One of the many changes to health in Bristol resulting from the Health and Care Act (2012), is the establishment of a statutory Health and Wellbeing Board. This new board, which sits within Bristol City Council, aims to join-up commissioning and services across the NHS, social care, public health and voluntary sector to benefit the health and wellbeing of local people.
The Board has developed a Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Bristol using evidence from the Joint Strategy Needs Assessment (JSNA) to tackle local health inequalities. In addition to data from the JSNA, stakeholder and public feedback was used to set 10 health priorities underpinning four overarching themes for the city, aiming to make Bristol a place:
Priorities include giving children the best start in life, addressing alcohol misuse and smoking, maternity services, dementia, integrated services, healthy food, elements within our built environment, domestic violence, mental wellbeing and social isolation. These priorities help to set the work plan for the Board, investigating ways to pool budgets, be innovative in delivery of services and share resources to work effectively between partners.
An action plan is currently being designed and is expected to be published in early spring 2014.
Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board Cllr Barbara Janke said:
"Our strategy is designed to help give everyone in Bristol a better quality of life, improve life expectancy and general health as the population changes. Although Bristol is one of the healthiest cities, some real inequalities exist between different communities and groups. For example child poverty remains high and some areas have a high number of smokers.
"It is more and more important to promote good health and provide care and support so that people across the city can play a bigger part in looking after their own health, reducing the risk of serious illness and premature death."
Martin Jones, Chair of the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group said:
"Health and wellbeing is important to everyone in Bristol, whether we live, work or learn in the city. We must work together and find new ways to deliver services. Together we can drive the changes, making long lasting improvements to our city."