Plans for the future of public health in Leeds will be discussed by senior councillors next week as the council prepares to take on new responsibilities.
From April 2013, public health staff and funding will be transferred from the NHS to Leeds City Council. A report to be debated by the council’s executive board proposes a ‘hub and spoke’ operating model, which would see public health staff working out in local communities and across all council services.
The proposed model is designed to maximise the impact the council will have on the wider issues that can influence people’s health. These include the environment people live in, the food they have access to and the lifestyles they lead.
By integrating the work of public health professionals with existing council services, such as parks and countryside and housing and planning, the council will be able to make the best use of limited resources.
An example of this approach in action is steps being taken to address fuel poverty. Proposals to be debated next week by senior councillors would see multi-agency teams working across the city to identify vulnerable people in need of support through preventative services including affordable warmth.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for health and wellbeing, said:
“These new public health powers are a great opportunity to tackle the unacceptable health inequalities that exist in Leeds. We are determined to make sure that across all council services we are doing everything possible to close this health divide.
“As a council we can have a real impact on the wider factors which affect health whether that be lifestyle, quality of housing or access to green space. Our work on fuel poverty is a prime example of this approach in action.
“We will work with local people and partner organisations to promote health, prevent disease and prolong life, prioritising the most vulnerable people first, in order to reduce health inequalities in the city.”
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578