WORKING WITH THE NHS, CHARITIES & OTHER GROUPS TO IMPROVE PEOPLE’S HEALTH
1. Within the legal framework of the Conservative government’s Health and Social Care Act, Labour in Cheshire West will always seek to protect local health services from privatisation.
2. By working with our NHS health partners
and other community organisations, we will
develop a local integrated health partnership.
The founding principles of this partnership will
- Avoiding any costly top-down reorganisation or privatisation.
- Supporting health and social care integration that works for local residents.
- Ensuring local health services are delivered in a more joined up way.
- The development of care communities, which are aligned to electoral wards and are accountable to local people.
3. Building on the success of the Mental Health Hub, we will seek to extend this and the Crisis House Model across Cheshire West and Chester.
4. Services for residents with learning disabilities
will be improved by:
- Working to extend and improve our day care activities for people with learning disabilities.
- Extending the Extra Care provision to include people with learning disabilities, mental health illnesses and autism.
5. We recognise the value of carers and the pressure they may be under when they look after their loved ones. A new deal for carers will be developed that offers better support for them to care for a disabled or elderly relative, including a revised and better respite policy.
6. The voluntary sector across the borough will be supported to widen its offer and scope, including areas like early intervention and prevention, as well as reducing loneliness and isolation across all generations.
SO WHAT IS THE MENTAL HEALTH HUB?
With 1 in 4 of us experiencing common mental health problems, timely access to early support and treatment is vital.
That’s why our Labour council has been working with health partners to develop a Mental Health Crisis Hub where users and carers can go for help and information when they need it.
7. Making our borough’s streets healthier is
important to Labour. We will aim to:
- Adopt ‘Active Streets’ principles, by seeking to provide recreation, sports and play facilities and open spaces to encourage walking and cycling across our neighbourhoods, especially in new developments
- Improve the areas around local schools, developing schemes to reduce air pollution and encouraging pupils and parents to consider walking and cycling rather than driving.
- Encourage our schools to become ‘Active Schools’ and continue with the ‘smile for a mile’ and other active programmes.
- Work with fast food outlets to encourage healthy alternatives.
- Roll out our GULP (Give Up Loving Pop) campaign, which encourages children to consume less sugar and sugary drinks.
- Develop a Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan in partnership with cycling and walking groups in our Borough, via our Active Travel Forum. Then we’ll campaign for the funding from Government to deliver it.
8. Together with communities, voluntary and
partner organisations, Labour wants to create
opportunities for the residents of Cheshire
West and Chester to enjoy long, healthy and
active lives. This includes:
- Expanding our annual borough wide Walking Festival to increase participation and walks on offer, helping residents to explore the area they live in.
- Investing in our football pitches and facilities, through a partnership with the Football Association and Football Foundation, we will deliver an ambitious programme to make sure facilities are fit for purpose and accessible for everyone.
- Planting new trees and flowers to enhance our parks and green spaces, while working with residents groups and ‘Friends Of’ groups
- Improving the physical and mental wellbeing of residents through our award winning Natural Health Service, with activities in Cheshire’s beautiful green spaces and natural environment.
- Continuing to campaign for healthier lifestyles, including delivering on our Healthy Weight Declaration pledges and becoming a ‘Healthy Weight Borough’.
- Continuing to develop play areas across the borough.
- Making it easier for people to access exercise programmes, and focusing on social prescribing, to reduce the need for medicine prescriptions.
- Continuing to support residents to stop smoking through our smoking cessation service.
- Helping those who need it to get support for drugs and alcohol addiction and sexual health services.
FIGHTING POVERTY BY WORKING WITH CHARITIES AND ADVICE GROUPS
9. Poverty in the UK is rising and this is impacting
on the health, wellbeing and resilience of
local people. We recognise the role a Labour
council must play in supporting communities
in Cheshire West and Chester to deal with
the impact of austerity. To tackle poverty in
Cheshire West and Chester, we will:
- Support the second West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission, building on the success of our nationally recognised first commission, and helping people coping with poverty to tell policy makers about the impact of decisions on their lives and how local services could be improved to better accommodate people living in poverty.
- Continue to develop the West Cheshire Local Offer, which seeks to provide information and advice on all of the support services available to residents from one single point - a vital resource for residents needing help and support and community groups looking to signpost people in crisis to useful local services.
- Continue to work alongside the West Cheshire Credit Union and Citizens’ Advice to help people affected by austerity and benefit changes
- Identify people who find themselves in arrears for council tax, and support them to tackle their debts. We will adopt the “Stop the Knock” ethical debt collection scheme.
- Work alongside community groups and other stakeholders to develop holiday provision so the children have access to free meals in the schools holidays if they need them. This can alleviate periods of financial stress and improve levels of attainment.
- Support residents who find themselves in financial hardship through the HELP! Team, to deal with the stress and anxiety caused by benefit sanctions, PIP applications and the failures of Universal Credit
UNDERSTANDING THE SCALE OF UK POVERTY
With 4.1 million children living in poverty, 4 million workers living in poverty, and in-work poverty rising faster than employment, it is no wonder that the United Nations has condemned the Tory government for the UK’s poverty crisis.
BETTER SOCIAL CARE AND SUPPORT SERVICES FOR ELDERLY & VULNERABLE PEOPLE
10. Better residential provision and more support
services for elderly people will be developed.
We will seek to include:
- New step-down care, enabling older people to be safely discharged from hospital.
- Further development of our Age-friendly Communities programme in Cheshire West and Chester, with the goal of enabling everyone to live healthy, happy, fulfilled and independent lives.
- Increased use of assistive technology to support people in extra care.
- An extended home care offer to allow more people to stay living in their communities.
- Improved service quality, by maintaining continuity of staff supporting individual residents and improving levels of staff retention.
- Stronger partnerships with care providers and the NHS, to minimise the risk of provider failure and reduce the stress of uncertainty due to the fragile state of the care market, where a succession of private sector providers have already collapsed.