To discuss progress to date and provide examples of good practice on the Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles Priority (Weight).
Sue Weaver, Head of Commissioning: Health Improvement, gave a detailed update on work associated with the Healthy Lifestyles (Weight) Priority, one of the seven priorities identified by the Health and Wellbeing Board for inclusion in the Gloucestershire Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The update included an overview on progress to date and examples of good practice.
To view the report and power-point presentation relating to this item, please refer to the information published with the agenda on the Gloucestershire County Council website at the link here.
Members to note the information published on the NHS Gloucestershire website relating to the Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles Weight Management Service introduced in 2022. To view the information, please refer to the link here.
Members to also note the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) webpage on the Gloucestershire County Council website at the link here for more detailed information on children’s health and lifestyle. From the JSNA webpage, members can view data relating to children and young people’s diet and healthy eating at the link here.
Members were informed that, following a cabinet decision in September 2022, and the award of a contract in January 2023 to deliver the Gloucestershire’s Children and Young People’s Healthier Lifestyles Programme from 1 April 2023, work was underway on developing a countywide children’s weight management service for Gloucestershire. The service to work closely with children with obesity, and their families, to support them in making sustainable changes to their eating and physical activity habits and to achieve a healthier weight.
It was confirmed that the NHS England Children’s Community Weight Management Pilot had been extended for a period of one month from 1 to 30 April 2023 to avoid a potential gap in the provision of community weight management support for children and young people in Gloucestershire.
Directed by government policy, it was agreed that one of the biggest challenges to addressing obesity was trying to influence people in what they ate, and why. Members were advised that significant progress was being made to support a range of community prevention initiatives currently in place and in encouraging people to consider the consequences of diet and lifestyle.
Members attention was drawn to one such initiative, the Daily Mile Programme, and efforts to support and improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of children, (regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances). For more information on the Daily Mile Programme, please refer to the link here. It was understood the programme was having a significant impact on local families.
Acknowledging comments that obesity rates and inequalities continued to rise at both national and local levels, members were guided on ways in which the Health and Wellbeing Board might actively become involved to overcome some of the challenges relating to this growing concern.
Recent evidence indicated that community-led approaches to addressing social, environmental and economic drivers was the most likely area of work to make the biggest gains. Members were advised of a unique opportunity to Gloucestershire, and of the opportunity of being able to enhance community-led approaches with a focus on obesity prevention, in collaboration with Deakin University.
Points for further discussion suggested at the meeting included: -
i. Considering different ways local areas can act and how the HWB might use its influence to support the healthy weight agenda?
ii. Considering barriers to addressing obesity issues within individual organisations or services, and what was being done to address them?
iii. How can individual organisations best capitalise on the opportunity to collaborate with Deakin University in developing a local approach?
Supporting the idea of working together as a joined up activity approach, the Head of Commissioning thanked Active Gloucestershire for its input and for the information it had provided on the work being undertaken by Deakin University. Other organisations were encouraged to contact the Head of Commissioning direct if they wished to become more involved in the work.
Ann James, Executive Director of Children’s Services at Gloucestershire County Council and Dame Gill Morgan, Chair of the NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, confirmed their personal commitment and that of GCC and the ICB in investing in the issue of obesity in children and young people.
The update was noted, with a request for more information on the Gloucestershire Children and Young People’s Healthier Lifestyles Programme and on the obesity prevention work being undertaken by Deakin University. Action by – Sue Weaver