Plans to improve health and wellbeing for residents across Coventry are being set out, as key health agencies and city organisations join forces.
The new Health and Wellbeing Strategy will run from 2019 to 2023 and outlines ambitions and priorities, including helping people stay healthier for longer, motivating children to fulfil their potential and supporting communities to be safe and sustainable.
Data gathered from engagement with residents has shown that men living in some parts of the city can expect to live up to 10 years longer than those in other areas of Coventry; while the gap for females is eight years. People in some areas are also more likely to spend a greater proportion of their already shorter lives with ill health due to inequalities related to poverty.
The report is owned by the Health and Wellbeing Board, which brings together a partnership including the Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, local health organisations and trusts and local universities, to produce a strategy based on an assessment of the city’s health and wellbeing and which is used to guide a range of local services over the next four years.
Tackling social isolation and loneliness is a key priority in the strategy to strengthen support networks within communities so that residents are stronger and more self-sufficient. Likewise, working to better support those who are vulnerable to ill health or health inequalities will help residents become more resilient.
The report also focuses on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, helping them to fulfil their potential in education and employment. With a younger than average population in Coventry, the overall aim is centred around making sure every child in the city has the same opportunities to thrive and their families are supported to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Engaging communities and helping residents live in safe, connected and sustainable environments is also highlighted in the strategy to a create healthy society, economic prosperity and ensure people’s social needs are met. This includes building community resilience and cohesion in our increasingly diverse city, with residents having fair access to jobs, secure housing and that they feel safe in their neighbourhoods, as well as addressing climate change, improving air quality, and encouraging active travel.
Cabinet member for Public Health and Sport at Coventry City Council, Cllr Kamran Caan, said:
“I am pleased to see that the Health and Wellbeing Strategy has been a result of the collaborative work between Coventry City Council, and partners, including the emergency services, and community organisations. It has led to clear conclusions about the current health and wellbeing in our city and positive recommendations for improvement.
“People and communities are at the heart of everything we do and working in partnership to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our city and this strategy will help shape better futures and local services be the best they can be.
“I encourage all residents to take a look at the Strategy.”
Director of Public Health and Wellbeing at Coventry City Council, Liz Gaulton, said: "We are very proud of the hard work that has gone into this strategy and it will help us and our city partners to focus their efforts on responding effectively to the health and wellbeing needs of our local community.
“There is an important focus on building networks within communities as the best places for understanding local health and wellbeing issues and building relationships with residents to help bring about solutions.
“Coventry as a city is growing, changing and becoming more diverse, therefore, we want people to live longer healthier lives with less reliance on health services, for children to have fair opportunities to thrive and lead successful lives, and for residents to feel safe and part of the communities they live in.”