Date Published: 28 September 2021
The Rutland Health and Wellbeing Board is a formal committee of Rutland County Council. It provides advice about health spending and priorities to the Council and local NHS services, in order to promote joint working and represent the interests of residents.
The board has been carrying out work to create a new joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy that will enable health and care partners to work together to improve the health and wellness of local communities. Work on the strategy had to be paused due to the impact of COVID-19 but has since resumed and is now reaching an advanced stage.
The draft strategy responds to national legislation requiring the creation of new Integrated Care Systems (ICS) across local areas from April 2022. Each ICS must have its own ‘place-led plan’ that reflects varying local needs, defines local health and care priorities, and helps to inform a long term vision for healthy communities.
“The changes we are now seeing in health and care are a big step in the right direction when it comes to meeting the specific needs of individual areas and communities across the country. The national ambition for place planning aims to create a tailored offer for different local populations, making sure everyone everywhere can access clear advice on staying well, a range of preventative services and simple, joined-up care and treatment when they need it.” Councillor Alan Walters, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care at Rutland County Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
The proposed aim of Rutland’s new Health and Wellbeing Strategy is to develop safe, healthy, happy and caring communities in which people start well and thrive together throughout their lives. The intention is that people will be able to live well in active communities, with a strong emphasis on prevention and supporting independence.
The proposed Health and Wellbeing Strategy lists five key priorities to support healthy communities:
- Ensuring the best start in life by supporting healthy child development and the development of confident, resilient young adults
- Staying healthy and independent for as long as possible by adopting a prevention approach and resilient communities, and more targeted services where people are already living with ill health
- Reducing health inequalities across Rutland by intervening to ‘level up’ health outcomes for any disadvantaged groups
- Ensuring fair and equitable access to health and wellbeing services, including bringing more services closer to the population of rural Rutland and considering digital technologies where appropriate to increase access
- Preparing for population growth and change by evolving local infrastructure and the health and care workforce to meet future needs of a growing and older population
The draft strategy has been through several early stages of development, which has included gathering data and considering the findings of the Future Rutland Conversation, as well as development with key partners involved in delivery of local health services. This has led to the publication of draft version of the strategy, which will be discussed by Rutland’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Tuesday 5 October. The board will be asked to consider the Wellbeing Strategy (A Plan for Place 2022-25), discuss and endorse the overall vision, principles, priorities and action areas set out in the draft document, and confirm whether they support proposals for a public consultation on the draft strategy.
If agreed by the board, a six week public consultation is proposed across October and November 2021. Responses to the consultation would inform a further version of the strategy, to be brought back to the Health and Wellbeing Board in January 2022 for approval.
“This is a landmark strategy that’s important for two reasons. Firstly, it promotes even closer collaboration between all of the various health and care organisations who are needed to help people in Rutland stay healthy and well. Secondly – and perhaps most importantly – it is developed in a way that aims to address the particular care needs that are specific to Rutland and the people who live here. This is a tailored approach which I think local people will welcome wholeheartedly.” Cllr Walters.
Rutland’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Tuesday 5 October will take place over Zoom, starting at 2.00pm. The agenda and reports for the meeting, along with a draft copy of Rutland’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy, can be viewed online at: www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings.