Rod Brown, Head of Housing & Community, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
Rachel Kundasamy, Health and Wellbeing Officer, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
Introduction of newly appointed Health and Wellbeing Officer and up-date on current work in respect of developing the Boroughs Health & Wellbeing Strategy
The Panel welcomed Rachel Kundasamy, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s newly appointed Corporate Health & Wellbeing Officer and received an overview the draft Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy for Surrey, and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s current position and workstreams.
The draft Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, overseen by the Health and Wellbeing Board, focussed on preventing poor health and wellbeing in Surrey over the next ten years and had been developed in consultation with the NHS, the CCG, Surrey County Council and other partners. Members were invited to give their views on the draft Joint Strategy to Rachel Kundasamy. A response to the consultation needed to be submitted by 27 March 2019
It was confirmed that in response to the draft Joint Strategy, the Council would be consolidating its current offer (as aligned to health and wellbeing), as well as considering how this delivered against the new priorities proposed by the Health and Wellbeing Board and a draft strategy for Epsom & Ewell Borough Council would also be formulated. Meetings were taking place with partners, to establish ways of working with emphasis on integration and collaboration to meet the needs of Borough residents. It was generally accepted that the neglect of wellbeing could be detrimental to health but that this was often outside of the medical sphere. Therefore, the role of boroughs/districts in this area was becoming more recognised.
Councillors commented on the draft priorities in the Joint Strategy and the conflict between these and the current climate in which the closure of children’s centres and youth services was being witnessed. The priorities for Special Educational Needs (SEND) and young carers were quoted as an example.
The Panel discussed the importance of social prescribing going forward and the Panel acknowledged that the Council was ahead in regards to many aspects of health and wellbeing, particularly in the sporting activities and community events it promoted/organised. In this regard, congratulations were extended to the Sports and Leisure Team for their work on the Surrey Youth Games and the Cox Lane skate park as well as children’s playgrounds.
The Council’s Head of Housing & Community, Rod Brown, advised that boroughs and districts were best placed in many respects to undertake such work, as public health is ‘what we do’, with an acknowledgement of how the Council could expand this and the Council’s role in mobilising social capital.
He confirmed that other districts and boroughs would also be represented on Integrated Care Partnerships and that there was plenty of opportunity for this Council to demonstrate what it did across the borough, not just for physical health but also in relation to the mental and emotional health of the Borough’s residents in working with partners. It was confirmed that Age UK has also been requested to align what they deliver to the corporate objectives of health and wellbeing. The Council’s Community and Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer, Serena Powis, was is leading on this
Some strength of feeling was noted in respect of an example of poor outcomes for young people entering Children Services. It was suggested that, as part of the draft strategy was tied to outcomes, there was an opportunity to give feedback in a way that summarised the problem, whilst highlighting what would have been the measure of success.
The Panel acknowledged that the Council needed to make use of resources available to it and that it had an opportunity to reduce the pressure on other public services further down the line. The Corporate Health and Wellbeing Officer confirmed that she would look to consult with members on a draft Epsom and Ewell strategy post-election and was looking to present a draft strategy to the Health Liaison Panel on 9 July 2019.