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Ready to Act new Public Health plan to improve health and wellbeing in Norfolk

Norfolk County Council, 27 October 2023 00:00

Norfolk's new Public Health Strategic Plan prioritises prevention and identifies where Public Health and partners need to focus to improve health and wellbeing in the county.

The plan, being presented to Norfolk County Council's Cabinet next week, identifies opportunities for organisations and communities across the county to promote good health and support people's wellbeing.

These include promoting stop smoking initiatives and encouraging people to take up their free NHS health checks.

The publication of the plan follows the permanent appointment of Stuart Lines as Director of Public Health. Stuart has a strong background in working with local authorities to take a 'health in all policies' (HiAP) approach.

The strategic plan, called Ready to Change, Ready to Act details how the Council will work with key partners to help the people of Norfolk to make positive changes to their physical and mental health. It includes work to address the longer-term impacts of the pandemic, such as mental wellbeing, supporting healthy weight and promoting engagement with public health services.

Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Norfolk County Council, said: "Public health is all about helping people to live the healthiest lives they can. The County Council spends about £45m per year on public health services for adults and children of all ages, including drug and alcohol services, sexual health, support for giving up smoking, health visiting and health checks. It also works closely with local health services such as pharmacies and GP surgeries to provide support.

"People looking to improve their own health such as eating healthily, drinking less, quitting smoking or moving more can find advice and make a plan by going to the Ready to Change website

"We want people in Norfolk to start life well, live well and age well and that means promoting good health from pregnancy through to later life.

"Health in Norfolk is generally better than the national average but there are areas where we want to do more to improve people's quality of life, which is why this plan has prevention and partnership at its heart. We've developed the ten requests of those working across public services - because we know that working together and prioritising good health will improve lives and services for the people of Norfolk."

The Council wants its ten asks to be adopted by Health and Social Care partners, District Councils and voluntary sector organisations. In the longer term it plans to work with businesses to encourage them to commit to the same or similar areas.

The ten asks - referred to as Ready to Change - Ready to Collaborate - are:

  • Promote and communicate the Public Health Strategic Plan within their organisations and consider what resources can be provided to support prevention
  • Promote and work with us on stop smoking initiatives
  • Identify staff groups and individuals within your organisation for behaviour change training to support and advise the people they work with to make a change to improve their health. (i.e. Make Every Contact Count)
  • Promote and work with us on the 5 ways to wellbeing (mental health promotion)
  • Promote the uptake of NHS health checks for staff and service users
  • Work together to develop ways of promoting best start in life and healthy behaviours for children and young people
  • Work with us to identify and engage with individuals, groups and communities who would most benefit from prevention interventions
  • Actively participate and contribute to collaborative partnerships, such as Health & Wellbeing Partnerships, the Health Improvement Transformation Group, the Tobacco Control & Vaping Alliance, the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Partnership, the Sexual Health Network
  • Promote the importance of good health and more people actively engaging in thinking about their own health improvement
  • Work with us to embed the use of data and intelligence in decision-making

Cabinet will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Monday, 6 November. You can watch the meeting, live or afterwards and read the reports online.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:46