Councillors will be updated on key priorities to improve health and wellbeing in County Durham next week.

In her 2018 report, Amanda Healy, the county’s director of public health, outlined a new vision to ensure all residents are healthy and happy. The report set out priorities to reduce health differences across County Durham, as well as tackling the gap between the county and England as a whole. At its heart is a desire to engage with communities and to build on major successes, such as sharp reduction in number of smokers, and to replicate them in other areas.

On Wednesday, 12 June, Durham County Council’s Cabinet will hear about the progress that has been made since the report was published last October.

This includes partnership work around seven key areas based on the County Durham Health and Wellbeing Board’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. They include:

  • Ensuring County Durham offers good job opportunities and is a nice place to live, learn and play
  • Ensuring every child has the best start in life
  • Providing high quality drug and alcohol services
  • Tackling stigma surrounding mental health, and encouraging businesses to become Time to Change employers
  • Supporting healthy workforces
  • Integrating health and care services to improve quality of life
  • Promoting positive behaviours.

From hosting workshops to look at ways to further reduce smoking during pregnancy, to encouraging businesses to sign up to the Breast-Friendly County Durham scheme, piloting the Government’s Mental Health Scale Project and contributing to the council’s Housing and Homelessness strategies – Cabinet will hear about progress made across all seven areas.

Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for adult and health services at Durham County Council, said: “Our public health vision puts the community we serve at its heart.

“It’s about drawing on our strengths and supporting people to make healthier choices. By focusing on these assets, we can help make County Durham a healthy and happy place for people of all ages.”

Cabinet, which will meet at County Hall in Durham at 10am on Wednesday, 12 June, will be asked to note the progress that has been made.