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Partners outline efforts to boost health and wellbeing across North Tyneside

Saturday, 27 November, 2021
Partners outline efforts to boost health and wellbeing across North Tyneside

A comprehensive partnership approach to improving health and wellbeing and tackling inequalities across North Tyneside has been set out at a special event.

The virtual Health, Wellbeing and Tackling Inequalities Summit was jointly held on Wednesday, November 24, by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and North Tyneside Council to ensure partners, including businesses, are up to date with crucial plans for the borough’s future and how the area can move forward in the recovery stage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For its part, Northumbria Healthcare launched Our Community Promise in the summer, becoming the first NHS trust in the country to make a formal commitment to focus on the full range of ways it can make a difference to the communities it serves.

Based on six key pillars – poverty, employment, education, economy, environment, wellbeing – the plan builds on the vital role the Trust’s hospitals and community services already play in supporting and improving the health and wellbeing of residents by focusing on the wider determinants of health.

Sir James Mackey, Northumbria Healthcare’s chief executive, said: “Widespread support for the entire health and wellbeing of our communities, not least through our role as an anchor institution and a key cog in the regional economy, has been part of our thinking for a long time.

“However, the pandemic really crystallised our views and we realised that it would be valuable to make clear the responsibility we have to the populations we serve. We want to focus not just on outstanding healthcare for the here and now, but on making a difference to long-term health outcomes.”

In addition, the Trust also set up a Health Inequalities Programme Board earlier this year, chaired by leading public health consultant Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, with the goal of identifying exactly what the inequalities are in our communities and developing meaningful ways of tackling them.

Jonathan, who also spoke at the event, said: “The programme board is all about making a real difference to the inequalities across our patients and populations.

“For example, we are working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to develop the first local health index, which will provide us with actionable insights into what drives these persistent inequalities, meaning that we can then introduce effective preventive changes to the health system targeting those with the highest unmet health need.”

Meanwhile, North Tyneside Council set out its vision for the future of the borough and how health and socio-economic inequalities can be tackled in partnership through its new Health & Wellbeing Strategy.

The summit heard from Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn and chief executive Paul Hanson plus director of public health Wendy Burke and assistant chief executive Jackie Laughton.

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “The Covid pandemic has impacted every resident, family and community in our borough. It has changed the way we work with services, allowed us to build strong, lasting relationships with our voluntary and community sector and increased the demand on all our health and social care services.

“These services rose to the challenge and showed incredible bravery and determination. The speed in which we have delivered services and the strength of our partnership, especially with our partners across the NHS, has shone through and protected our most vulnerable residents during some of the darkest times of the pandemic.

“Our refreshed Council Plan focuses on a shared vision for our borough that is built around our ambition to build a better North Tyneside for everyone.

“A key priority is to reduce the health inequalities we see across North Tyneside, the stark difference between individual health and wellbeing, quality of life and the chance to access good quality education and employment.”

Media contact

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer

Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.ukor 07833 046680.