New strategy to tackle health inequalities in West Sussex

Members of the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board at the launch of the new strategy
Members of the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board at the launch of the new strategy

Key ways to reduce health inequalities in West Sussex have been outlined in a new joint health and wellbeing strategy for the county.

It outlines the health and wellbeing board’s vision for improving health and wellbeing for residents and sets out how a few carefully selected priorities can be achieved.

It will give clear vision and guidance for health and care organisations on how they should plan, commission and provide services.

The strategy was launched by Anna Raleigh, director of public health and Amanda Jupp, chairman of the health and wellbeing board, at Chichester’s County Hall on Thursday (April 25).

The strategy outlines the board’s vision to reduce infant mortality as well as reduce smoking during pregnancy and help tackle maternal mental health issues.

It also outlines plans to support parents to create a healthy and safe home in which to raise their children, while also having comprehensive packages of support in place for youngsters leaving care as they approach adulthood.

But equally the strategy focuses on making health everyone’s business and it will encourage adults to move away from significant risks to health such as smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol.

The plan also includes the need for good quality housing.

There is no escaping from the fact that the population of West Sussex is getting older so the new strategy is also focusing its attention on the county’s older residents by aiming to reduce social isolation and the risks of people suffering a nasty fall, while giving them more choice and control over the care they choose to receive.

Mrs Jupp said: “A considerable amount of work has gone into creating this joint health and wellbeing strategy, drawing on a wealth of information from health and social care providers across the county.

“We have also listened closely to what you, the residents of West Sussex, have had to say on where our priorities should lie over the next five years following a public consultation run earlier in the year.

“With this new strategy in place we can build on a strong foundation to improve the health and wellbeing of all our residents.”

The health and wellbeing board is made up of leaders from the county council, district and borough councils, NHS clinical commissioning groups, members of the voluntary sector and HealthWatch.

Its purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, and reduce the gaps in health and wellbeing between communities, while ensuring joined-up working across services.

The full strategy can be found here.