Closer health ties with the public

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THE public will be given a bigger say in policies to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Calderdale has signed-up to join a network of early implementers of “health and wellbeing boards.”

They are being introduced to remove divisions between the NHS and local authorities and to allow for greater community involvement.

Calderdale is among the first to create “shadow” boards ahead of statutory responsibilities from April 2013.

Council leader Janet Battye will chair the meeting and will be joined by people commissioning services, councillors and Calderdale LINk which exists to allow people a say in the services they receive.

She said much work needs to be done.

“First of all, we will need to find out the healthcare and other needs of the local people through what’s known as a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment,” she said.

“Next, we will need to devise a Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which will help the council and its partners decide how best to use the money and resources available to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

“We plan to produce this strategy 12 months ahead of the Government’s timetable.

“Calderdale is blazing a trail which will see all councils working even more closely with colleagues in healthcare to improve the wellbeing of local people.”

Angela Monaghan, chairwoman of NHS Calderdale said: “We are in a good position to create a really effective health and wellbeing board in Calderdale.”

The first meeting of the local board is on Tuesday, at 2 pm in Halifax Town Hall and is open to the public.