I have been away for a couple of weeks and return to find that the debate about the future of the NHS is in full flow. Following the discussions at the Political Party conferences and the publication by Simon Stevens the Chief Executive of NHS England of his plans in what is described as a’ Five year forward view’ we are considering locally what changes we intend to make to help improve health and well-being. Much of what Simon Stevens called for fits with the way we are intending to work in Blackburn with Darwen.
At a recent meeting of our Health and Wellbeing board we considered a proposal to simplify the plans we have by grouping initiatives into three rather than the current five areas. With no claim for originality we think that ‘start well; live well; age well.’ are good ways to organise the plans and their implementation.
As you would expect Start well is about giving children the best possible start in life and includes support offered during pregnancy, through the first days of life and on to maturity as an adult. Under the Live well heading will be the support available to people from early adult hood through working life to retirement, and Age well covers the responses we will make to people during retirement and on to the end of life.
One of the intentions is to clearly identify those universal services which are there for the whole population to take advantage of, schools and GPs are examples and targeted services which are those aimed at supporting people who have particular problems such as addictions or have specific conditions such as Cerebral Palsy. The universal services need to be as comprehensive as possible and highly effective in order to lessen the need for specialist interventions.
The Board is planning to get more views from people about this approach and other aspects of its work and there is an event planned for 13th November at the Youth Zone in Blackburn to help with this. Further information about the event is on the website ours or the Council’s please check with ken Barnsley.