£200,000 to help tackle 'health inequalities' in Sunderland

Communities are set to benefit from a £200,000 funding pot to help tackle “health inequalities” across Sunderland.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 03 July, 2019, 16:45
Picture c/o Pixabay

Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has sidelined the cash for the 2019/20 financial year.

Decisions around spending will be made by Sunderland councillors and the CCG’s locality teams.

The plans were revealed in reports distributed to Sunderland City Council’s area committees in recent weeks.

All five area committees – Sunderland North, South, West, Coalfield and Washington – will receive a £40,000 share.

A Sunderland CCG spokesman said: “CCGs can use grant funding to support voluntary and community sector (VCS) activities at national, regional and local levels.

“Grant funding enables CCGs, in partnership with local authorities, to work with these organisations to respond to the needs of patients and the public, and to target health inequalities in innovative and cost effective ways within local communities.

“We recognise the benefits of working with area committees to respond to local need in this way and in doing so resourcing local provision.”

Reports prepared for area committees state the scheme aims to build relationships between the CCG, council and VCS for “future working.”

The plans were welcomed by councillors, including deputy cabinet member for health and social care, Coun Kelly Chequer.

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Speaking at the North Area Committee, the Southwick councillor added it was “imperative” the funding was used correctly.

“Some of the funding might be more effective if it’s used in bigger chunks than £5,000 and I hope that is the way forward,” she said.

“It will be able to make enough of an impact at a public health level.”

Cabinet secretary and Redhill councillor, Paul Stewart, added larger sums could make a “real difference” and “long-lasting impact.”

While Sunderland CCG has given out one-off grants of up to £5,000 in the past, they have said larger scale grants would be considered going forward.

A CCG spokesman added: “£40,000 of funding has been made available to all five area committees for allocation during this financial year.

“In the past, we’ve operated a small scale scheme distributing one off grants of up to £5,000.

“However, we would absolutely consider larger scale grants were they to provide the best outcomes for the community within the budget available.”