How Sunderland City Council plans to improve health and reduce inequality and deprivation
A new plan has been approved to improve health in the Sunderland after the Covid pandemic showed inadequacies across the city.
Sunderland City Council's Cabinet backed the Healthy City Plan on Tuesday, March 23, which builds on work to reduce the inequality and deprivation which are major contributors to the city's poor health outcomes.
Men in Sunderland spend 57 years in good health compared to 63 years nationally and for women the gap is wider at 56.5 years compared to 63.9 nationally.
Inequality and deprivation, together with smoking, alcohol and obesity rates - two out of every three Sunderland adults are overweight or obese - are all significant contributors to the city's poor health.
The healthy plan's foundations spring from the ground-breaking Marmot Review on public health and its six objectives:
1. Give every child the best start in life;2. Allow all children, young people and adults to maximize their capabilities and have control over their lives;3. Create fair employment and good work for all;4. Ensure a healthy standard of living for all;5. Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities;6. Strengthen the role and impact of ill health prevention.
Cabinet Member for Healthy City, Councillor Kelly Chequer said: "Covid has put a renewed focus on health inequalities across the UK and Sunderland is no exception.
"This refresh and update acknowledges the huge impact of the pandemic on health inequalities, the current health challenges in our city and the role that everyone plays in improving health.
"The Healthy City Plan is work that was being overseen by Councillor Dr Geoff Walker before his sudden death in January. He was very determined that everyone should play their part in addressing health inequalities and we must all work together on achieving better health.
"Geoff made a very positive contribution to this work. We all want to see Sunderland become what is known as a Marmot City and - from the council and health agencies, to businesses and voluntary groups, schools and teachers - all of us, everyone one of us, must work on achieving this."
The plan outlines how this can be achieved by:
• Focusing on prevention – helping people to stay healthy, happy and independent• Tackling health inequalities – challenging and taking action to address the inequalities and social determinants of health• Equity – ensuing fairness in access to services dependent on need• Building on community assets –recognising individual and community strengths that can be built upon to support good health and independence• Working collaboratively – everyone playing their part, sharing responsibility and working alongside communities and individuals• Being led by intelligence – using data and intelligence to shape responses.
The healthy plan is a key part of the wider City Plan to build a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland over the next ten years. This includes more and better jobs, a stronger city centre with more businesses, housing and cultural opportunities, and cleaner and more attractive neighbourhoods.
Cllr Chequer added: "The City Council and health partners are stepping up their commitments to support residents and as part of this we must all look to getting healthier.
"Our Healthy City Plan is about everyone in Sunderland having healthy, happy lives, with no one left behind."