Tackling health inequalities in Fife is everyone’s business

Allan Burns, chairman of NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Wellbeing Alliance, says the new strategy sets out a clear picture of what needs to be done to tackle health inequalities.

Allan Burns, chairman of NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Wellbeing Alliance, says the new strategy sets out a clear picture of what needs to be done to tackle health inequalities.

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Health and social care experts in Fife have launched a new strategy to reduce health inequalities and improve life chances.

But they’ve also warned they can’t do it all on their own – and they need the support of everyone.

The new strategy ‘Fairer health for Fife’ sets out six key outcomes to be achieved over the next five years, improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable young people and women, people experiencing difficult life circumstances and older people.

Speaking at the launch, Allan Burns, chairman of the Fife Health and Wellbeing Alliance and NHS Fife, said: “Tackling health inequalities across Fife remains the focus for us all.

“In general, whilst the health of our population is improving, the gap between those with the worst and best health continues to increase – which has consequences for individuals, families, communities and services.

“By firmly setting out the outcomes we hope to see over the next five years, we create a clearer picture of what we need to do as organisations, and as partners, to achieve these.”

The six outcomes to be achieved are:

• Reduce the risk of poor health outcomes for vulnerable pregnant women, children, young people and families

• Improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing difficult life circumstances by providing more opportunities and support

• Ensure older people have more opportunities and support to take an active part in community life

• Develop initiatives in communities to create supportive social networks and increase participation in community activity

• Ensure neighbourhoods have safe, accessible outdoor and community spaces

• Encourage organisations to increase their focus on creating equal opportunities for good health

Fife Council leader David Ross said: “This is not simply a matter for health and social care providers. Employers, community groups, services and support organisations across the region are testament to the fact that by creating more equal living and working conditions, we can create equal opportunity for good health.

“Yet there is much more that we need to do. This includes increasing our understanding of the factors which impact on health and wellbeing, collaborating with the communities in planning and delivering services, and working flexibly – across sectors, services and organisations.

“No single organisation or service can tackle health inequalities alone. Reducing health inequalities is everyone’s business and in everyone’s interest.”