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[01 DEC 98] WARWICKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
The Health Of People In Warwickshire

The County council today championed a cause to link health and social care to make the best use of limited funds in the face of rising demands.

Councillor Ian Bottrill explains:

"Local people want action when it comes to life and death issues. Forging links between the Council’s departments, including Social Service and our partners in health care, makes great sense and provides the direct action people want.

"We have already proved that this can work. The cold winters are when the elderly are at their most vulnerable.

"By working with the Health Authority we targeted extra support to the elderly to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and help them to be safe and well in their homes. This also freed up beds for others in need.

"We are taking a wider look at how our services can benefit people across the board. We have taken an audit of health related issues with all our Council departments from education, to transport. Each department is beginning the process of highlighting how they can offer joint help.

"The results are encouraging and we will be inviting Tessa Jowell MP, Minister of State for Public Health to visit Warwickshire to highlight the positive effect of such joint initiatives."

The debate came following the release of the Acheson report that highlights the health inequalities between the rich and the poor.

The report painted the clear picture that quite simply states that "the poor are unhealthy". They have a shorter life expectancy, they suffer more from lung cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes, suicide and violent accidents. Their homes are colder.

Trish Haines, Director of Social Services, said:

"We welcome the report that highlights much of what we know already. The Warwickshire health initiative, is one way which we are trying to tackle these problems. This is about working with our partners in the health service can successfully target those in need and come up with a direct action plan."

NOTES

  • Frank Dobson, Health Secretary, praised and thanked Social Services Directors for work done in supporting elderly people coming out of hospital last winter.
  • The Health panel consist of members of the County Council and Director of Public Health from the Warwickshire Health Authority.
  • The Panel has explored several initiaives including Warwickshire "Health Promoting Schools" Award, which aims to promote the good health of everyone ineducation; Social Services joint initiative with Probation, education and health in the Drugs and Crime reduction project in Leamington and Rugby, to reduce the harm caused by Substance misuse, including drug-related health problems; series of road safety campaigns eg "Speed Kills", by Planning Transport and Economic Strategy Department. The aim is to look at ways that the Council can fulfill its role in improving the health of the people of Warwickshire – offering a "whole system approach".
  • Visits to the George Eliot Hospital Acute Trust, the North Warwickshire NHS Community Trust and the Health Authority have taken place to examine the work they do in detail.
  • To further the joint approach to improve health, Primary Care Groups are to be established from April 1999. There will be five in Warwickshire coterminous with the areas of the District Council and Social Services Districts. There will be Warwickshire County Council representatives on each Primary Care Group.
  • Other joint initiatives that are currently happening include a weekly joint panel based in each district. Each panel will be able to consider individual needs and deploy resources across the range of health and social care services. This arrangement is in direct response to an increasing demand for service during the winter.
  • 25,000 funding has been allocated to support the Health Panel.
             
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CWN / Politics / Warwickshire County Council / Press Releases / 01 Dec 98

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