Mental health and wellbeing and tackling health inequalities form part of annual public health report

The 2021/22 annual public health report is set to be reviewed by cabinet, outlining the successes and challenges facing the council in the present and near future.

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The 2021/22 annual public health report is set to be reviewed by cabinet, outlining the successes and challenges facing the council in the present and near future.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires the director of public health to prepare an annual report on the health of the local population. This is an independent report which the local authority is required to publish.

The report, which is written by the council’s director for public health, Krishna Ramkhelawon, reflects on progress made from the 2020/21 report, and also explains the six key focus areas for the forthcoming year. These are:

  • Tackling health inequalities – Focus on improving life expectancy; tackling the key health risk factors, including weight management; improving the uptake of vaccinations, including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in young children.
  • Developing a Food Environment policy - Making Southend-on-Sea a healthy City; collaboration in tackling food poverty/insecurity; extending A Better Start Southend (ABSS) legacy.
  • Mental health and wellbeing – Focus on suicide prevention, including in young people with complex needs; further drive to tackling harmful behaviours including gambling addiction.
  • Improvement in Air Quality and Transport strategy – Further interventions to improve air quality; development of a refresh Transport Plan to support the modal shift in travelling.
  • Learning to Live with COVID and building up our resilience.
  • Support for economic recovery – Improving job opportunities; skills development and raising aspirations; improving workplace health and seeking better social value contribution for our neighbourhoods.

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director for public health at Southend-on-Sea City Council, said: “The annual public health report gives us a local authority the opportunity to reflect on how public health continues to change, and how the needs of residents vary as we continue to adapt to living with the COVID-19 virus.

“It also allows us to see what has worked well, and what needs improvement, so that we can ensure residents are given the best possible opportunities to keep safe and well.”

Cllr Kay Mitchell, cabinet member for adult social care and health integration, said: “Following two years of the pandemic and to continue in recovery, we must ensure we make the most of our collaboration with health partners and the community sector to create a public health service which meets the needs of local people.

“Cabinet colleagues will discuss the report in great detail, and I thank Krishna for preparing such a detailed and informative report.”

The annual public health report will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet Tuesday 26 July (agenda item 8).

Published: 20th July 2022

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