Council announces plans to
spend more than £20 million on health services over next 5 years
WIRRAL Council has announced plans to
spend more than £20 million on health services for the public of Wirral over the
next 5 years.
In a report going to Cabinet, on 5 September 2016, Councillors will be asked to agree
a significant investment on commissioned services to tackle a range of public
health priorities across areas such as addiction treatment, weight management
and sexual health.
Plans include a new service to help people find and access activities which will
improve their health and well being, to be introduced in Wirral over the coming
year. This new information and advice facility is aimed at better supporting
people with social, emotional or practical health needs.
A £2 million contract to deliver this service for 3 years will shortly go out to
Cllr Janette Williamson, Cabinet member for Public Health, said:- "We are
seeing the benefits of public health being part of Wirral Council in terms of
how we are able to focus on prevention and progress our pledge to provide people
with the tools and resources to improve their own health and well being.
This has never been so important, especially in the light of last week's
disappointing national health strategy which, instead of compulsory action on
the part of advertising agencies and food and drink companies, put the onus on
voluntary action by the individual to reduce levels of fat and sugar. We will
continue to draw on public health skills across the board as part of our
commitment to helping people live healthier lives."
Since the 'Health and Social Care Act 2012' came into force, local authorities
have had statutory responsibility for preventative public health measures. This
means Wirral Council locally takes the lead on encouraging people to lead
healthier lives and ensuring plans are in place to tackle infectious disease
outbreaks or other public health emergencies.
The Council does this by awarding a broad range of contracts to specialist
providers and managing these contracts to ensure agreed targets and priorities
At present, public health manages 110 contracts with 107 providers. All
contracts are kept under ongoing review to ensure they deliver the best possible
outcomes and value for money.
One of the major public health investments in the last few years has been on
services to help get young people on the road to a healthier and active
lifestyle from an early age.
Part of this is delivered by the 0-19 Health Promotion Team, which was set up in
September 2015. They have hit the ground running and have already supported more
than 200 young people with a wide range of activities.
These include a 'Fit Club at New Ferry Village Hall', which supports children and
young people; and their parents/carers; by providing advice on healthy eating,
along with physical activities which are fun for the entire family to get
The team offers incentives, such as free gym passes, to help people better
manage their weight and they also provide a DIY support packs to busy parents to
help them support their children with a healthier lifestyle.
They have worked in schools delivering health and well being programmes and
conducting health events and roadshows at other places, such as the Floral
Pavilion, St Catherine's Health Centre and the Laurie's Centre in order to raise
the profile of the team amongst the public and with other professionals.
The Active Wirral programme also plays a significant role in helping to get
young people along a healthier road. Active Wirral uses monthly themes and
promotions to engage families in active lifestyles and has developed its own
activities, such as the 10 Minute Shake Up and Dare to Dance, as well as
promoting the national Change4Life campaign.
Eating healthily has been high on the agenda too and the:- 'Takeaway for a
Change' project, a partnership initiative between the council's Public
Health and Environmental Health teams has engaged with more than 1,000 school
pupils over the last 18 months.
The teams go into schools and host workshops fitted around the school day
providing advice and support about healthy foods and how people can reduce the
volume of fat, sugar and salt in their diets.