Published Tuesday 8 November 2016 at 15:14
“We want to work together to design a healthier future for all the people in Pennine Lancashire”
That’s the message for Blackburn with Darwen residents from a partnership overseeing a drive to find new ways of improving health and wellbeing across the borough and meet the future financial challenges.
Stark national statistics show that whilst residents’ health has improved over the last 10 years, people living here still have some of the worst health in the country and die earlier than people living elsewhere.
The Together A Healthier Future partnership between NHS and local councils in Pennine Lancashire, which is made of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, is determined to improve the health of residents and help people live healthy lives for longer in the face of growing financial pressures in the public sector. Analysis also shows that if nothing is done, there will be a funding gap of millions of pounds in five years’ time as demand is outstripping the funding available.
It’s a tough challenge but health and council leaders are convinced that working together alongside residents and communities gives us the best chance of ensuring a healthier future for Pennine Lancashire.
And they are asking people to give their views on how health and social care services are delivered in the future and help shape solutions to the problems the area faces.
A public engagement event will take place at Haslingden Community Link & Children’s Centre on Wednesday November 16. Click here for more information and to book a free place.
Dr Phil Huxley, Chair of East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Tightening finances mean this is a huge challenge for us but we still have to tackle our area’s poor health.
“There is no option other than radically changing the system and there is a clear case for change for doing this. But this cannot be done alone. Everyone – residents, businesses, community groups – needs to play a part in tackling poor health. Making small changes to our lifestyle to be healthier is something we can all do.
“We still have £1bn to spend and we need to make sure use that money effectively and efficiently and develop a system which we can all be proud of.
“We need your help, your support and most importantly your ideas to help shape the future.”
Graham Burgess, Chair of Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to look at what we can change in the way we work in health and social care as well as at how we live. There’s never been a more important time to change the way we work. Our current approach is simply unsustainable. What’s more, it isn’t right that people living here live shorter, poorer lives.
“There’s no reason why we have to die early in this part of the country. This is something we can and will change.
“Together we will find ways of living better and longer lives.”
To get involved, visit www.togetherahealthierfuture.org.uk ; search ‘together a healthier future’ on Facebook or follow on Twitter @ahealthyfuture_ You can also phone: (01282) 644738 or write to: Together a Healthier Future, Pennine Lancashire Transformation Project Team, Walshaw House, Regent Street, Nelson, BB9 8AS
The Together A Healthier Future programme is part of a wider programme across Lancashire and South Cumbria looking at improving health and social care. Lancashire and South Cumbria is one of 44 areas across the country developing a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).