Issued by City of York Council
On Wednesday 17 April 2013 York’s Health and Wellbeing Board approved York’s first Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The strategy prioritises the most significant health and wellbeing issues for the city, and outlines the actions the Health and Wellbeing Board and its partners will be responsible for delivering over the next three years.
York’s Health and Wellbeing Board provides joint leadership across the city to create a more effective and efficient health and wellbeing system. The board aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people in York by integrating more of the health and wellbeing services that are provided across the city.
Members of the Board include City of York Council, Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), York Hospital, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust (mental health provider), HealthWatch, North Yorkshire Police, NHS England, York CVS and the Independent Care Group.
The Health and Wellbeing strategy focuses on the five following priorities:
1. Making York a great place for older people to live
2. Reducing health inequalities
3. Improving mental health and intervening early
4. Enabling all children and young people to have the best start in life
5. Creating a financially sustainable local health and wellbeing system
Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, deputy leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “I strongly believe the Health and Wellbeing strategy will pave the way for improving the health and wellbeing of the people of York; it will ensure we have the right services and provision in place to meet health and wellbeing needs.
“The strategy is the start of a new road along our journey to reduce health inequalities and achieve a joined-up holistic services. Changing our local health and wellbeing system is challenging and complex, but not impossible.
“The Health and Wellbeing Board has the authority and influence to lead cultural and behaviour change and has the overall stewardship of improving health and wellbeing outcomes for patients and residents.”
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Public Health, City of York Council – who is a member of and provides advice to the Health and Wellbeing Board – said: “The Health and Wellbeing Board will be working on city-wide health issues including Place of Safety and Neighbourhood Care Teams.
“Through the Health and Wellbeing Board, health and wellbeing organisations are working together to explore short-term and long-term solutions for providing a Place of Safety in York. We want to ensure that when people are detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act they are taken to a safe place where they can be treated with respect and dignity.
“Police custody, which is currently where people are detained in York, is not an appropriate Place of Safety.
“The Health and Wellbeing strategy also includes the implementation of Neighbourhood Care Teams in York. These are teams which bring together NHS, local government, independent and voluntary sector providers around the ‘neighbourhood’ of a GP practice.
“The aim is to provide patient-centred, multi-disciplinary, integrated and streamlined care closer to a patient’s home.”
Angela Portz of York CVS said: “York CVS believes it is crucial that the voice of the voluntary and community sector is heard by the Health and Wellbeing Board. Voluntary groups and charities provide a wide range of services to the most vulnerable members of our community, from specialist, medical related support through to social care services. Their understanding of the needs of local communities is vital to the success of this board.
“Through Healthwatch York we will also be able to ensure that local residents, patients, and service users are at the heart of our health and social care services in the city and have the opportunity to give their views on the services they need and use.”
Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “The introduction of the Health and Wellbeing Board is a significant opportunity to improve the service and accountability of public health provision in York.
“As a police officer I have had to deal with a range of issues that are life changing for people. I want to try and ensure that with other board members we improve the quality of public health for people in our communities and ensure that the most appropriate service and support is in place for individuals and families.”
Patrick Crowley, Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m really excited about the establishment of the Health and Wellbeing Board and the potential it has for leading the necessary improvements for people living in York.
“Public Health makes a vital contribution to this, and I look forward to working with local authority colleagues as they develop ways to help people to stay healthy and avoid ill health and disease.”
The Health and Wellbeing Board meetings are public meetings. Anyone with an interest in the strategy and local leadership for health and wellbeing in the city is welcome to attend. The next meeting is scheduled for 10 July 2013 at 4.30pm in West Offices.
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