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Health priorities are outlined by new body
9:00am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
A new board gearing up to take over responsibility for public health in Bradford has revealed its action plan.
The 18-point plan pledges to tackle a variety of problems, from reducing child mortality to improving the diagnosis of dementia.
Other aims include improving oral health in the under-fives, promoting healthier lifestyles in the workplace and reducing the impact of poverty on children’s health.
The document, called the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, has been devised by the Shadow Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board, which is chaired by Council leader Councillor David Green.
The board will take on responsibility for public health from April 1.
Until now, public health fell under the remit of NHS Bradford and Airedale, which is being disbanded next month, along with the rest of the country’s primary care trusts, as part of a Government reform.
At the Health and Wellbeing Board’s last meeting as a shadow board yesterday, its action plan was given the formal seal of approval. The board will assess its progress on each of the 18 priorities every six months.
Board member Janice Simpson, Bradford Council’s interim strategic director of adult social services, particularly welcomed the inclusion of a plan to develop a suicide prevention strategy. She said: “The board welcome that. I was pleased to see that.”
Another pledge was to try to reduce the levels of baby deaths in Bradford. As the Telegraph & Argus reported last week, Bradford has the second-highest rate of infant mortality in England.
In the most deprived areas of the district, the number of children dying before their first birthday is as high as one in every hundred.
Director of public health Dr Anita Parkin revealed there were 9.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in the most deprived areas, compared to 7.9 deaths per 1,000 across the Bradford district as a whole.
The board hopes to reduce this by increasing the uptake of breastfeeding, reducing the number of pregnant women who smoke, drink or abuse drugs and increasing the understanding of genetically inherited disorders.