Making health and wellbeing everybody’s business was the vision shared by West Sussex County Council during a special visit by the chief executive of Public Health England last week.
Duncan Selbie was welcomed to County Hall in Chichester by West Sussex director of Public Health Anna Raleigh to learn about the strong health and wellbeing partnerships being forged across the county with the NHS, district and borough councils and others.
This highlighted the innovative work that is taking place to promote a healthy lifestyle, improve air quality and support people to look after their mental wellbeing as well as the help being given to residents so they can retain their independence and remain healthy and well for longer.
The meeting also welcomed representatives from NHS partners and Mid Sussex District Council.
Mr Selbie also heard about the success of the countywide West Sussex wellbeing programme which is delivered in partnership with district and borough councils, and the new programme of work being carried out in the county this year aiming to reduce the number of falls among elderly residents.
Figures from 2016/17 show that there were 4,495 emergency hospital admissions for falls related injuries in West Sussex.
The county council has awarded more than £750,000 in funding to Sussex Community Foundation Trust from a ring-fenced government grant that is aimed at reducing winter pressures on adult social care and health services.
The programme will see a new Falls Champion in each local care coordination network in the county, known as Local Community Networks or Communities of Practice.
The champion will carry out early falls assessments as well as provide advice on prevention, appropriate services and equipment. They can also offer home hazard assessments for patients who have been discharged from hospital following a fall-related admission.
Mr Selbie said: “I was delighted to visit West Sussex County Council and to speak with officers about some of the challenges facing the authority, as well as learn about the work they are already carrying out to help improve the health and wellbeing of residents in the county.
“I think that West Sussex is a leading example of Public Health within a local authority, working at the heart of their communities.”
Amanda Jupp, the county council’s cabinet member for adults and health, added: “It was really encouraging to hear Mr Selbie praise our Public Health officers for already making great strides in a number of areas across the county.
“We have worked closely over the years with our partners in the district and borough councils to help deliver a number of excellent services and these good outcomes are down to this strong continuing partnership.”