Talks on blueprint to improve Calderdale's health and wellbeing reach final stages

Calderdale Council's leader Councillor Tim Swift
Calderdale Council's leader Councillor Tim Swift

Calderdale’s health and wellbeing strategy should be signed off next month.

Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board heard the strategy, which has four key aims for Calderdale’s people – starting well, developing well, living and working well, and ageing well – should be signed off at the board’s meeting on August 8.

It is focused on people rather than services, with emphasis on tackling problems early – outcomes are as crucial a focus as delivery.

Partnerships between organisations will be crucial to use limited resources fully and it is likely to see more services shifting from hospitals to community settings.

The policy says this should mean: “Only having to tell your story once, and making it easy to find out what support is there to help you and how to access it.”

Calderdale Council leader Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) says it will be used to shape services commissioned across the boough’s health and care systems and in developing more detailed action plans for specific areas which may need addressing.

In the report’s introduction, he says: “The health and wellbeing of people in some of our communities is not improving at the same rate as others.

“Every year far too many people suffer avoidable ill health or die earlier than they should – this is known as health inequality.

“These inequalities need to be tackled to make life better for everyone living in Calderdale.”

Services will be planned and delivered through the five localities under the Calderdale Cares programme – also discussed by the board – with GP practices grouped in Central Halifax, North Halifax, Upper Calder Valley, Lower Calder Valley and South of Halifax (taking in areas around Sowerby Bridge and Ripponden), with Central Halifax currently the most developed.

Calderdale Cares has a “bottom up” approach, meaning people should be directly involved in shaping their care, services and support, with some parts of the borough having differences between targets which will best support their community.

Members agreed they might find a seminar useful for guidance in how they can engage their constituents in Calderdale Cares more fully.

The meeting also received a report on the £197 million reconfiguration of hospitals in Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, reiterating information given to trust members that a decision on the approval of the outline business case for the changes was expected by the end of the year.