Welcome to this second update on the Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2013 – 16. The Devon Health and Wellbeing Board has been in place as a full committee of Devon County Council since April 1st 2013 and continues to focus on promoting health equality.
The on-going analysis of the joint strategic needs assessment confirms that the four strategic priorities remain relevant and are helpful way of framing activity focused around the life course approach:
Theme 1: A focus on children and families
We want all children in Devon to have the best start in life, growing up in loving and supportive families, and being happy, healthy and safe. This means access to high quality universal services such as health care and education; early intervention when needed, and targeted support for children and families who are in difficulties. We want to prevent children and young people developing emotional problems and having to live in poverty, or where they or their families are affected by abuse, violence or misuse of substances, so that we prevent problems being passed from generation to generation.
Theme 2: Healthy lifestyle choices
We want people in Devon to choose to live healthy lives – by taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and particularly by eating healthy food, moving more every day, not smoking, not drinking alcohol excessively, and being mindful of their mental health and wellbeing. We recognise this can be more difficult for some people and we want to see recognition of this in strategies to improve the health of the poorest much faster.
Theme 3: Good health and wellbeing in older age
We want adults to develop and maintain health and independence as long as possible so that they can live life to the full. When people start to develop a long-term health problem, we want to focus on preventing them developing further health and social problems. We want to see local services focused on those who have the greatest need, to reduce health inequality and to enable a greater focus on prevention of ill health.
Theme 4: Strong and supportive communities
We want people to thrive in supportive communities, with people motivated to help one another. Our communities are strong, vibrant places to live, where people are not anxious about criminal activity and social disorder, and where a positive attitude to mental health and wellbeing is fostered.
This update offers feedback on the extent of progress made in each of these strategic priorities. Whilst other developments which support effective partnership working to improve the health and wellbeing of local people in Devon include:
- Extending the membership of the Board to include Police and Probation
- Supporting local governance arrangements
- Strengthening the performance reporting framework across the four themes
In 2014/15 a themed based approach to meetings has allowed a focus on the four priority themes and the public, patient and service user perspective have played a significant part in Health and Wellbeing Board discussions.
Delivering the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy priorities depends on strong partnership working across public, private and the voluntary and community sector organisations with local people. Much good work is in place but we need to maintain and focus energy and effort if we are to truly promote health equality in Devon.
Councillor Andrea Davis
Chairman Devon Health and Wellbeing Board