Coventry Poverty Summit

Representatives from VAC, Healthwatch and other voluntary and community organisations attended the Poverty Summit 12th November 2018.

Representatives from VAC, Healthwatch and other voluntary and community organisations attended the Poverty Summit 12th November 2018.  The event bought together a large number of City Council staff, Councillors and staff from other agencies to consider the impact of poverty on residents in Coventry.  Invited guest speakers; Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the Institute of Health Equity, University College London and David Buck, Senior Fellow, Public Health and Inequalities, Kings Fund presented their research findings and reflected on the causes and impact of poverty.  Find out more about the event here:
http://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/2705/coventry_as_a_marmot_city_-_poverty_summit
 
Despite significant financial investment in growth and development in the city there are still a large proportion of the population that are significantly disadvantaged and whose overall health and life expectancy is lower than those in more affluent parts of the city.  The Health Inequalities Summary by Public Health (pdf) provides an insight into the levels of disparity.
 
So after 5 years as a Marmot City has anything changed?  Is there anything we could/should do differently?  Reference was made to examples of other areas where a different approach to tackling health inequalities has been implemented; for example Wigan who have introduced The Deals – an approach where organisations and individuals work together, with both playing their part:
 
The Deal for Health and Wellness
The long term health and wellbeing of residents will only be secured if organisations and individuals work together to take charge of the health needs of the borough
Our part (Wigan Council)
Ensure there are a wide range of facilities within local communities including parks, open spaces, leisure, safe cycling routes, good quality housing
Ensure easy, timely access to good quality GP services, seven days a week, to screen, diagnose and treat and prevent disease as early as possible
Support families to ensure their children have the best start in life
Support people to live well, helping those who are unemployed into work or training and helping them benefit from the fastest growing economy in the UK
Assist people to age well by keeping them healthy and connected to their communities for as long as possible in their own home
 
Your part (Wigan residents)
Keep active at whatever stage of life
Register with a GP and go for regular check-ups – taking charge of your own health and wellbeing
Quit smoking. Drink and eat sensibly and encourage your children to do the same
Take time to be supportive parents or guardians, encouraging children to be the best they can be
Take advantage of training and job opportunities, setting high aspirations for yourself and your family
Support older relatives, friends and neighbours to be independent for as long as possible
Get involved in your local communities.
 
Find out more about The Deals here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/The-Deal/Our-Deals/The-Deal-for-Health-and-Wellness.aspx
 
Is this an approach we could implement in Coventry?  Please share your thoughts with Sue Ogle, Director of Operations and Development s.ogle@vacoventry.org.uk