Wigan residents' life expectancy is rapidly on the rise
The senior councillor responsible for adult social care and health in Wigan borough has welcomed the government’s decision for public health responsibilities to remain with councils.
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock confirmed recently that local government will continue to lead on public health stating that local authorities continue to provide “excellent public health services”.
The review was prompted by the NHS’s long-term plan which questioned whether there was a stronger role for the NHS in public health.
Coun Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, welcomed the decision and said that councils are uniquely placed to influence improvements in a wide range of areas - such as housing, employment and skills, leisure and the environment - all of which affect public health.
He said: “Councils are best placed to pursue a whole-system approach to address interlinked health determinants such as employment, planning, housing, transport, skills and education as well as the integration of health, social care and well-being services.
“At Wigan we think of ‘health in every policy’ and improve health outcomes through large-scale changes not small stand-alone projects.”
Wigan Council and local NHS health providers have been recognised nationally for the work they have carried out to integrate social care with health services through the Healthier Wigan Partnership.
Women in the borough now achieve the England average healthy life expectancy, which has improved 31 months since 2009-11, while England’s average has reduced by two months.
Men in the borough have the fastest growing healthy life expectancy in Greater Manchester – improving 19 months since 2009-11.
Other achievements locally include Wigan’s state-of-the-art health improvement services delivered through Healthy Routes.