Thames Ward has some of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country and many other measurements of health and wellbeing that need urgent action. Local agencies have sprung into renewed action, firstly via the NHS Healthy New Towns (2016-2019) initiative which aimed to encourage healthier behaviours, develop new approaches and models of health care and build on innovation and learning.
Having been at the forefront of this new approach, Thames Ward became the first Health and Social Care Locality Board in the borough, set up with the purpose of developing a new model of care that is commissioned and delivered in a high quality and holistic way and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the local community.
The TWCP Health & Wellbeing Citizen Action Group (CAG) have held several large events and had regular resident-led discussions focusing on how local people can contribute and lead on what is being called a ‘new model of care’ which aims to transform how health services work.
We have identified seven areas of support and action:
- Supporting local community groups to get more funding (including health commissioned funding) by raising project management, bid writing and delivery skills;
- Supporting community groups to work with health agencies to develop a shared plan of action for the local area and helping the wider system become more transparent;
- Ensuring greater levels of inclusion and widening access across the community;
- Development of a resident-led social prescribing network where GPs can refer visitors to community groups;
- Support resident groups and individuals on the Locality Board and Riverside Health Centre / Hub;
- Securing a community health outreach worker – who will be managed by local people;
- Assisting with a proposal to develop the Sue Bramley Centre as a local health and wellbeing hub and as a community-run asset.