described for theme 1 of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy: Giving every child a good start.
The Health and Wellbeing Board recently refreshed the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) which covered a five year period. The JHWS was based around five themes:
· Theme 1: Giving every child a good start;
· Theme 2: Enabling our older population to live independently and well;
· Theme 3: Preventing early death and increase years of healthy life;
· Theme 4: Improving physical and mental health and well-being; and
· Theme 5: Reducing health inequalities.
This report focused on the first theme ‘Giving every child a good start’. Appendix 1 to the report provided a summary of information about this theme. The “future state” section contained the priorities from the Strategy rephrased to describe how these priorities would look in a successful future state. In view of these aims, Board Members were asked to consider how they could support or encourage organisations in the system to take action to improve health and wellbeing with respect to Theme 1 of the JHWS.
With reference to the Council Plan Monitoring reports, a Member commented that a number of the measures set out within Appendix 1 to the report were consistently reported as below target. Whilst it was recognised that many Local Authority maintained schools had converted to academies, the Member suggested that Local Authority appointed Governors be given the tools to spread key health messages with school leads. He expressed particular concern about childhood obesity and vaccination rates. In response to these concerns, the Director of Public Health advised the Board that childhood vaccination rates had improved, although more work was needed to advance progress. He also explained that the Council would be undertaking a deep dive into physical activity.
A Member suggested that it would be useful to have a second appendix which provided details of organisations which could help achieve the desired state set out within Appendix 1 of the report. In addition, with reference to paragraph 1.3 of agenda item 8 (Development of Single Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group), a Member asked that the risks within this report be updated to reflect the core issues that the current CCG had not been able to address. The Director of Public Health undertook to review the linkages between reports going forward.
Members also commented as follows:
· School exclusion: given that the consequences of exclusion from school could be extremely devastating on a child, exclusion rates needed to be reduced. It was suggested this was an important statistic to monitor.
· Encouragement and participation: showing individuals how to change behaviours to positive habits by explaining the benefits was better than saying ‘don’t do it.’
· Peer engagement groups: reflecting on the Board’s development session and previous experience, a Member explained that programmes which foster encouragement from peers were effective and should be part of the system.
· Signposting: access to a central resource, for example a call centre, which could signpost to available services was important.
· Prevention and early intervention: focussing on prevention and early intervention would secure better outcomes and be more cost-effective.
In response to these comments, it was explained that it was a priority to build a resilient community within Medway, where the health and social care system listens and acts on people’s needs. Under the health system transformation proposals, services would be more integrated which would help to reduce barriers. Moreover, by establishing the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) there would be a long term focus to deliver outcomes based on local priorities. It was also explained that there was a social prescribing service within Medway. In relation to exclusion rates, the Board was assured that the Regional Schools Commissioner was actively engaged to reduce exclusion rates within Medway’s academies.
The Health and Wellbeing Board commented as set out within the minute how they can support or encourage organisations in the system to take action to improve health and wellbeing with respect to Theme 1 of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.