What is Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria?
In its new report: ‘Tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors’, the King’s Fund looks into ways of tackling the risks of unhealthy habits like tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diet or physical activity via integrated health and care services – which it considers the best way of managing demand.
Blackburn with Darwen’s Wellbeing Service is cited as an example of best practice for its innovative approach to bringing together a wide range of services that support health and wellbeing and making them accessible via a single contact point.
The Wellbeing Service was set up in 2015 by Blackburn with Darwen Council, as part of the wider public health investment of the Council, working with Blackburn with Darwen CCG to provide advice, guidance and practical support for things like stopping smoking, drinking less or exercising more. But it’s not just about healthy lifestyle services; the Wellbeing Service offers support for issues such as housing, employment and money because these problems can affect emotional and physical health just as much.
Last year it scooped an award for Transformation in Health and Social Care from public sector improvement organisation iESE (Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise).
It was also shortlisted as one of only four finalists for the NICE Shared Learning Award 2017.
In its report, The King’s Fund praises the work of the service’s health trainers who provide face-to-face consultations and personalised sessions as well as follow up meetings and ongoing support.
The praise for the Wellbeing Service comes as Local Government and NHS organisations, including Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen CCG, continue to work together across Pennine Lancashire to improve health and care services in the area.
Over the last year, the Pennine Lancashire Health and Care Partnership (which covers Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire), has been working with residents, volunteers, doctors, nurses, health and care professionals, community workers and others to develop its plans for change.
As a result, a draft Pennine Plan was developed which outlines a number of innovative and exciting proposals designed to improve the health and wellbeing of people who live and work in the area.
Pennine Lancashire has also been chosen by Sport England as a pilot area to work with on a bold new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England.
Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in 12 pilot schemes over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access physical activity and be supported to make the change from doing nothing into something.
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
"This is fantastic news and excellent recognition for the hard work that the team have put in to developing the successful Wellbeing Service. The praise for the service underlines the new approach locally to health and care which has seen us working with partners across Pennine Lancashire on exciting plans to improve the health and wellbeing of people who live and work in the area."
Graham Burgess, Chair of Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:
"Blackburn with Darwen has a long history of strong partnership working and the Health and Wellbeing Service is a great example of organisations working together for the benefit and the health of local people."
People accessing the help and support provided by the Wellbeing Service have also been quick to praise it, saying:
"For anyone considering using the service I would 100% recommend it. It is not a quick fix, they tailor it to you as an individual and that is the best thing about it.
I have achieved so much with the help of my Health Trainer; she has pointed me in the direction of outside agencies that can help me with my weight goals.
I’ve enjoyed the process and it’s certainly helped me through the last few months – I can’t thank my Health Trainer enough. Now I have a positive outlook on life again and I’m more conscious of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle."
Find out more about the well being service here