August 8, 2023
Partnership health and wellbeing plans are gathering pace
In its first 12 months, organisations that make up Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership (WDHCP) are working together to make a real difference to close the gap in health and wellbeing between the most and least deprived people in Wakefield District, continuing to work towards the Partnership’s ambitions.
The Wakefield District Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022 – 2025, approved last year, sets out plans to improve the health and wellbeing of all residents in four key priority areas:
- Giving every child the best start in life
- A healthy standard of living for all
- Prevention of ill health
- Sustainable communities
A range of wide-ranging initiatives demonstrate the work that has been done to date and future plans.
More than 100 households have benefited from a second ‘More Money in My Pocket’ benefits campaign led by Citizens Advice, on behalf of the Residents First Group. Over 15 community events were held from May to July 2022. The income gain recorded in this campaign was £334,864 – an amazing average of £3,251 per household. The uptake of events held in Pinderfields Hospital by patients, visitors and staff led to an agreement to establish a Citizens’ Advice hub in the hospital. The office, located on Level E, serves as a community support hub, providing free, confidential, and impartial advice for both NHS and social care staff, alongside hospital patients, visitors, and local people across the Wakefield district.
In partnership, the Council and NHS are funding a Healthy and Sustainable Communities programme, focused in the ten most deprived communities in the district. Targeting people who are at high risk of becoming ill, for example, because of poverty or isolation, and are not currently accessing help. Workers are being recruited to help connect people with resources in their own communities to access help with health, money, housing, employment and social contact. Workshops have started in the first three areas to develop a local, co-produced approach to improving health and wellbeing.
Proud parents have celebrated their young children becoming ‘graduates’ of a hugely successful book gifting scheme developed by country singing star Dolly Parton. In 2017, Wakefield Council and Spectrum Heath teamed up with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to offer families in parts of the district the opportunity to receive a book for their child in the post each month, from birth until their fourth birthday. Six years on, over 30,000 books have been delivered to over 1,500 eligible children registered on the scheme.
The Council is also promoting physical activity through its healthy living programme and by including active travel and transport initiatives and the expansion of accessible walking and recreational cycle trails. More information about opportunities to improve your health and fitness locally is available on the Wakefield Council website at: https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/sport-and-leisure/healthy-living
Housing and health agencies are working together on a range of initiatives, including a dedicated housing support service for people with mental health problems. Urgent Care Response, Community Fall and Community Reablement Services have been integrated with Care Link to provide a 24/7 monitoring and falls response service. Housing and health agencies have also worked with Groundswell UK to develop a framework to support homeless and rough sleepers to have better access to health care.
An initiative is being developed to reward and recognise people for volunteering or helping others in their local communities. This approach will offer effective ways of promoting and raising awareness about volunteering, maximising recruitment of volunteers and rewarding volunteers consistently and fairly. It will also provide an opportunity for people to evidence their volunteering activities so that they can use them for personal or professional development. The scheme will also involve employers/businesses consistently in supporting volunteering where both the business and the volunteer benefit.
Jo Webster, Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership Accountable Officer, said: “Tackling health inequalities is at the heart of what our health and care system is here to do. The Strategy prioritises community development whilst also providing tangible support to some of the people in our population who need it most, and we are looking forward to seeing the impact it continues to make.”
An update on the the steps that have been taken in the first year since the Health and Wellbeing
Strategy was approved is available in this report: Wakefield District Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2025 – What has changed in the first year?.
You can also find out more about projects and initiatives in Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership: our first year review