The chair of the new Northumberland Health and Wellbeing Board says the group was launched in Berwick yesterday to make sure the north of the county feels “included”.
Councillor Scott Dickinson explained: “When decisions are made in county hall, Berwick can often feel isolated. This is about health and well-being throughout the whole of the county, so we thought we’d come to the furthest away town to launch the board and make sure Berwick feels included.”
The board aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Northumberland residents and to reduce health inequalities, by bringing together organisations involved health services, adult social care and children’s services.
Coun Dickinson said it was about “encouraging better partnership working.”
He added: “Key to this transformation is ensuring that the views and experience of the public and patients are taken into account in all future decision making.
The board is made up of partners Northumberland County Council; Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); Northumberland Local Medical Committee (LMC); Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England and Healthwatch Northumberland.
The board’s five priorities are:
1. Prioritising those children and families, who without some extra help and support early on, would be at risk of having poorer health, not doing as well at school, and not achieving their full potential in their lives.
2. Tackling some of the main causes of health problems in the County including obesity and diet, mental health and alcohol misuse.
3. Supporting people with long term conditions to be more independent and have full choice and control over their lives.
4. Making sure that all partners in Northumberland work well together and are clear about what they themselves need to do to help improve the health and wellbeing of local people.
5. Making sure that all public services support disabled people and those with long term health conditions to stay active for as long as possible.